The New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) has a long and proud tradition of advocating for equal access to justice for all New Yorkers in civil matters through a combination of government-funded legal services programs and voluntary pro bono service by private practitioners. The Department also provides assistance and educational training programs for attorneys employed by legal services organizations and oversees a number of attorney recognition programs that promote, recognize, and honor pro bono service by individual attorneys and law firms. The Department works with many of the Association’s sections and committees to encourage their voluntary participation in pro bono projects.
- NYSBA does not provide direct legal services to the public. If you need a pro bono attorney, please visit lawhelpny.org for a civil legal service organization that may be able to assist you.
- Looking to volunteer? Click here to find a pro bono opportunity that is tailored to your specific requirements.
- Click here for the Unified Court System’s website that provides info on the pro bono requirement for admission to the bar as well as the mandatory biennial reporting requirements.
- Visit Free Legal Answers website to register as an attorney volunteer. It is A Virtual Legal Advice Clinic where attorneys can answer questions from the public on civil legal issues on a limited scope basis.
President’s Pro Bono Service Awards
Each year the Association proudly bestows the President’s Pro Bono Service Awards. These awards recognize outstanding pro bono contributions made by individual attorneys, law students, law firms, corporate counsel and/or government offices. The awards ceremony is usually held on or about May 1st as part of the Association’s Law Day Celebration.
Although nominees do not have to be members of the New York State Bar Association, to be eligible for one of these prestigious awards an attorney must be admitted to practice in New York State and must have rendered her/his pro bono service or participated in a pro bono program within the state. Nominees are evaluated based on pro bono service donated during the previous year including, but not limited, to the number of clients served, number of hours contributed, impact of the service on clients, and/or the impact of the service on a pro bono program or community.
Empire State Counsel
Justice for All Luncheon
Denison Ray and Phil Daily Awards