The New York State Bar Association is hosting a statewide webcast on Thursday, November 15, on "Providing Legal Assistance to Persons Affected by Superstorm Sandy," President Seymour W. James, Jr. said today.

The webcast will be streamed live between 4 and 7 p.m. from the Association's headquarters at One Elk Street, Albany, NY. The video also will be archived on the State Bar website for later viewing. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Internal Revenue Service (IRS) American Red Cross officials and others will participate.

The session is designed for attorneys and law students who want to assist Superstorm Sandy victims-
through telephone hotlines and community clinics sponsored by state and local bar associations, legal service providers and law schools.

The program, which is free of charge, is open to State Bar Association members and non-members.  Pre-registration is required. To register online, go to

President James (The Legal Aid Society in New York City) has called on lawyers across New York to volunteer to help storm victims.

"Many downstate attorneys who otherwise might volunteer are themselves personally or professionally affected by Superstorm Sandy. It is gratifying that so many upstate attorneys have answered the call to volunteer," James said. "We encourage additional attorneys to volunteer, because the need for legal assistance is expected to grow in the coming weeks."

The State Bar has created a toll-free hotline (1-800-699-5636) for callers with legal problems related to the storm. Callers receive a free legal consultation of up to 30 minutes from volunteer attorneys. To volunteer, attorneys can visit or call 518-463-3200.

Free MCLE Webcast and Live Program

Thursday's program will include an overview of state and federal relief programs. Panelists will include representatives from the American Red Cross, FEMA, IRS, Coast Guard, Small Business Administration, state Department of Labor and state Department of Financial Services.

Panelists also will include attorneys who are experts on the legal issues that Superstorm Sandy victims might face. The issues covered will include: insurance; housing (landlord/tenant); home foreclosure; disaster unemployment insurance; replacing lost wills, deeds and other legal documents; banking; consumer debt/credit; and family law. Panelists will offer best practices and advice on counseling clients impacted by the storm.

Upon completing program, attorneys are eligible for 2.0 Mandatory Continuing Education Credits (1.0 in professional practice and 1.0 in skills). Newly admitted attorneys must attend the program in Albany to qualify for MCLE credit. For more information, go to

The training is sponsored by the New York State Bar Association-Committee on Continuing Legal Education, Department of Pro Bono Affairs, Law Practice Management Department, Lawyer Referral and Information Service, Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law Section, and Committee on Children and the Law-in conjunction with Touro Law Center, Empire Justice Center, Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York, Albany County Bar Association, The Legal Aid Society in New York City and The Legal Project.

The 77,000-member New York State Bar Association is the largest state voluntary bar association in the nation.  It was founded in 1876.


Contact: Lise Bang-Jensen
Director of Media Services and Public Affairs