The Pro Bono Practice

The Legal Aid Society's Pro Bono Practice is the leading pro bono program in the nation with some 3,000 attorneys, legal professionals, and law students – primarily from New York's major law firms and corporate law departments as well as New York area and national law schools – participating each year and handling 3,000 matters on behalf of Legal Aid clients.

During the Society’s operations for more than 135 years, the major New York City law firms have served as partners with The Legal Aid Society in securing the fundamental legal rights of low-income New Yorkers in critical need of counsel but unable to afford it. Annually, our pro bono partners deliver life-changing legal assistance to our City's most vulnerable residents – homeless and imminently homeless children and adults, senior citizens, unemployed and low-wage workers, children and adults with chronic illnesses and disabilities, survivors of domestic violence, immigrants, neglected or abused children, persons living with HIV/AIDS, and inmates in the jails on Rikers Island in New York City and prisoners in correctional facilities throughout the State of New York.

In sharp contrast to the traditional “referral panel” model, The Legal Aid Society integrates volunteers into its overall delivery of civil legal services. All pro bono referrals are made on behalf of Legal Aid’s clients, whose cases have been screened by our attorneys for legal merit and financial eligibility. In the overwhelming majority of cases, Legal Aid continues as Attorney of Record, and law firms and their attorneys serve as Of Counsel. A Legal Aid attorney remains on the case as a mentor until final disposition. All volunteers handling Legal Aid cases are covered by The Legal Aid Society’s professional liability coverage.

How you can get involved:

Legal Aid supports its pro bono partnership with a number of special initiatives each year:


Contact Information

Louis Sartori Director of the Pro Bono Practice LSSartori@legal-aid.org
Emily A. Bormann Pro Bono Administrator Ebormann@legal-aid.org
Rosemary Hare-Bey Pro Bono Coordinator RHarebey@legal-aid.org


NOTE: The Pro Bono Practice refers matters only for current Legal Aid clients. If you require the assistance of The Legal Aid Society, please go to the Civil Practice, Criminal Practice, or Juvenile Rights Practice homepages to learn how to contact the practice area that is best able to handle your case.