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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

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Date posted: May 21, 2012 ; Last revised: July 12, 2012

Suggested Citation

Cooper, Benjamin P., Mandatory Pro Bono Redux (May 20, 2012). Legal Ethics, Vol. 15, No. 1, 2012: 135-139 (Guest Correspondent's Report from the United States). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2063187

Contact Information

Benjamin P. Cooper (Contact Author)
University of Mississippi School of Law ( email )
Lamar Law Center
P.O. Box 1848
University, MS 38677
United States
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