Attorney Emeritus Program

Volunteer

Attorney Emeritus Program

What is the Attorney Emeritus Program?

New York’s lawyers have a proud history of helping those in need. In that spirit , the NYS Unified Court System created Attorneys Emeritus – to help the growing number of New Yorkers who cannot afford counsel.

The mission of the Attorney Emeritus Program (AEP) is to provide quality legal representation to low-income New Yorkers by encouraging experienced lawyers to volunteer their time to registered AEP legal service providers such as the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York.

Who can become an Attorney Emeritus?

Attorneys in good standing over the age of 55 who have practiced for at least 10 years may register to become an Attorney Emeritus. You may be active or retired.

After registering with the NYS Unified Court System, fill out the Legal Aid Society’s Volunteer form  and you will be contacted by the LASNNY PAI Director.

What is required of an Attorney Emeritus?

In a two-year registration period, Attorneys Emeritus must complete 60 hours of pro bono work. These 60 hours can be split up however the attorney chooses over the two-year period.

Do I need previous experience in a certain area of law?

No previous experience is necessary to enroll in the Attorney Emeritus Program. If a volunteer is looking to venture into a new area of law, LASNNY will provide training and guidance.

Benefits of the Attorney Emeritus Program

  • Earn up to 15 CLE credits per reporting period through pro bono service with LASNNY.
  • Explore new fields of law with free training provided by LASNNY.
  • Retired attorneys can have their Attorney Registration Fee waived.
  • Professional liability insurance coverage through LASNNY.

Volunteer Opportunities

LASNNY offers varied volunteer options, from limited one-time advice meetings to extended representation of a client. This flexibility allows volunteers to work with LASNNY in a manner that compliments their schedule.

Additionally, LASNNY offers a wide variety of practice areas to appeal to any volunteer’s interests.   Examples of current volunteer opportunities are:

  • Advice Clinic: One-on-one appointments with income-eligible clients regarding civil law issues.
  • Attorney for the Day: Attorneys offer limited representation to a client in their first appearance at Albany City Court.
  • Bankruptcy: Represent clients in filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.
  • Closing The Gap: Links urban volunteers with rural clients via video consultations with document assembly.
  • Consumer Debt: Various work including acting on the behalf of a client to lift or modify a wage garnishment, helping to free a frozen bank account, or representing a client in a debt collection matter.
  • Full Representation: Landlord / Tenant matters, SSD/SSI Benefits, Unemployment,
  • Matrimonial, Custody, or Child Support: possibly, representing the client in court or at administrative hearings.
  • Albany County Family Court Help Center: provide legal information or legal advice to pro se litigants in the Family Court
  • Pro Se Divorce Clinic: Assist clients in classroom setting to complete pleadings, allowing them to obtain a divorce.
  • Wills, Health Care Proxies, Power of Attorney: preparing and executing documents.

Contact information:

For further information about working with the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York as an Attorney Emeritus please contact: Shaniqua M. Burke, Staff Attorney/Pro Bono Innovator: 518-587-5188 ext. 446 or sburke@lasnny.org