Pro Bono Rule for Newly Admitted
Attorneys: Statement by State Bar Association President Seymour W.
Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman today announced details of a new rule that
requires future attorneys to complete 50 hours of pro bono service
before being admitted to practice law in New York.
The State Bar Association and Chief Judge Lippman have long been
concerned with the need to increase the availability of legal services
to the indigent and enhance their access to justice. Under this
program, more low-income New Yorkers will receive access to justice and
law students will gain practical skills and an appreciation for
“doing the public good.”
The rule requires the coordinated efforts of many parties, including law
schools, legal service providers, the court system and law
students. We are pleased that the Chief Judge, recognizing that,
has delayed application of the rule to those admitted to practice on or
after January 1, 2015.
The rule also provides flexibility in meeting the requirement, as the
pro bono service required by the rule can be completed in New York,
other states, U.S. territories or foreign countries anytime between the
commencement of law school studies and the time the application for
admission is filed with the Appellate Division.
The State Bar Association looks forward to working with the Chief
Judge’s Advisory Committee to assist in the implementation of the
rule, so that it can best achieve its noteworthy goals.
The 77,000-member New York State Bar Association is the
largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. It was
founded in 1876.
NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION, ONE ELK STREET, ALBANY, NY 12207 PH: (518) 463-3200 SECURE FX: (518) 463-5993