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Law Firm Pro Bono: A Model Policy

New York State Bar Association
Thursday, October 13, 2011

Collaborators in the legal services field developed a model pro bono policy for small to mid-sized firms to encourage pro bono participation.

The model policy contains basic, suggested components of a law firm policy, based on a review of numerous firm policies.

Key components include:

  • A statement of the law firm's commitment, including an aspirational goal for service and financial contribution
  • A definition of pro bono
  • A list of the duties of a pro bono coordinator
  • A description of opportunities through local organized pro bono programs
  • Administrative procedures for pro bono cases

The policy is intended to be easily adapted to fit each firm's unique needs.

Contributors to the model policy:

  • Cynthia Feathers, Director of NYSBA Department of Pro Bono Affairs
  • Lisa Frisch, Executive Director of the Legal Project of the Capital District Women's Bar Association (Albany)
  • Lillian Moy, Executive Director of LASNNY (Albany)
  • David Weschler, Attorney in Charge for the Legal Aid Society (Volunteer Division, Community Law Offices Pro Bono Program of NYC)
  • Partners from local law firms participating in a recent NYSBA law firm pro bono conference in Albany, New York
Contact Information: 

Cynthia Feathers

Director - Department of Pro Bono Affairs
New York State Bar Association