Mandatory Pro Bono Redux
Benjamin P. Cooper
University of Mississippi School of Law
May 20, 2012
Legal Ethics, Vol. 15, No. 1, 2012: 135-139 (Guest Correspondent's Report from the United States)
This short article, which appears as the Guest Correspondent's Report from the United States in the journal Legal Ethics, argues that New York's new requirement that bar applicants perform 50 hours of pro bono service in order to gain admission is flawed but nevertheless worth supporting because of the dire need for such services. Other solutions, such as increased funding for legal services, are clearly better, but this is a step that the New York Court of Appeals could take on its own. Although the detailed implementing regulations have not been issued, this plan appears to impose far less of a burden on applicants, law schools, and the legal profession than critics suggest. Further, the new requirement fosters practical training of law students. Finally, the overwhelmingly negative reaction to this new requirement demonstrates once again that the legal community is remarkably resistant to change.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 6
Keywords: Legal Ethics, Pro Bono, Professional Responsibility
Date posted: May 21, 2012 ; Last revised: July 12, 2012
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