Hiscock Legal Aid Society was founded on September 23, 1949 to provide free legal assistance to indigent residents of Onondaga County. Initial 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, the Society emphasized providing civil legal assistance to those in need and family, housing and economic 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, the Society provided complete criminal defense services to indigent persons accused in non-felony cases in Syracuse City Court. In 2004, through a contract with Onondaga County, the Society began to provide complete legal representation to adults in Family Court cases, as well as parole revocation and extradition defense.
The Hiscock Legal Aid Society currently employs a staff of 52, including 28 attorneys. Approximately 4,400 cases are handled each year.