About Us

Western New York Law Center (the Law Center) is a nonprofit law firm that provides free, high-quality civil legal (noncriminal) services to low-income consumers in Western New York. The bankruptcy clinic allows clients who would otherwise be unable to afford representation to reorder their finances and get a fresh financial start. Our clinic is funded by grants from the American College of Bankruptcy Foundation and the Oishei Foundation. The Lawyering in the Digital Age Clinic at Columbia Law School has provided technical assistance, for which we are grateful.

Our staff will do an initial intake with you to see if you meet our eligibility requirements. Click here to begin the process.

The Clinic

  • Appointment necessary. There are a limited number of appointments available at each clinic and they fill up quickly, so start the process today!
  • Held twice a month.
  • Learn what bankruptcy can and cannot do, your rights when dealing with creditors, and what it means to be “judgment-proof.”
  • Find out about other alternatives to filing for bankruptcy.
  • At the clinic an attorney will review your case and tell you if bankruptcy would help you.
  • If bankruptcy is appropriate for you, the attorney will take your documents and information to draft your bankruptcy petition.

Who can get help at the clinic?

  • The bankruptcy clinic is only available to low-income individuals with limited assets who live in Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Wyoming and Chautauqua Counties.

What kind of cases does the bankruptcy clinic handle?

  • The bankruptcy clinic is for people who are interested in filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases.
  • We prepare petitions for use in Chapter 7 pro se proceedings.
  • We do not give advice on any non-bankruptcy related legal issues or cases.
  • We do not file pleadings on your behalf.
  • We do not provide representation in court

Are there any costs?

  • There is no charge for attorney or paralegal services.
  • If you end up filing for bankruptcy, you will have to pay the filing fee which is $335. This fee can be paid in installments and some clients may be eligible for a fee waiver.

Looking for immediate assistance with your case?

  • If you are in need of immediate help, the bankruptcy clinic may not be right for you. The clinic cannot provide “emergency” bankruptcy assistance.
  • If you believe you need to file bankruptcy within the next 30 days and are in Western New York, call the Bar Association of Erie County’s Lawyer Referral and Information Service at (716) 852-3100.