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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

New Pro Bono Mandate for the New York Bar

A recent New York Law Journal article provided details on the new 50-hour pro bono requirement for applicants to the New York bar. Beginning January 1, 2015 every applicant to the New York state bar will be required to fulfill this mandate. If you are a current first- or second-year law student planning to take the New York bar upon graduation, you have up to 34 months to complete qualifying pro bono work. Current third-year students are exempt. 

What is qualifying pro bono work? Law-related work for persons of limited means, non-profit organizations, and public service in the judiciary and state and local government would meet the New York bar pro bono rule. The work must be supervised by an attorney in good standing, judge, or law school faculty member. Participation in a law school clinic or work performed for recognition in the school's Public Service Transcript Notation Program would also qualify. The work may be completed anywhere in the country or abroad.

Upon completion of the pro bono work, applicants will need to complete the Form Affidavit of Compliance available on the New York State Court's website. All pro bono work must be completed before submitting an application for bar admission. 

More complete information, including answers to frequently asked questions, is available on the New York State Court's website. Applicants with further questions on the new requirement should contact or call 1-855-227-5482.

For more information on pro bono opportunities available at New England Law | Boston, read our Pro Bono and Volunteer Opportunities Guide which provides information on pro bono opportunities at the school and includes a directory of public interest organizations in Massachusetts. Additional directories for public interest organizations in the New England area as well as in California, New Jersey, and New York are available in the handouts section of Symplicity

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