Center for Law and Social Justice


The mission of the Center for Law and Social Justice is to provide quality legal advocacy, training, and research on racial justice issues affecting people of African descent, and persons who are under-served, under-represented and otherwise disenfranchised. Using a grassroots approach, the Center for Law and Social Justice (CLSJ) works to promote human rights and civil rights in partnership with, and on behalf of, community organizations and other civil society groups. CLSJ’s advocacy projects and litigation include: a) voting rights; b) equity in public education; c) police-related harassment and abuse; e) discrimination issues; and, g) human rights violations in the United States. As a result of its unique synthesis of research, public policy advocacy and litigation, the Center for Law and Social Justice has a very successful track record fighting discrimination. CLSJ is a focal point for progressive activity that results in creative, action-oriented solutions and social change.

Executive Director’s Message

In the spirit of Medgar W. Evers, the slain civil rights activist, the dedicated staff of the Center and I welcome your collaboration in addressing the many racial justice issues currently facing New Yorkers. Founded in 1986, the Center conducts research and ground-breaking advocacy on voting rights, equity in the public schools and other racial discrimination issues in New York City. We also provide free legal consultation services. Visit our office at 1534 Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn, New York, telephone the Center for Law and Social Justice at 718 804 8893 or email us.

Staying on Freedom and Justice,
Esmeralda Simmons, Esq.
Executive Director

Current Projects

Don't Lose Your Vote

The Voting Rights Policy project is focused on election protection by monitoring and conducting comprehensive legal research on such changes and advocating against adverse proposed election procedures in New York City.  CLSJ also conducts community forums, public outreach, and public speaking. We also testify at public hearings, litigate, and build alliances with other progressive public interest organizations to make the election system accessible to all eligible voters.

Education Equity/ Parent Advocacy Academy

Through this project, CLSJ 

  • Challenges public education policies and practices that discriminate against or harm students of color. Current case: Title VI challenge at the US Dept. of Education's Office for Civil Rights to the NYC Specialized High School entrance examination as discriminatory against Black and Latino student applicants.
  • Develops the leadership skills of public school parents to be advocates in the public school system. CLSJ’s Parent Advocates Coming Together Program (PACT) sponsors a series of development workshops and activities for parents whose children are students in the NYC public school system. Samples of the workshops conducted are: Parent as the Directors of Their Children’s Education; Assessing Your Child’s Talents and Planning for Educational Success; and What Every Parent Needs to Know about Special Education.  
Police and Racial Violence Project

CLSJ is conducting legal research to strengthen pending legislation focused on reforming the prosecution of “excessive use of force” cases.

Free Legal Consultations

CLSJ attorneys provide free advice and referrals to individuals on their legal problems. Office hours for legal consultations are by appointment only on Wednesdays from 2 PM – 5 PM, in person and by telephone. Please call the office to schedule an appointment at (718) 804-8893.
At this time, CLSJ is not providing immigration legal services. For immigration services at MEC, please contact the Citizenship Now! Immigration Program, Medgar Evers College, 1150 Carroll Street, Brooklyn NY 11225. (718) 270-6296


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Medgar Evers College
1650 Bedford Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11225

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