About Volunteer Attorney Programs

In recent years, the number of unrepresented litigants appearing in the New York State Courts has increased dramatically. In response, the court system established free Volunteer Attorney Programs to ensure that unrepresented litigants have access to competent legal advice to guide them as they represent themselves. There are also programs that provide limited scope representation in courtrooms.



Under the supervision of court staff and supervising attorneys from bar associations and legal services organizations that we partner with, volunteer attorneys, law graduates, and law students spend full days or parts of days in a courthouse, and are available to provide legal advice and assistance to unrepresented litigants in:

  • answering questions and inquiries
  • completing petitions and other court forms
  • preparing for court hearings
  • interpreting court orders

Volunteers also may assist litigants in settling their cases.

Participating attorneys select the court where they wish to serve and the types of cases on which they wish to consult. Matters in which legal assistance is provided include:

  • consumer debt cases
  • family matters (including custody, visitation, and child support)

In each of these areas, the court system will provide free training, with CLE credit.

Attorneys can volunteer just a few hours a week or as frequently as every day on a schedule that is convenient to them.


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To get started, complete the Online Application.


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