Pro Bono Question

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Pro Bono Question

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 02, 2013 12:26 pm

Pretty dumb question but I have been unable to locate an answer. If you work in public service (ex. a federal agency) but you are barred in a state that has pro bono requirements (ex. 50 hrs in NY) are you still required to meet them? I only ask because typically big law will allow you to apply your pro bono hours towards your billable requirement. My understanding is that agencies can't allow you to do this type of work at your place of employment or during work hours for various reasons. If I am required to meet my pro bono hours on my own time it seems like 50 hrs outside of work would be a substantial commitment (5 to 6 days outside of work annually).

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Re: Pro Bono Question

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Dec 02, 2013 1:37 pm

In New York, there is no requirement to perform pro bono hours to maintain your attorney registration. From "Pro bono legal services and financial contributions remain completely voluntary for attorneys admitted to practice in New York State."

The 50-hour requirement is a requirement for admission to the bar only. You have to perform at least 50 hours of qualifying pro bono service, in total, between the day you start law school and the day you file your application for bar admission. There's no continuing commitment, at least in New York, to keep doing pro bono service once you're admitted, so you wouldn't have to do anything on your own time.

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