Pro Bono Opportunities for Attorneys

Pro Bono Opportunities for Attorneys

As part of its mission, the New York County Lawyers Association provides free civil legal services in a variety of areas of the law to low-income New Yorkers. NYCLA’s various Pro Bono Programs offer opportunities to attorneys, law students, law graduates and other members of the legal community who want to serve the public interest.  NYCLA Members can earn MCLE credits (if they are an attorney), acquire new skills, and help your community.

Many NYCLA Pro Bono Programs offer On-Demand training at no cost to NYCLA Volunteers, but you will need to login or establish an account on our system to access these programs. If you have questions about any of these programs, please contact Hannah Sears at

NYCLA volunteers help change lives.  You can, too.


US Tax Court Project

NYCLA is the first bar association in New York to offer a U.S. Tax Court Calendar Call Pro Bono Program. This project provides counseling to individuals seeking advice in the area of tax law at calendar call sessions of the U.S. Tax Court conducted in New York.  No representation of any kind is undertaken, and you will not be required to enter an appearance.  Individuals are advised by volunteers while appearing pro se before the U.S. Tax Court.  Volunteers may be asked to consult with pro se petitioners regarding the merits of their cases and evaluate any settlement proposals from the Internal Revenue Service, act as a communicator or mediator between the parties in an effort to assist in resolving the case and provide procedural advice to pro se petitioners who decide to proceed to trial.

Program Requirements:

  • In-person attendance at any number of the available upcoming tax court calendar calls.
  • A understanding of substantive tax law, particularly issues common to low-income taxpayers, is preferred but not required

Legal Counseling Project

NYCLA provides counseling to individuals on an appointment-only basis in the areas of family, employment and landlord/tenant law.  Only legal advice is provided and no representation of any kind is undertaken.  Volunteers 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. Depending on your level of experience, NYCLA provides observation opportunities before taking on your own consultations.

Program Requirements:

Project Restore

Aids individuals with misdemeanor and felony convictions who are denied vocational licenses by the New York Department of State through administrative appeals.  This unique program provides full-scope representation for applicants whose adjudicated criminal history predates the employment license application and is the basis for the denial.

Program Requirements:

  • Training materials provided, along with mentorship during your case. Contact for more information.

State Central Registry Project

Every day the names of individuals are wrongfully or unfairly 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. This program provides pro bono representation to individuals who seek to amend or seal indicated reports of neglect/maltreatment from the New York State Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment, through an administrative proceeding before the Office of Children and Family Services.

Program Requirements:

Social Security Disability Program

NYCLA 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.

Program Requirements:

  • Complete the mandatory training: Social Security Disability Training Program: Overview of the Appeals Process

Volunteer Lawyer for the Day Program
(Consumer Debt)

Volunteer attorneys, law graduates and law students provide limited representation to unrepresented consumer debtors in New York County Civil Court, under the supervision of NYCLA’s Consumer Debt Staff Attorney. Representation includes assisting litigants during settlement negotiations and in vacating default judgments.

Program Requirements:

Prospective volunteers must take the On-Demand court-sponsored training program prior to participating in the program. For more information, please contact