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Attorney Emeritus Program

Attorney Emeritus Program

Attorney Emeritus Program

New York State Attorney Emeritus Program

New York’s lawyers have a proud history of helping those in need. It is in that spirit that the court system created an attorney registration status – Attorney Emeritus – to encourage retired and non-retired attorneys to volunteer their legal skills and experience to help the growing number of New Yorkers who cannot afford counsel.

The New York State Attorney Emeritus Program (“AEP”) is designed to facilitate pro bono services by retired and non-retired attorneys who are willing to provide at least 30 hours annually of unpaid legal assistance under the auspices of qualified legal services providers, bar associations and court-sponsored volunteer lawyer programs. Upon enrolling, Attorney Emeritus volunteers are connected with AEP-approved legal services organizations or court-sponsored programs in need of pro bono lawyers in their area of the State.

To be eligible as an Attorney Emeritus, individuals must be retired or non-retired attorneys in good standing who are at least 55 years of age and have practiced law for a minimum of 10 years. Attorneys can enroll in the AEP by calling 877-800-0396 or by completing the online application, which can be found on the New York State Office of Court Administration AEP Website. Additionally, attorneys who wish to join the AEP should select “Attorney Emeritus” as their registration status on their next biennial attorney registration form.

Attorney Emeritus volunteers receive training and are mentored by their sponsoring organization. Retired attorneys who register as Attorney Emeritus are not subject to the $350 attorney registration fee or the mandatory CLE requirements. Any training will be provided free of charge. Active attorneys are eligible to receive up to a total of 15 CLE credit hours through an AEP host organization. AEP volunteers 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, AEP volunteers receive special recognition from the New York State Chief Judge and the Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for Justice Initiatives, Justice Edwina G. Mendelson.

For more information about the AEP, visit the New York State Office of Court Administration AEP website. If you have questions, please call 877-800-0396 or email AEP@courts.state.ny.us.

In addition, the following AmeriCorps VISTA members and other Feerick Center for Social Justice staff are available to provide information about the AEP and to facilitate connections to AEP host organizations:

  • For Long Island, New York City, and Westchester: Olga Tomasello, Fordham Law School Feerick Center for Social Justice, reachable at AEPcoordinator@fordham.edu and (212) 930-8871, or Kelsey Benjamin kbenjamin10@fordham.edu; and
  • For Upstate Counties: Asia Haywood, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc. reachable at aepcoordinator@lawny.org and (585) 235-2520.

The work of Fordham Law School’s Feerick Center for Social Justice and Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc., in connection with the administration and program development of the New York State Attorney Emeritus Program, is supported through a grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service and the AmeriCorps VISTA Program.

John D. Feerick

Director and Founder, Feerick Center for Social Justice
Fordham University School of Law
150 West 62nd Street, 7Fl.
New York, NY 10023

Tel: 212-636-6873

Email: jfeerick@law.fordham.com

Fern Schair

Advisory Board, Chair, Feerick Center for Social Justice
Fordham University School of Law
150 West 62nd Street, 7 Fl.
New York, NY 10023

Tel: 212-636-7746

Email: schair@law.fordham.edu

Contact Us

Feerick Center for Social Justice of Fordham School of Law
150 West 62nd Street, 7 Floor, New York, NY 10023

Tel: 212-636-7671

Fax: 646-312-8238

Email: feerickcenter@law.fordham.edu