As published in The Senior Lawyer:
Fall 2010, The Senior Lawyer
Pro Bono Committee
The Pro Bono Committee continues to work with Gloria Herron Arthur, Director
of Pro Bono Affairs for the New York State Bar Association, to identify,
coordinate and promote pro bono initiatives for senior lawyers.
In commemoration of National Pro Bono Week (October 24-30, 2010), the
Department of Pro Bono Affairs published a special newsletter in early October.
You will find a link to it on our website. The newsletter highlighted events
that took place in various judicial districts throughout the state, and provided
updates on different pro bono programs, including the court system’s Emeritus
The Attorney Emeritus Program is designed to promote and encourage pro bono
service (at least 30 hours per year) by retired attorneys who are at least 55
years old and who have practiced for a minimum of 10 years. Remember, an
Attorney Emeritus is not subject to either the $350 attorney registration fee or
mandatory CLE requirements. It is a great opportunity for a senior lawyer who is
interested in donating his or her time in pro bono service.
If you are currently providing pro bono service, or even if you are just
starting to consider it, please don’t forget about the Empire State Counsel
Program. The Program is designed to honor and recognize New York State Bar
Association members, who, over the course of the year, donate 50 hours or more
of free legal services either to individuals or to certain organizations. The
specific criteria for the Empire State Counsel designation, along with a
Verification Form, can be found on the New York State Bar Association’s website.
Again, you can find a link to this information, along with other pro bono
information, on this Committee’s web page. Even if you will not reach the
50-hour mark this year, the Bar Association is interested in tracking the pro
bono service hours of senior attorneys. Take time to fill out the Verification
Form by the end of the year.
We welcome your participation on the Pro Bono Committee. Please contact the
New York State Bar Association if you are interested in joining us.
Fall 2009, The Senior Lawyer
Pro Bono Committee
Over 50 Senior Lawyers Section members have already volunteered to serve on
the Pro Bono Committee. We would welcome additional participation from others as
the Committee tackles various issues touching upon pro bono matters.
The Committee meets via conference call, as needed. An initial introductory
call took place in April. Another substantive call took place in July. During
that call, Gloria Herron Arthur, Director, Pro Bono Affairs for the New York
State Bar Association, discussed various pro bono opportunities, in general, and
answered questions regarding the best methods to promote and coordinate such
opportunities. The Committee anticipates working closely with Ms. Herron Arthur
to ensure that pro bono initiatives for senior lawyers are readily identified,
coordinated and promoted.
The Committee expects to not only focus on the support and encouragement of
senior lawyers’ participation in pro bono service, but also anticipates
exploring other topics, including emeritus rules, appropriate training for
certain pro bono programs, possible opportunities for free or reduced rate CLEs
in exchange for pro bono service, how to best advertise and promote pro bono
initiatives without duplicating the efforts of other organizations, and how to
make it easier to find pro bono opportunities in various locations throughout
In future newsletters, we hope to identify and highlight specific pro bono
initiatives that might interest you. In the meantime, please contact the New
York State Bar Association if you would like to participate in the Committee. We
would welcome your input.