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Eric Friedman
(212) 382-6754

Kathryn Inman
(212) 382-6656

Statement of New York City Bar Association President Carey R. Dunne on Chief Judge Lippman’s Proposal for a Pro Bono Scholars Program

The New York City Bar Association applauds Chief Judge Lippman’s initiative to establish a Pro Bono Scholars program, permitting students to take the New York State bar exam during their third year of law school and gain accelerated admission to the Bar, as long as they use the latter half of that third year to provide full-time legal services to the poor. This initiative is consistent with the recommendations in the recent report of the City Bar's Task Force on New Lawyers in a Changing Profession, which urged that law schools seek to provide “practice ready” lawyers and that the third year of law school provide practical experience or otherwise better prepare graduates for their legal careers. The Chief Judge's plan would accomplish these goals while addressing another crucial concern: providing legal services to the vast numbers of people
who, despite the best efforts of legal services providers and the Bar generally, are unable to gain access to legal services and thus either do not pursue their legal rights or try to do so on their own. Studies show that increasing access to civil legal services provides the added benefit of saving the State money. We look forward to supporting the Chief Judge in undertaking this effort.  

February 11, 2014

About the Association
The New York City Bar Association, since its founding in 1870, has been dedicated to maintaining the high ethical standards of the legal profession, promoting reform of the law and access to justice, and providing service to the profession and the public. The Association, through its 24,000 members, continues to work for political, legal and social reform, while implementing innovative means to help the disadvantaged. Protecting the public’s welfare remains one of the Association’s highest priorities.