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Legal aid vs 18b lawyer

New York, NY |
Filed under: Criminal defense

what is the difference between a legal aid lawyer and a 18b? and why would judge appoint 18b when defendant fires legal aid?

Attorney Answers 3


Legal Aid attorneys work for the Legal Aid Society while 18b lawyers are private attorneys who handle court appointed cases. The Court cannot replace one Legal Aid lawyer with another because they are considered a firm so the Judge has to appoint an 18b lawyer. Legal Aid lawyers generally have a very high case load.

The above is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.

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When and how should a defendent go about firing their legal aid attorney? What are common grounds for dismissal?


18b lawyers are basically "street lawyers" who generally volunterr for the Assigned Counsel 18b Plan in order to work for some new clients so they can show what they can do and that way, get more referrals for new paying clients. They may also do it for altruistic reasons because they want to do the "right thing" and help people while they earn a very reduced fee.

Remember, an 18b attorney usually already has a good reputation within the community and does not want to tarnish that reputation by doing a poor job on an 18b case. Instead, they want to impress any new assigned client with their abilities to the degree that they will attract new clients through the original client via referrals.

You may call our office at 516-248-6600 or send an email to us at This answer does not form an attorney/client relationship with anyone and any answers do not constitute direct legal advice and should not be followed unless and until you have spoken with an attorney of your choice.

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Once an attorney from the Legal Aid Society is replaced by the judge, all of the attorneys from the Legal Aid Society are excluded from your case. The Legal Aid Society acts like a law firm where, on the other hand, 18B attorneys are private criminal defense attorneys that are assigned by the court to represent indigent defendants.

Note: For informational purposes only. Seek an in person consultation with an attorney to be informed about all of your rights.

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