The Pro Bono Practice builds the foundation for and expands private bar involvement with Legal Aid. By integrating law firms and attorneys in delivering volunteer services in the Civil, Criminal, and Juvenile Rights Practices, the Pro Bono Practice augments legal assistance to many of Legal Aid's most vulnerable groups of clients.
Pro bono services are organized by distinct legal projects established at participating law firms. The projects often originate in discussions where Legal Aid attorneys express the need to obtain pro bono representation to fulfill critical legal needs of clients in the area of the staff lawyers' expertise. A law firm establishes a new project by mobilizing a critical mass of its attorneys to represent a specific number of Legal Aid clients annually under partner leadership. The Legal Aid lawyers who developed the model become the mentors for the firm's new project.
There are pro bono projects and opportunities for lawyers and law firms . . . Read more
Many kinds of Legal Aid cases that do not lend themselves to a pro bono project (e.g., real estate, Art. 78 Proceeding) usually are assigned individually through the Pro Bono Practice's liaison network at more than 75 participating law firms. Lists of available cases also are posted periodically on our website and on the NYC Pro Bono Center website.
All pro bono matters are mentored by a Legal Aid attorney and are assigned only after screening by Legal Aid for legal merit and financial eligibility. Volunteers handling Legal Aid cases are covered by the Society's professional liability policy.
Legal Aid supports its pro bono partnership with a number of special initiatives each year that distinguish the pro bono program. Principal among them are:
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