The Rural Law Center of New York, Inc. is a not-for-profit legal assistance organization which was incorporated in 1996 with the generous support of the IOLA (Interest on Lawyer Accounts) Fund and the New York Bar Foundation. The Rural Law Center of New York, Inc. is committed to focusing attention through our legal system and government institutions on the needs of low-income, rural New Yorkers. The Rural Law Center was established to meet a pressing need recognized by civil legal services attorneys practicing in New York's rural regions. Specifically, that is the need to address legal issues which are characteristic of rural poverty by using common strategies, such as representing clients in impact cases, increasing public awareness and informing policy makers of the needs of rural, low-income New Yorkers.


Many of us, when we think of rural New York, immediately think of the breathtaking mountains, lakes, woodlands and parks. In 44 of the state's 62 counties, mountains, rivers, farms and fields are the predominant visual landscape. But, while rural New York occupies the overwhelming portion of the state's land mass, it is home to only a small fraction of the population. In isolated rural regions, many find themselves in economically precarious situations. In fact, some rural upstate counties have higher proportions of their populations living in poverty than New York's urban areas.

It is no surprise that most government efforts and private policy initiatives are directed toward the needs of the majority, the urban poor. While they aim to address pressing concerns for those in need, these initiatives neglect the obstacles that are unique to the rural poor. In order to assist families, children and the elderly living in New York's rural areas, significant efforts must be focused on the problems they face and the resources their communities can offer.


Map of the Service Area

News from the Center


Contact Us at Rural Law Center Offices 


Rural Law Center of New York, Inc., 22 U.S. Oval, Suite 203, Plattsburgh, NY 12901 Phone (518) 561-5460 Fax (518) 561-5468 Toll Free (866) 324-1183


Rural Law Center of New York, Inc./1528 Columbia Turnpike; Castleton-on-Hudson, NY 12033

Phone (518) 477-7137 Fax (518) 694-0527


  • Clinton County - 22 U.S. Oval, Suite 203/ Plattsburgh, NY 12903 Phone (518) 324-5144 Fax (518) 324-5142
  • Essex County - Town of North Elba-Town Hall, 2693 Main Street, Suite 204 Lake Placid, NY 12946 Phone (518) 523-0102 Fax (518) 523-0107
  • Hamilton County - Contact Main Office: 22 U.S. Oval, Suite 203, Plattsburgh, NY 12903 Phone: (518) 561-5460 Fax (518) 561-5468


This communication is made available by the Rural Law Center of New York, Inc. as a public service and is issued to inform, not to advise.  No person should attempt to interpret or apply any law without the assistance of an attorney.  The opinions expressed in this communication are those of the authors and not of the Rural Law Center's funding sources.

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