Pro Bono Affairs

  • 2013 Justice for All Luncheon Attendees
    NYSBA's leadership celebrates Empire State Counsel honorees
  • 2013 Justice for All Luncheon Speakers
    Distinguished panelists share their views at the 2013 Justice for All Luncheon
  • Events and Training
    • Events and Training

      • Presidents Pro Bono Service Awards Ceremony

      2014 President Pro Bono Awards Luncheon and Ceremoney

      Wednesday, April 30, 2014

      1:00 pm - 4:00pm

      New York State Bar Association

      • Brown v. Board of Education

      A 60th Anniversary Retrospective

      Thursday, May 15, 2014

      6:00-8:30 p.m.

      New York Law School

      For more information click HERE

  • About

    Staff of the Department of Pro Bono Affairs

    The Department of Pro Bono Affairs is staffed by a full-time attorney and a full-time assistant.  The Department can be reached via e-mail at probono@nysba.org or by telephone at (518) 487-5641 or by writing to the Department of Pro Bono Affairs, New York State Bar Association, One Elk Street, Albany, New York 12207 or via the Department’s website at www.nysba.org/probono.

    About the Department of Pro Bono Affairs

    The New York State Bar Association (“NYSBA”) has a long and proud tradition of advocating for equal access to justice for all low-income New Yorkers in civil matters through a combination of government-funded legal services programs and voluntary pro bono service by private practitioners. The NYSBA recognizes that meeting the need for critical legal services to the poor and disadvantaged is a responsibility of society in general, and that the organized bar and individual attorneys in particular have a professional responsibility in meeting that need.

    Established in 1991, the Department of Pro Bono Affairs provides, among other things, guidance to bar associations, law firms, law schools, corporate law offices, government offices, and other entities in establishing and operating volunteer projects; provides assistance and educational training programs for developing written pro bono policies; sponsors free MCLE training programs for attorneys employed by legal services organizations; makes training materials available for use by legal services organizations and volunteer lawyer projects to use in training volunteers; oversees a number of attorney recognition programs which were established to promote, recognize and honor pro bono service by individual attorneys and law firms.  The Department works with many of the Association’s sections and committees to encourage their voluntary participation in pro bono projects.  

     In addition, the director serves as the Association liaison to the President’s Committee on Access to Justice, the Committee on Legal Aid, Committee on Volunteer Lawyers, Committee to Ensure Quality of Mandated Representation, Veterans Committee, Charity Corps Program, Steven C. Krane Special Committee on Student Loan Assistance for the Public Interest, and the Pro Bono Coordinators Network to develop and implement the Association’s policies and proposals on access to justice issues.

    Can the Department Provide Pro Bono Attorneys?

    Regrettably, no.  The Department does not maintain a roster of pro bono attorneys or have attorneys on staff available to provide legal assistance. We can provide contact information for civil legal service organizations which may be able to assist an individual with her/his legal problem for free or at a reduced cost.  Our website also has links to other legal resources which may be of assistance to the public.

    I want to volunteer. Can the Department help me find a pro bono opportunity?

    Attorneys seeking a volunteer pro bono opportunity are encouraged to use the Pro Bono Opportunities Guide. The Guide contains information about statewide volunteer opportunity and is searchable by areas of legal interest, and by county where volunteer works or resides. 

    Another option is to visit www.LawHelpNY.org site to identify a legal service organization or volunteer lawyers project in your area. LawHelpNY has a comprehensive list of providers, grouped by legal topics, together with a description of the legal assistance offered.  A prospective volunteer can follow up directly with the program of interest to determine if pro bono opportunities are available. 

    If your organization has a volunteer opportunity and would like to post it on the Department’s webpage, please contact us at probono@nysba.org.

    Department of Pro Bono Affairs
    New York State Bar Association
    One Elk Street
    Albany, NY  12207

    Gloria Herron Arthur, Esq.                                                                       
    Director                                                           
    garthur@nysba.org                                                                           
    Phone:  (518) 487-5640
    Fax:  (518) 463-4276


    Administrative Assistant

    Phone:  (518) 487-5641
    Fax:  (518) 463-4276
                                                     



  • Honors and Awards

    If you do pro bono, NYSBA wants to recognize your contributions.  Each year the Association proudly recognizes those who have made an outstanding contribution to ensuring low-income New Yorkers have equal access to justice. 

    Empire State Counsel


    President's Pro Bono Service Awards


    Denison Ray Civil Awards


    Denison Ray Criminal Defender Awards


    Excellence in Mandated Representation Awards (Criminal and Family Court)


  • Pro Bono Newsletters

    The Department of Pro Bono Affairs publishes approximately six editions of the Pro Bono News each year.  These newsletters are made possible by gracious article submissions from our members, Pro Bono Coordinators and other attorneys across the state.  If you are interested in submitting an article for the newsletter please click HERE



    Pro Bono News Winter 2014 Vol. 24 No. 1

    Pro Bono Special Edition Newsletter Fall 2013 Veterans Edition

    Pro Bono News National Pro Bono Week 2013

    Pro Bono Special Edition Newsletter Spring 2013

    Pro Bono Newsletter January 2013