The New York State Attorney Emeritus Program (“AEP”) is designed to facilitate pro bono services by senior attorneys. During the two-year registration period, Emeritus Attorney volunteers commit to serving 60 hours of unpaid civil legal assistance under the auspices of a qualified legal service provider, bar association, or court-sponsored volunteer lawyer program. Upon enrolling, Attorney Emeritus volunteers are connected with AEP-approved legal services organizations or court-sponsored programs in need of pro bono lawyers.
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 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 qualify and wish to join the AEP should select “Attorney Emeritus” as their registration status on their next biennial attorney registration form.
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 Janet DiFiore and Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for Justice Initiatives, Judge Edwina G. Mendelson.
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 AmeriCorps and the AmeriCorps VISTA Program.
The following AmeriCorps VISTA members are also available to provide information about the AEP and to facilitate connections to AEP host organizations.