NY unveiling new pro bono requirement for lawyers

UNDP via flickr
September 19, 2012

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - With New York set to become the first state to require lawyers to perform 50 hours of pro bono work as a condition for getting a license, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman and other officials plan to unveil details in Manhattan.

Lippman, who announced the program in May, says it means about a half-million hours of urgently needed free legal work yearly for New York's poor, while helping instill many career-long commitments to keep doing it.

About 10,000 new lawyers pass the state's bar exam annually.

More than 20 law schools nationally require students to do pro bono work, while most others have clinics where students can get experience under faculty supervision.

Details will be announced today at New York University's law school. The program starts next year.