Are you a legal services provider in need of attorney volunteers? If so, you can apply to be an Attorney Emeritus Program host organization. The Attorney Emeritus Program supports host organizations with an array of resources and technical assistance in connection with volunteer management. The Program seeks, during this time of diminished resources, to assist legal services providers in helping meet the growing needs of vulnerable and low-income New Yorkers.
BENEFITS TO HOSTING AEP VOLUNTEERS
- Expands Organizational Capacity: AEP assists legal services providers to utilize seasoned attorneys to expand their capacity to serve clients.
- Mentors: AEP volunteers bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience gained over many years working in the legal field. As a result, some host organizations have found that AEP volunteers serve as excellent mentors for younger attorneys.
- Expertise: Seasoned attorneys bring with them years of invaluable legal experience and expertise in a broad range of practice areas.
- Supervision: Although AEP requires host organizations to supervise its volunteers, AEP volunteers may require less direct oversight then less experienced attorneys.
- Commitment: Though the AEP program only requires volunteers to commit 30 hours of pro bono per year, many volunteers work for many more hours. In addition, host organizations can specify additional hours if the volunteer opportunity requires it.
REQUIREMENTS FOR LSP PARTNERS
In order to be a participating host organization for AEP, you must:
- Application: Submit an Application.
- Provide Legal Malpractice Insurance: Your organization must carry primary or secondary legal malpractice insurance coverage for volunteer attorneys.
- Supervision of Volunteers: Host organizations must supervise volunteer attorneys in their volunteer service. Appropriate supervision is critical in ensuring quality legal services to clients and long-term engagement and retention of volunteers.
- Job Descriptions: Job descriptions for individual volunteer opportunities establish clear expectations for volunteers and host organizations and, thus, facilitate with recruitment and matching of volunteers. Posted is a job description template. In addition, the Program provides technical assistance to host organizations in developing job descriptions.
- Basic Data Collection: Host organizations must collect and track some minimal data in order to ensure the smooth operation of their volunteer activities. The Program is available to provide technical assistance and basic data collection tools to host organizations. We encourage your organization to keep accurate records about the volunteers, including:
- Contact Information: name, address, email, numbers
- Start and End Date
- Hours Served
- Type of Work
- Area of Law
- Status of Project
- Clients Served
- Training Required for project
- Conduct Periodic Evaluations: Host organizations are encouraged to conduct evaluations in order to better understand the volunteers’ level of satisfaction with assignments, training, supervision, and support.
RESOURCES/SUPPORT FOR LSP PARTNERS
- Information Sharing: To assist host organizations, the Attorney Emeritus Program has set up a listserv and other means to facilitate information sharing. With over 50 organizations participating statewide, communication among volunteer supervisors and pro bono program directors promotes best practices in volunteer management.
- Technical Assistance: The Attorney Emeritus Program provides technical assistance to host organizations to ensure all key parties benefit – the clients, the host organizations, and the volunteers. Our goal is eventually to create an AEP volunteer management database, which will allow all participating host organizations to store, manage, and use data about its various volunteer opportunities.
- Regional AEP Partnership Councils: The AEP is working to organize regional Councils throughout to state to support all facets of the Program. Eventually, our goal is to help participating AEP organizations in close proximity to form partnerships to enhance volunteer recruitment in that particular region and implement best practices of volunteer management.