If you need legal advice about a civil matter and qualify for free legal services, come to ECLAA in Newark at our office in Room 118 at the Newark Hall of Records, 465 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Newark, NJ 07102.
Our practice is focused on civil law for low-income residents of Essex County. The most common forms of civil law affecting our clients are housing law (most often, tenants facing eviction), consumer law, family law, etc.
We do not do criminal law. That work is done by the Public Defenders office.
What to expect when you get to Room 118
We only provide legal advice in person. We cannot provide legal advice by phone or online. Generally, the best time of day to come to our office is before 9:00 a.m. We are open Monday-Friday each week, with our last client interview typically by 1:00 p.m. Please knock on our door to let us know you are waiting. Please be patient, since there are generally more income-eligible clients that we have attorneys.
When you arrive at the Essex County Legal Aid Association office in Newark, you will need to fill out a brief intake form. Copies of the form are available right on our office door -- which is Room 118 in the Hall of Records building. Complete the intake form as best you can. If you have trouble completing it, knock on our door. Ask for our brief help.
Then, once an ECLAA attorney has finished working with another ECLAA client, we will be able to see you -- if you are income eligible.
What to bring with you
Bring your contact information with you to ECLAA's office -- like your name, address, phone number(s), e-mail address, etc. You must also bring:
Who is income eligible to get free legal help from ECLAA
Eligibility for ECLAA's free emergency legal help is based on your annual household income and the number of people in your family/household.
(See the table below.)
ECLAA uses a maximum income eligibility cap of 250% of the Federal poverty guidelines for all our clients. If you make less each year than the maximum annual income for your size household, ECLAA will be able to provide our free emergency legal assistance to you and your family. These income caps follow the guidelines of one of our larger grantmakers -- the IOLTA Fund of the Bar of New Jersey.
To figure out whether you are eligible for ECLAA's free legal help, first find the size of your family/household (including all adults and children living with you). Then compare your annual household income with the maximum cap for annual income shown in the annual and weekly household income column for that household size.
If your household income is less than the bold dollar amounts for your household size, you are eligible for ECLAA's free legal services on your emergency civil matters. Your expected household income in 2019 is below 250% of the Federal poverty guideline:
Household Size Annual Income (Weekly Income)
For each additional person in your household above 8 people, add for each additional person $ 11,050 per year ($213 per week).
We apologize for the complexity of this income cap, but it is a requirement of our major financial supporter. As a nonprofit organization entirely dependent on donations, we must comply with such requirements. If your annual household income is higher than the numbers above, ECLAA is not able to help you.
We see our first client on Monday - Friday by 9 a.m. and our last client of the day by 1 p.m., although intake may end earlier if we need to devote more time to clients already in our office whose cases are complex and need immediate attention. We apologize in advance for the chance that this may happen. We try to see and help each person who knocks on our door. We ask for your patience, even though that may be difficult under the circumstances you face. To avoid such stress, come to our office a week before your court date.
465 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, Room 118, Newark NJ 071
Each $150 covers all of the costs of providing free emergency legal assistance to a low-income client and her family when facing a civil law crisis -- most often an imminent eviction from their home.