The NYS Unified Court System Office for Justice Initiatives joined the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service to sponsor annual National Pro Bono Celebration Week from October 20-26, 2019. The Access to Justice Program will hold events for lawyers and litigants to celebrate pro bono! The 2019 events include:
• Court Help Center Events
• Free Bridge the Gap Training
• Pro Bono Awards Night
In celebration of National Pro Bono Week, Help Centers throughout New York State will be providing free presentations and information sessions for the public during the last week of October 2019. Registration is not required, and all events are open to the public. This year, events will take place in Bronx County, Queens County, Monroe County, and Richmond County. Topics will include Domestic Violence, Family Law, and general information about the law and court procedures. Click on a county for more information about each event.
The NYS Courts Access to Justice Program sponsors a free "Bridge the Gap" training series for recent law school graduates and newly admitted attorneys. Experienced attorneys are also invited to participate in the training. Sessions in Consumer Debt, Ethics, Family Law, Landlord & Tenant Law, and Uncontested Divorce will take place Wednesday, October 16th through Friday, October 25th, 2019. In exchange for 21.5 CLE credits, participants will complete a 60-hour pro bono practicum assisting litigants in the NYC Civil, Family, Housing, and Supreme Courts. Participation in this program fulfills the pro bono requirement for the New York State Bar admission. Completion of the pro bono hours must take place with six months. This training series encourages graduates and newly admitted attorneys to get involved in pro bono work early in their careers by bridging the gap between law school and the realities of practicing law.
In recognition of National Pro Bono Celebration Week, the New York State court system’s Office for Justice Initiatives, the New York State Bar Association, and the New York County Lawyers Association will present an awards ceremony and reception honoring attorneys for their pro bono service. The Albany County Bar Association and Erie County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project will receive special recognition for their court-based volunteer lawyer programs. The reception takes place on Thursday, October 24th, at the New York County Surrogate's Court. Speakers include the Hon. Edwina G. Mendelson, Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for Justice Initiatives; Scott M. Karson, President-Elect, New York State Bar Association; and Stephen C. Lessard, President, New York County Lawyers’ Association.
The previous National Pro Bono Celebration Week events held by the NYS Courts Access to Justice Program: