Attorney Emeritus Program

New York State Attorney Emeritus Program

The New York State Attorney Emeritus Program (“AEP”) is designed to facilitate pro bono services by senior attorneys. During the two-year registration period, volunteers commit to serving 60 hours of unpaid civil legal assistance under the auspices of an AEP-approved legal services provider (like the City Bar Justice Center) or court-sponsored volunteer lawyer program.

To be eligible to serve as an Attorney Emeritus, individuals must be retired or active attorneys in good standing, who are at least 55 years of age and have practiced law for a minimum of 10 years. Attorneys can get involved with the AEP by applying through the online portal and completing an online application. Additionally, attorneys who qualify and wish to join the AEP should select “Attorney Emeritus” as their registration status on their next biennial attorney registration form.

Created by former New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman in 2010, the AEP was established to help New Yorkers with legal needs who cannot afford legal counsel. The program is designed to enhance the capacity of New York State legal service providers that are facing increased demand for services.

Participants in the Attorney Emeritus Program:

  • Receive training and supervision from the host organization or court-sponsored program.
  • If retired, are not subject to the $375 attorney registration fee or the mandatory CLE requirements. Any training will be provided free of charge.
  • If active, are eligible to receive up to a total of 15 CLE credit hours.
  • Are afforded legal malpractice coverage by the sponsoring organization or are covered by the defense and indemnification provisions of Public Officers Law § 17.
  • Upon completion of 60 pro bono hours, receive special recognition from New York State Chief Judge Rowan D. Wilson and Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for Justice Initiatives, Judge Edwina G. Richardson.