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Welcome to the NYC Pro Bono Center!

This site is designed for lawyers and law students who are interested in learning more about pro bono in New York City, and in taking or supporting a pro bono case, with information about volunteer opportunities, pro bono news, and access to training materials and other practice resources.  This area is member only.  Join now -- membership is free!


New! Pro Bono Outside Big Law Resources in Library

Pro Bono Net’s own co-founder and executive director, Mark O’Brien, spoke on a panel in July discussing challenges and solutions for attorneys interested in pro bono work, but who may not have the resources and support available to attorneys in Big Law.  The CLE-credited event, sponsored by the NYC Bar Pro Bono and Legal Services Committee and the Encouraging Pro Bono Outside Big Law Sub-Committee, is titled: “I Don’t Have A Pro Bono Coordinator in My Office, How Can I Do Pro Bono?”.  Click here to access the resources in the library or read a volunteer profile and insight into pro bono volunteering as a solo or small practitioner by John Ogden, the moderator of this problem, and Co-Chair of the Outside Big Law Sub-Committee.


Interested in finding pro bono volunteer opportunities? 

Our Pro Bono Opportunities Guide is an interactive online guide that lets you search for pro bono opportunities according to interest area (e.g. microenterprise, family law), by client community served (e.g. domestic violence victims, elderly) and by volunteer type (e.g. attorney, law student). As we are a national network, you can also search national opportunities. The listings provide a snapshot of the opportunities involved and contact information to help you get in touch with the right person. It is a joint project of the City Bar Justice Center, the NYS Bar Association, Pro Bono Net and Volunteers of Legal Service.

New Opportunities

The "New Opportunities" area features short-term and limited scope pro bono opportunities such as clinics or limited scope projects, where our legal service community network is looking for volunteers for a specific clinic or legal issue. These opportunities target law students, attorneys from Big Law, small and solo practitioners and in-house counsel.  Be sure to join our NYC Pro Bono Center Monthly e-newsletter to stay up to date on these types of opportunities and receive them straight to your inbox.

Helping Unaccompanied Minors - New Resources

Interested in volunteering to represent an unaccompanied minor, but don't know where to start? Check out our collection of resources on assisting unaccompanied minors, featuring materials from the Catholic Legal Immigration Network and the Practising Law Institute! Be sure to check out the resources on our sister site - the National Unaccompanied Children Resource Center, co-ordinated in partnership with the ABA and the Immigration Advocates Network.

New York's 50 Hour Pro Bono Admission Requirement

On September 14, 2012, the New York State Court of Appeals adopted a new rule requiring applicants for admission to the New York State bar to perform 50 hours of pro bono services. New York is the first jurisdiction in the United States to require pro bono service as a condition for bar applications to become licensed for the practice of law. Some next steps:

  • Click here to find out more information about the Rule on the NY Courts website, including links to helpful frequently asked questions about the rule, and useful background information.
  • Take advantage of our NY Pro Bono Opportunities Guide to search for relevant opportunities using the "student" search filter.
  • We recently featured an in-depth profile of Chris Mendez, and his volunteer journey through NY's 50 Hour Requirement. You can read it here.
  • The Legal Aid Society specifically created a diverse menu of pro bono opportunities to assist law students in completing the 50 hours of pro bono work prior to bar admission. Click here to access this document & learn about the types of opportunities available specifically for students in their wide range of projects.
  • The NYS Courts Access to Justice Program has a fantastic array of tailored opportunities, as does the New York Legal Assistance Group.  Visit their websites or find them in our NY Pro Bono Opportunities Guide to learn more. 

Attorney Emeritus Program Section

The Attorney Emeritus Program provides an exciting avenue for experienced lawyers to use their expertise on behalf of New Yorkers in need. Attorneys in good standing who are 55 years of age or older and have practiced for at least 10 years will be able to apply for a new registration status - "Attorney Emeritus". Scroll through Pro Bono Net's Attorney Emeritus Program pages for more information about how to get involved.

Did you know...

You can earn CLE credits for doing pro bono work? Read the Pro Bono CLE information and rules on the NY Courts website for detailed information on how to earn pro bono CLE credit.


Host Organizations:

City Bar Justice Center Logo The Legal Aid Society

This site was developed with support from the New York Community Trust and the law firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP.

Volunteer Spotlight

Fiona Finlay-Hunt,  an associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP in the Intellectual Property & Technology group shares her insights on pro bono work spanning across arts and entrepreneurship, elder law, criminal appeals and corporate governance. Fiona was also recognized in our National Pro Bono Week Volunteer-a-Day Initiative.  Find out more
Pro Bono and legal aid attorney resources - Pro Bono Net

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