Aspiring NY lawyers will have to pile up pro bono hours
The first-in-the-nation requirement, announced by Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman in May, has immediate effect on first- and second-year law students, who will have 34 months to fulfil the pro bono obligation. Current third-years are exempt, according to the Am Law Daily web site.
Commenting on the rule – which, from the beginning of January 2015, every applicant to the bar will be required to adhere to – Judge Lippman said: ‘On every level it makes sense, for new lawyers, for the profession as a whole, for the legal services providers, for the judges. So I am really upbeat about it.’
The judge added that, under the rule, the pro bono work must be law related.
‘If you build houses for Habitat for Humanity, that doesn't count,’ he said. ‘But if you do legal work for a non-profit like Habitat for Humanity, that could count.’