The PBEye

Pro Bono As We See It
May 11, 2012

VIDEO: Can Mandatory Pro Bono Work in NY?

By now, New York Court of Appeals Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman’s initiative to require pro bono service as a condition of admittance to the New York State Bar has made the rounds of the legal community.  Judge Lippman’s announcement, made appropriately on Law Day (May 1), made some waves as various observers touted the pros and cons of the proposal.

This week, a column by PBI President and CEO Esther F. Lardent appeared in The National Law Journal, applauding the action while strongly cautioning against overzealous implementation. Lardent outlined several issues that would affect the roughly 10,000 annual applicants to the bar as well as legal institutions, such as legal aid organizations, law schools, and others.

The PBEye sat down with Lardent to talk in depth about the possible direct impact and implications of requiring pro bono service.  Lardent, who called Judge Lippman’s decision “courageous,” also offered her thoughts on ways to add the requirement in a way that avoids stressing the justice system and those who serve it.

More on mandatory pro bono:
Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman’s Law Day 2012 Remarks
A New Lawyer’s Duty
Mandatory Pro Bono: Not Only an Oxymoron, But at Cross-Purposes with its Goal
Is it time for Mandatory Pro Bono?
Is Mandatory Pro Bono in the Queue as a Solution to our Access-to-Justice Crisis?

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