Welcome to ECLAA.

The Essex County Legal Aid Association (ECLAA) focuses on providing free immediate legal advice on civil law matters (e.g., landlord/tenant, consumer), preparing pro se legal paperwork, negotiating with opposing counsel when possible, and (if we are certain that a tenant client is incapable of represent their interests pro se) representing that client in L-T court and/or hearings.  If we cannot help a client, we will make referrals to other nonprofit organizations and government agencies who we believe can further assist our clients.   

ECLAA performs these emergency services on-site, in the courthouse -- the Hall of Records at 465 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Newark. Like a medical emergency room, we are physically located where crises related to the absence of legal help are likely to be stressful for low-income residents of Newark and all other Essex County communities. We perform a form of triage similar to an emergency room, with the goal of providing guidance, assurance, and/or a referral to each low-income person who knocks on our door. 

Every one of our walk-in clients receives immediate emergency legal advice, legal paperwork preparation, and counseling from our legal staff.  ECLAA's free legal services are available to qualified low-income residents of Essex County who need such emergency help and may have even arrived in court unaware of legal support services available to them.   

At ECLAA, we treat our clients with courtesy and integrity. We guarantee realistic and honest legal advice. We served 1,065 clients and their families on an emergency basis in 2017 from our office in the Hall of Records building in downtown Newark. None of our clients paid a single penny for this free on-the-spot legal advice.   

If you are poor, live in Essex County, and need legal advice related to civil matters (we do not handle criminal matters), please take a look at our website's "For potential clients" page regarding income eligibility.  If you believe you are eligible for ECLAA's free help, give us a call.   

We are available when the courts are open Monday-Friday each week.  Call us at (973) 622-0063 to learn what documents you should bring with you for our attorneys to review. Intake begins at 9:00 a.m. and we do our last intake by 1:00 p.m., since our attorneys will often need to work with clients already in our office for a few more hours on their emergent but complex legal issues. 


No legal advice can be given over the phone. You need to come to our office to get our legal help.