Volunteer Opportunity: New York City Bar Monday Night Law Training (Part 1 of 2)

  • Access to Justice

The New York City Bar Association and its Committee on Monday Night Law and Moderate Means sponsor the Monday Night Law clinic program with the operational support of the Association’s Legal Referral Service and the City Bar Justice Center.  MNL works to increase New Yorkers’ access to legal assistance and counseling.


MNL’s principal mission is to improve access to justice and to the legal system.  MNL gives people an opportunity to meet with legal professionals, without charge, to discuss problems, explore options and solutions, and receive counseling and direction. 

MNL addresses (i) the public's need for affordable and accessible legal assistance and (ii) the compelling need for additional pro bono outlets for attorneys.  MNL’s goal for each client is to provide guidance that will help the client take steps to resolve the legal issue for which help is sought, or to provide resources for the client to seek further assistance for the problem, including the Legal Referral Service. MNL counselors seek to identify a client’s ability to take self-help steps and the point at which the client should seek representation. 

Design and Implementation

Monday Night Law is recommended and scheduled by the New York City Bar Association’s Legal Referral Service, which handles about 75,000 inquiries annually.  People also hear of the program through various court and community resources, and contact LRS to request MNL appointments.  

MNL is not a walk-in clinic.  Appointments are scheduled from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Monday evenings, for 30-minute time slots.  Anyone with a potential legal issue in the MNL coverage areas may receive an appointment, regardless of economic circumstances.  All inquiries are screened by a Legal Referral Service staff member in order to determine the nature of the problem and the suitability for an MNL referral.  Inquiries also are subject to income screening for Moderate Means program eligibility.

Volunteer Attorneys  

The Monday Night Law/Moderate Means Committee recruits and schedules MNL volunteer attorneys.  To participate in the program, volunteer attorneys must (1) be admitted to practice in New York, and (2) have been practicing law for at least two years in the public sector, private practice, as in-house counsel, or in some other capacity, or have had significant related experience.  Volunteers also must complete an Attorney Profile Form to be scheduled as a member of one of four MNL groups..

Volunteer attorneys are assigned to a specific Monday (e.g., every third Monday) each month throughout the 11-month period.  There is no regularly scheduled MNL on fifth Mondays, and no MNL when the New York City Bar Association is closed for holidays.  Special extra sessions may be scheduled depending on space availability.  A special MNL counseling session is expected to be held on Thursday, May 7, 2020, as part of an annual Monday Night Law/Moderate Means Committee Law Week public program.

MNL primarily addresses questions in the following areas:  (l) Housing Law, with an emphasis on eviction prevention and pro se court proceedings, (2) Family Law, with an emphasis on family offenses, divorce and pro se court proceedings, (3) Labor and Employment Law, (4) Bankruptcy, and (5) Consumer Rights.  Each volunteer attorney must attend both training sessions, on Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, and on Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, covering how MNL addresses questions and problems in each of these areas. The live training will cover substantive topics; the accompanying MNL materials will cover procedures and referral resources. 

The trainings will be held at the second-floor Meeting Hall at the New York City Bar Association, 42 W. 44th St., from 5:45 p.m. to 9 p.m.  The first MNL session for the 2019-2020 year is expected to be on Monday, Oct. 7, 2019.

For more CLE information, see www.nycourts.gov/attorneys/cle/index.shtml.

To volunteer for Monday Night Law, send an E-mail to mondaynightlaw@gmail.com by August 23rd, 2019.


See attached brochure for more info.

  • CLE Credit Comments: Prior to the commencement of the MNL clinic program’s year, each volunteer attorney will be trained in the specific areas of the law in which MNL provides advice, counseling, and guidance. Training sessions will be conducted this year on Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, and Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, by NYC-based national experts in each of the areas. Attendees of the live training sessions will be eligible for up to three hours of New York State Continuing Legal Education Board Skills credit hours for each of the two training sessions. Program participants also are eligible for pro bono CLE credits under New York state rules for work they contribute at counseling sessions. Pro bono CLE credit is issued by the City Bar Justice Center by filing an affirmation; the details and the form is available at https://www.citybarjusticecenter.org/do-pro-bono/individual-volunteers/
  • Contact:
    New York City Bar Association
  • Attachment(s): CLINIC_DESCRIPTION_--2019-2020.rtf