The Legal Services Staff Association is a “wall-to-wall” union representing the secretaries, paralegals, receptionists, process servers, social workers, attorneys and other non-management employees of Legal Services NYC (LSNYC) and Mobilization for Justice (MFJ, formerly MFY Legal Services). Founded in 1973, LSSA is now a unit of the National Organization of Legal Services Workers (NOLSW), Local 2320 of the United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers (UAW).
Our members serve low income persons and communities throughout New York City in civil legal matters including housing, domestic violence, public benefits, education, family, community economic development, HIV/AIDS, immigration, LGBTQ, and mental health. We are dedicated to making it possible for our members to make careers in Legal Services through a fair labor contract and a dignified work environment. This allows us to provide high quality legal services in the communities we serve.
LSSA has roughly 550 members in offices throughout the five boroughs of New York City. It is the largest of NOLSW’s many legal services units, but there are many aspects of LSSA in which we take greater pride.
There is the great diversity of our members, not just in terms of race, ethnicity, creed, gender, sexual orientation, national origin and the like, but in terms of the profusion of other interests and frequently professional-level skill sets that they bring to the unit. There is our grassroots character and the functioning of our system of shop representation through our assembly of delegates (stewards). Then there is our history of militancy: among other things carrying forward the association of the UAW with sit-ins. Related to this is the level of participation of our members in the activities of the larger union, including the amount of leadership and staff that we have provided to NOLSW and the UAW. Also related is the amount of support and assistance that we offer our sister unions.
LSSA, however, is also proud of the support that we lend the programs that employ us, not least through the amount of our members’ time, effort, and even money that is dedicated to lobbying for legal services funding. And there is a special reason for that: As with most unionized workers, we take real pride in our work, and our union reflects that. Unlike most, however, our union not only reflects but in a sense mirrors our work, because as workers and as unionists, fighting for justice for the economic underdog is what we do all the time. Of that, we are proudest of all.
Legal Services Staff Association Executive Committee
MFJ Vice President
Political Action Representative
Delegate at Large