August 26, 2009


Program Connects Attorneys with New Yorkers in Need of Free Consultation on Estate Planning

ALBANY, NY (08/26/2009) -- To address the growing number of elderly and low-income individuals who cannot afford legal guidance on will preparation or how they and their property should be treated if they become physically or mentally incapacitated, the New York State Bar Association is co-sponsoring an initiative to provide lawyers with the most up-to-date practices for creating wills and planning for incapacity while connecting them with New Yorkers in need of pro bono counseling on these matters.

In collaboration with Albany County Bar Association, the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York, Inc. and The Legal Project, the State Bar will offer a free Continuing Legal Education (CLE) program for lawyers on September 17th from 3:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. at the State Bar Center at One Elk Street in Albany. In addition to the training course, to receive full CLE credit, lawyers will agree to accept a minimum of one pro bono case from each of the co-sponsors for a total of three cases annually. Participating lawyers will earn three Professional Practice credits and one Ethics credit.

"Every New Yorker should have the ability to make legally binding plans for how they can provide for their loved ones after they are gone or to guarantee how they and their possessions are treated if they become incapacitated," said President Michael E. Getnick (Getnick Livingston Atkinson & Priore, LLP of Utica and of counsel to Getnick & Getnick of New York City). "This program links people who require critical legal counseling but can't afford it with attorneys who are able and willing to meet their needs."

Speakers will include John Balint, M.D., Albany Medical College; Anne Reynolds Copps, Esq., The Law Office of Anne Reynolds Copps; and Margaret Z. Reed, Esq., Reed & Vella, LLP.

For more information or for lawyers who wish to register, please email or contact

Individuals in need of representation should contact any one of the three participating programs: the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York, Inc., The Legal Project, or the Albany County Bar Association.

The 76,000-member New York State Bar Association is the official statewide organization of lawyers in New York and the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Founded in 1876, State Bar programs and activities have continuously served the public and improved the justice system for more than 130 years.