PRO BONO ATTORNEY PROGRAM
The volunteer attorney program creates opportunities for attorneys to:
- – Provide legal assistance in civil matters to needy residents of Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Dutchess, Ulster, Orange and Sullivan counties
- – Stay active, develop new skills, and gain courtroom experience if they are currently seeking employment in the field of law or want to take on new challenges in a not-for-profit law firm environment
- – Mentor staff attorneys
- – Provide training to LSHV staff and other Pro Bono attorneys
- – Conduct clinics for pro se clients
- – Earn CLE credits for doing Pro Bono work
Assignment of Cases: Legal Services of the Hudson Valley will contact a participating attorney before referring a Pro Bono case. We ask that the attorney accept up to two cases a year. The attorney is not referred a second case until the first is completed. Usually cases are referred to attorneys from the geographic area in which the client resides.
Client Eligibility: Clients must be low-income in accordance with the national poverty level, as annually adjusted by the Federal Office of Management and Budget.
Types of Cases: Pro Bono Attorneys are assigned civil matters that cannot be handled by Legal Services of the Hudson Valley staff because of limited resources. These include cases in the following areas of law: family, consumer, housing, wills, bankruptcy, elder and unemployment, among others.
The Pro Bono Attorney Program does not handle juvenile matters, criminal cases or traffic violations. Since many more clients apply for assistance than there are lawyers available, efforts are made to refer high-priority cases first. Attorneys are encouraged to indicate the types of cases they would prefer to handle.
Case Follow-Up: During the case, and at the conclusion of the matter, we ask the Pro Bono attorney to submit case updates and a final case disposition form. These simple forms include a summary of the services rendered, case outcome and Pro Bono hours spent on the case. At the conclusion of the case, the client receives a satisfaction questionnaire to provide feedback regarding the legal services performed.
CLE Credit: An attorney is eligible to receive one CLE credit for every two hours he or she spends on a Pro Bono case.
I volunteer with Legal Services of the Hudson Valley because it’s a great law firm, fighting the good fight. Do you know their greatest strength? Their attorneys get credibility in front of a judge that private attorneys don’t, so a judge takes their client more seriously.”
– One of the hundreds of Pro Bono attorneys volunteering with our organization