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Covid-19 task force offers free legal help during pandemic

Some attorneys are providing free legal help to state residents who are dealing with legal issues related to the pandemic.

The New York State Bar Association has named a Covid-19 Recovery Task Force, which oversees efforts to provide pro bono legal help during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Some attorneys are providing free help to people in financial need who have trouble getting unemployment benefits during the pandemic. Attorneys also can help with a range of other issues, including evictions, domestic violence, and job and housing discrimination, said Buffalo attorney Vincent E. Doyle III, the Western New York representative on the 17-member task force.

People in need of free legal help can contact the following agencies:

• State bar association at probono@nysba.org.

• For Erie County residents, the Erie County Bar Association’s Volunteer Lawyers Project at 847-0662.

• Residents of Erie and Niagara counties can also seek help from Buffalo Neighborhood Legal Services at 847-0650. Residents of Orleans, Wyoming and Genesee counties can call the same agency at (585) 343-5450.

"The unprecedented Covid-19 crisis will result in even more legal problems, and even more people who may not be able to afford legal representation," said Doyle, who is a partner at Connors LLP, a former president of the state bar association and current president of Buffalo Neighborhood Legal Services.

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