New York County Lawyers offers opportunities to our Members who want to serve the public interest. NYCLA Members can earn MCLE credits, acquire new skills, and help your community.
In order to participate in any of NYCLA’s Pro Bono programs, you must be a current NYCLA Member in good standing and be admitted to the New York State Bar. Some programs require additional qualifications; they are noted with each program.
If you are a law student or a law graduate who is not yet admitted to the bar, you still may be able to participate! Please contact Anthe Maria Bova, General Counsel & Director of Pro Bono Programs by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Legal Counseling Project - Provides counseling to individuals four times a month on an appointment-only basis in the areas of family, employment and landlord/tenant law. No representation of any kind is undertaken. Individuals are prepared during the clinics for pro se representation. Volunteer attorneys may be asked to review documents, answer questions, discuss areas of concern that the individual should be aware of when entering into certain agreements or point out various methods whereby the individual can either correct a problem or seek appropriate assistance and direction. Mentors, who are experienced in the four practice areas, are available by telephone on each clinic night to assist volunteers.
The following requirements must be met to participate in the Legal Counseling Project:
Manhattan CLARO (Civil Legal Advice and Resource Office) - The Civil Legal Advice and Resource Office (CLARO) is a free, weekly walk-in clinic that provides limited legal advice to pro se litigants with consumer debt matters in the New York Civil Courts. CLARO was created in response to the growing number of low-income individuals being sued in Civil Court by collection agencies. The volunteer attorneys at CLARO provide unrepresented litigants with information and resources to help them represent themselves effectively.
The following requirements must be met to participate in the Manhattan CLARO Project:
Project Restore - Provides assistance to individuals with misdemeanor and felony convictions who are denied vocational licenses by the New York Department of State. This unique program provides representation for applicants whose adjudicated criminal history predates the employment license application and is the basis for the denial.
The following requirements must be met to participate in Project Restore:
State Central Registry Project – Provides pro bono representation to individuals who seek to amend, seal or expunge indicated reports of abuse from the New York State Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment.
The following requirements must be met to participate in the State Central Registry Project:
Veterans Discharge Upgrade Project - This project provides certain veterans who have received a less-than-honorable discharge with legal assistance to appeal their discharge status. Volunteer attorneys prepare written applications through investigation and record-building. If a written application is denied, attorneys have the opportunity to represent the client at a hearing before a Discharge Review Board.
The following requirements must be met to participate in the Veterans Discharge Upgrade Project:
State Central Registry Project – Pro Bono Training
2 NY Credits: 2 PP (Awarded after completion of counseling commitment)
Every day the names of individuals are falsely placed on the New York State Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment. As a result, they may be denied employment, prevented from becoming a foster or adoptive parent, or the information on the Register may be used against them in a child custody proceeding.
NYCLA members in good standing can make a difference by volunteering to provide counsel and representation to qualified individuals who seek to amend, seal or expunge their indicated reports from the New York State Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment after taking this required training course.
Moderator: Carolyn A. Kubitschek, Lansner & Kubitschek
NY Attorneys can volunteer to represent plaintiffs whose applications for Social Security disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income were denied by the Social Security Administration.
Volunteer attorneys will prepare opposition briefs in response to motions for judgment on the pleadings filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Volunteer attorneys will then argue the motion in front of the district or magistrate judge if the judge chooses to hold argument. If the case is remanded to the Social Security Administration, the volunteer attorney can choose whether to continue representing the client in front of the Social Security Administration.
Volunteers must be admitted to the New York bar for at least one year.
In addition, volunteers MUST complete this mandatory training session to acquaint themselves with the appeals process.
In parallel with our pro bono Initiative, attorneys who commit to, and volunteer to represent plaintiffs, whose applications for Social Security benefits or Supplemental Security Income were denied by the Social Security Administration, will earn 1.5 CLE credits at no cost.