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New York Pro Bono Legal Information, Resources and Assistance

In an effort to ensure that New Yorkers of low-income and modest means have access to legal services, the Appellate Divisions of the Supreme Court promulgated Rule 6.1 of the Rules of Professional Conduct, effective April 1, 2009 which strongly encourages attorneys to provide at least 20 hours of pro bono legal services each year and to support financially the work of organizations that provide such services.

New York Pro Bono Summary: Legal Services NYC provides free high quality legal help in civil matters to low-income people throughout New York City by:

  • Representing the clients in courts and administrative tribunals;
  • Providing advice or referral information
  • Assisting clients with community-based economic development;
  • Providing legal education through community workshops, help lines and written materials; and
  • Providing professional training in poverty law for attorneys, advocates and others.

The City Bar Justice Center, the pro bono affiliate of the New York City Bar, increases access to justice by leveraging the resources of the New York City legal community. Justice Center projects are focused in three areas:

  • Immigrant Justice
  • Economic Justice
  • Family Justice.

The Justice Center also operates the city’s busiest legal hotline and engages in special projects. The Justice Center annually provides direct legal representation, information and advocacy to over 25,000 poor and vulnerable New Yorkers. The Justice Center Legal Hotline, created in 1997, offers legal information, advice and referrals to low-income New Yorkers who cannot afford a private attorney or do not have access to legal representation. The Hotline assists nearly 1,000 callers a month on a range of civil legal issues, including matrimonial and family law, housing law, domestic violence, bankruptcy, and debt collection and benefits. The service is bilingual, in English and Spanish, and can handle calls in any language through interpreting services.

The Legal Hotline is available to low-income New Yorkers Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm at 212.626.7383.

New York Pro Bono Contacts:
Lynn M. Kelly,
Executive Director,

City Bar Justice Center
42 West 44th Street
New York, NY 10036

Pro Bono Awards:

The New York State Bar Association presents annual awards to honor lawyers, law firms and law students who provided free legal services to the poor.

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