Attorney Registration Rules & Requirements

To register as an Attorney Emeritus, you must be at least 55 years of age, an attorney in good standing, and have practiced for a minimum of ten years. Further, in a 2-year registration period, you must perform a minimum of 60 hours of pro bono service under the auspices of an approved legal service organization in New York, including bar association pro bono programs and court-sponsored volunteer lawyer programs.

Registration Fee & CLE Requirements

If you are retired and register as an Attorney Emeritus, your registration fee and CLE requirements will be waived. The legal services host organization, however, must arrange free training appropriate for your volunteer assignment.

If you are an attorney who is still engaged in the active practice of law, registering as an Attorney Emeritus does not exempt you from the registration fee or CLE Requirements.

Receiving CLE Credit for Pro Bono Work

As part of a new rule change announced by Chief Judge Lippman in March 2012, attorneys who register as an Attorney Emeritus can now receive up to 15 CLE credits for doing pro bono work.

Emeritus attorneys may earn 15 CLE credit hours entirely through an Attorney Emeritus Program host organization. Alternately, Emeritus volunteers may earn up to 10 pro bono CLE credits through an Approved Pro Bono CLE Provider or court assignment under section 3(D)(11) and the remaining CLE credits through an Attorney Emeritus Program host organization.

Credit for eligible pro bono legal services shall be awarded in the following ratio: one (1) CLE credit hour for every two (2) 60-minute hours (120 minutes) of eligible pro bono legal services. Credit shall be awarded in increments of no less than 0.5 CLE credit hours. Ethics and Professionalism credits are not available for participation in pro bono CLE activities.

For more detailed information about receiving CLE credit for pro bono activities, please refer to Sections 3(D)(11) and 3(D)(12) of the New York State CLE Board Regulations and Guidelines.

Malpractice Insurance

You will be afforded malpractice insurance coverage (primary or secondary) by the organization through which you volunteer. If you participate in a court-sponsored pro bono program, you will be covered by the defense and indemnification provisions of Public Officers Law § 17.

How to Change Your Registration Status to Become an Attorney Emeritus

If you are eligible and would like to register as an Attorney Emeritus, you can do so when you renew your registration. You can learn more about changing your attorney registration status by visiting the NYS Attorney Registration site or calling 212-428-2800.

How to Apply to Become an AEP Volunteer

To become an Attorney Emeritus, you must submit an application. You can apply by calling 877-800-0396 or by completing AEP’s online application form.