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Please see http://www.nycourts.gov/attorneys/probono/baradmissionreqs.shtml for official information.
The state of New York recently introduced a pro bono requirement for all New York Bar applicants. Beginning January 1, 2015, all applicants for admission by examination to the New York Bar must perform 50 hours of law-related pro bono service prior to filing their application. As the applicable date of this requirement is the date of bar admission, not the date the exam is taken, it is anticipated that students who graduate on or after May 1, 2014 will be subject to the new rule. Current 3Ls and LLMs will not be subject to the new rule as long as their admission date is before January 1, 2015.
Under the new rule (22NYCRR 520.16), pro bono is broadly defined, though the work must be law-related in nature and supervised by an attorney or faculty member. Examples of qualifying activities include:
Please note: Because Harvard Law is not the administrator of this requirement, we cannot officially verify or confirm that a particular activity will count. We recommend that you contact the NY Bar directly with specific questions.
Pro bono activity that satisfies the New York Bar admission requirement may not satisfy the HLS 40-hour Pro Bono Graduation Requirement. Please see the HLS Pro Bono Graduation Requirement for details.
As proof of completion, applicants will need to file an Affidavit of Compliance for each pro bono activity used to satisfy the New York Bar 50-hour requirement. Each Affidavit must be certified and signed by the appropriate supervising attorney or faculty member. OCP strongly recommends that Affidavits be completed immediately after the qualifying pro bono work is done, as tracking down supervisors or required information months or years after the pro bono work has been completed will be very difficult.
Please note that neither OCP nor the Office of the Registrar may sign Affidavits of Compliance – only a supervising attorney or faculty member may certify pro bono hours.
You can link to a fillable Affidavit of Compliance form here: http://www.nycourts.gov/attorneys/probono/AppForAdmission_Pro-BonoReq_Fillable.pdf.
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