Consumer Justice

The consumer justice practice at the Community Development Project of Urban Justice Center provides our community partners and their members with access to free consumer justice resources intended to increase the impact of grassroots organizations in New York’s low income and other excluded communities. We partner with community-based organizations to strengthen the work of grassroots and community-based groups in New York City to dismantle racial, economic and social oppression and to help build capacity, power and public awareness around consumer justice and financial empowerment issues. 

Our consumer justice resources include:

Legal clinics

Legal clinics at your community-based organization to provide your members with brief legal advice and/or representation on a wide array of consumer justice issues.

Manhattan: Lower East Side (English & Español)
Queens: Jackson Heights (English)

Community Education Workshops 

Click here for a list of our current training materials and topics.

Full representation in legal cases 

Staff and pro bono attorneys have defended community members in state court and have filed affirmative litigation in federal court to address individual and group legal cases against creditors. We work in several areas of consumer litigation including defending consumers in lawsuits brought by debt buyers and other creditors. In September 2017, the Consumer Justice practice will welcome a Skadden fellow to develop a specialized practice to address the growing challenge many of our clients face when they are sued for post eviction rent related debts, called breach of lease cases.

Brief advocacy services 

Staff provide brief non-litigation advocacy services in relation to a variety of consumer issues. Learn More.

Support for partner-driven legislative and policy reform 

Support partner-driven (or partner-initiated) legislative and policy reform initiatives to benefit New York’s low-income and other excluded communities. Click here for more information on a few of our current and recent policy reform initiatives.

Policy reports 

The practice has utilized anecdotal data, surveys and observed trends from working with community members and with our Research and Policy team to release four reports, Debt Weight (2007), Debt Deception (2010), Dreams and Schemes (2012), and Bridging The Gap (2015). Click here for access to each of our policy reports.

Know your rights fact sheets

Know-your-rights fact sheets on a range of consumer justice topics meant to provide members with concrete self-help information they can use to take steps to remedy personal injustices. Click here for access to all of our fact sheets in English and Spanish.

Additional Resources