Mandatory Pro Bono Redux
Legal Ethics, Vol. 15, No. 1, 2012: 135-139 (Guest Correspondent's Report from the United States)
6 Pages Posted: 21 May 2012 Last revised: 12 Jul 2012
Date Written: May 20, 2012
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.
Keywords: Legal Ethics, Pro Bono, Professional Responsibility
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation