City Bar Justice Center


$15,000 for 2023-2024

The Cancer Advocacy Project

The Cancer Advocacy Project (CAP) was developed in 1995 and became a national model for providing outreach, education and free legal services to cancer patients and their families.  CAP's mission is to address the needs of limited-income (particularly breast) cancer patients and survivors, and it takes a multi-pronged approach toward reaching that goal.  A key element is our cohort of private attorneys who volunteer their services through the project and help clients to navigate the legal challenges stemming from their cancer diagnoses. These include the preparation of life-planning documents, counseling on issues relating to cancer-related workplace rights and protections, challenging unjust coverage denials by private health insurance companies, and dealing with increasing medical debt. The volunteer attorneys also travel throughout the five boroughs, assisting home- and hospital-bound patients, sometimes in extremely urgent situations.  In addition, they serve as speakers for community presentations and help create user-friendly informational materials to increase awareness of legal rights.

CAP also promotes awareness of the project's services among the private bar, judiciary, legal aid providers, and other organizations; through collaborations with partnering associations; and by strengthening CAP's network of organizations serving breast cancer patients and survivors to improve information exchange.  All these efforts are central to CAP's structure, which allows the project to provide more cancer patients and survivors, and their families, with free quality legal services and counseling.


JALBCA's Impact on CAP's Services

JALBCA's longstanding support has been invaluable to CBJC in helping CAP to maintain the level, scope, and quality of its services.  The project is made up of multiple elements, each of which must function efficiently to deliver exemplary services to breast cancer patients and survivors, and include:

  • Direct assistance to patients, survivors, and their families
  • Community presentations
  • Workshops for service providers
  • Training and maintaining a pool of at least 100 volunteer attorneys
  • Creating consumer-friendly informational materials
  • Outreach to and collaboration with partnering organizations

JALBCA helps to sustain all of these crucial elements and more. The flexibility afforded by JALBCA's support is key in enabling CAP to react quickly, identify urgent needs and develop strategies to address them through legal services delivered individually and in groups, and reaching thousands of breast cancer patients and survivors through different methods.

CBJC truly appreciates JALBCA's partnership with CAP. JALBCA's support has helped to raise CAP's profile and deepen its reputation as a quality resource within the cancer services community.


City Bar Justice Center's Mission

The City Bar Justice Center, a nonprofit affiliate of the New York City Bar Association, furthers access to justice by addressing unmet civil legal needs of New Yorkers struggling with poverty and systemic socioeconomic barriers.  CBJC mobilizes law firms, corporate legal departments, and other legal institutions to provide pro bono legal services; educates the public on important legal issues; fosters strategic community relationships; and impacts public policy. CBJC's dozen civil justice projects, including the Cancer Advocacy Project, are led by a staff of dedicated attorneys and professionals who each year, provide more than 25,000 New Yorkers with high-quality civil legal services through brief advice and information, referrals, and both limited scope and extended representation.  CBJC also reaches tens of thousands of other New Yorkers through its extensive community outreach and education efforts.