Catholic Migration Services


Founded in 1971 in response to Pope Paul VI's call for the care of immigrants, the Diocese of Brooklyn's Catholic Migration Services now welcomes thousands of immigrants each year. Since its inception, the office has served immigrants from at least 167 countries who, collectively, speak more than 80 languages.

Our programs are open to immigrants of all faiths and are considered by our clients to be respectful, dignified, safe, and professional. With no money ever spent on advertising, the hundreds of thousands of immigrants who have come through our doors have done so at the suggestion of others who were well served by the Catholic Church.

The Catholic Migration Services provides non-profit legal services and counseling to immigrants in the following practice areas: immigration, housing and employment.

Our office has gained widespread recognition for comprehensive immigration legal services including representation of asylum seekers, human trafficking victims, and victims of domestic violence. In the area of housing litigation, our work to protect the rights of immigrant tenants and preserve affordable housing has resulted in notable legal and community organizing victories which have been featured in major media outlets. Our immigrant workers' rights project focuses on wage and overtime violations and unsafe working conditions. Linea Laboral, a toll free bilingual workers' rights hotline, is operated by CMS in collaboration with the Mexican Consulate General in New York, the U.S. Department of Labor and the New York State Department of Labor.

  • County(s) of Volunteer Opportunity: All NYC
  • Area of law: Employment, Housing, Immigration & Naturalization
  • Populations Served: Asylum Seekers, Domestic Violence Victims, Immigrants, Individuals who are not in legal immigration status, Individuals with criminal histories, Low Income, Working poor and unemployed
  • Opportunities For: Law Students, Paralegals
  • Need for non-English services: Arabic, Haitian Creole, Spanish
  • Hours for Pro Bono Opportunities: Monday-Friday 9am-5pm
  • Malpractice insurance is provided for volunteers: No
  • Training Provided: Yes
  • Training Required: Yes
  • CLE credit for trainings: No
  • CLE credit for pro bono: No
  • Mentoring or supervision offered: Yes
  • Volunteer lawyers need to meet a caseload or hours requirement: Yes
  • Types of projects in need of Pro Bono help: Client counseling (e.g., brief advice), Client intake and screening, Draft legal documents (e.g., briefs), Legal Research
  • Long Distance Opportunities: Virtual/remote clinics
  • Volunteers may participate long-distance: Yes
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