Court System Enacts Disclosure Mandate for Pro Bono Service

, New York Law Journal

   | 5 Comments

In addition to the new reporting requirement, the voluntary pro bono goal for lawyers in the state was increased to 50 hours a year from 20. Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman denied that the changes are a prelude to the imposition of mandatory pro bono, which some bar groups and individual lawyers have opposed for years.

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What's being said

  • SteveLaudig

    Unable to obtain voluntary compliance, coercion is now in play.

  • Ross

    As lawyers we all understand what forcing a person to work for free is called - slavery. In this case, since its a condition to the free exercise of our chosen profession it's indentured servitude to the state, at best. On the other hand, it can also be seen as simply another tax. In any event, many attorneys would perform these services begrudgingly. Is that the kind of legal services these people deserve? It's a recipie for claims of malpractice. I wonder, would the recipients of these inevitably forced services give up their right to sue?

  • W. ADAM MANDELBAUM

    Sure, it's voluntary, but the handwriting is on the wall. How many hours of pro bono does Mr. L do? It's always the guys with the guaranteed salaries and benefits that are willing to sacrifice every last drop of somebody else's blood who has to chase cases and pray for payment. How many hours of unintentional pro bono does a solo or small firm lawyer do a year?

  • Tamala

    Michael:

    No lawbreaking is necessary. There are countless pro bono opportunities for law students and other non-lawyer legal professionals (like paralegals). I know this because I worked pro bono on matters both in law school, and as a paralegal for seven years. No ineptitude there.

  • Michael

    So, for admission to the Bar, law students must have broken the law by presenting themselves and working as an attorney, for pro bono litigants, PRIOR TO BE ADMITTED TO THE BAR. How inept can the system get?

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