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Our Story Promoting justice for all since 1949.

History of HLA

Hiscock Legal Aid Society was founded in 1949 to provide free legal assistance to low income residents of Onondaga County. Funds were provided by the Syracuse Foundation, Inc. from a bequest of the Hon. Frank H. Hiscock, Chief Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals from 1916 to 1926.

In the beginning, we emphasized providing civil legal assistance to those in need and family, housing and unemployment matters continue to represent the most numerous cases in our Civil Program. In 1965, the Society contracted with the Onondaga County Bar Association to administer the first Assigned Counsel Program and established an in-office Appeals Program to handle appeals from criminal convictions.

From 1974 until 2004 we provided complete criminal defense services to low income persons accused in non-felony cases in Syracuse City Court. In 2004, through a contract with Onondaga County, we began to provide complete legal representation to adults in Family Court cases, as well as parole revocation and extradition defense.

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