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2013-2014

CLOSING THE JUSTICE GAP The Poverty Rate has Increased The number of individuals living below the federal poverty level increased for the fourth consecutive year from 46 million to 48 million between 2010 and 2011. By 2012 the number of Americans living below 125 percent of the federal poverty level was nearly 66 million. Funding for Legal Services has Decreased: Since 1995, Legal Services Corporation funding has been cut from $574 million down to $404 million (a $169 million difference). Since 2007 Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts funding has declined by 75 percent, from $371 million to $93 million. The Result is a “Justice Gap” On average, low-income people face three legal issues per year per household, however: 80 percent of low income New Yorkers cannot access legal representation in court to address their civil legal needs. Less than one in five of the legal issues faced by low-income people are addressed with the assistance of an attorney. Nearly half of those people seeking assistance from an LSC funded program are turned down because of insufficient resources. In foreclosure matters some jurisdictions across the nation see as many as 92 percent of defendants without any legal representation. LAW STUDENTS CAN HELP NARROW THE JUSTICE GAP

PRO BONO PROGRAM Enhance Legal Skills While Changing Lives

NEW YORK RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT: RULE 6.1 The NYSBA Rules for Professional Conduct define pro bono service as (b)(1) professional services rendered in civil matters, and in those criminal matters for which the government is not obliged to provide funds for legal representation, to persons who are financially unable to compensate counsel; (2) activities related to improving the administration of justice by simplifying the legal process for, or increasing the availability and quality of legal services to, poor persons; and (3) professional services to charitable, religious, civic, and educational organizations in matters designed predominantly to address the needs of poor persons. Each Pro Bono Program project meets this definition, encourages student leadership, and maintains an emphasis on community-based service learning.

8 0 N E W S C O T L A N D AV E N U E A L B A N Y, N E W Y O R K 1 2 2 0 8 - 3 4 9 4

Pro Bono Program Phone: 518-445-2304 Fax: 518-445-3333 Post-Graduate Pro Bono Fellow Nic Rangel ’12, J.D/M.P.A. erang@albanylaw.edu www.albanylaw.edu/students/probono


PRO BONO LAWYERS DON’T JUST TAKE CASES TO COURT, THEY TAKE THEM TO HEART. Albany Law School’s Pro Bono Programs are one part of a multi-faceted response to the vast justice gap facing New Yorkers. Albany Law partners with legal service providers, law firms and government agencies to help address the unmet legal needs in the community. “We are bound by a responsibility to use our unique skills and training—not just to advance cases, but to serve a cause; and to help our nation fulfill its founding promise of equal justice under law....The obligation of pro bono service must become a part of the DNA of both the legal profession and of every lawyer.” ­–Excerpt from Attorney General Eric Holder’s address to participants at the National Pro Bono Summit on October 24, 2011 in Washington, D.C.

THE PRO BONO BAR ADMISSION REQUIREMENT In 2012, the New York State Court of Appeals implemented a pro bono/ public service requirement. This rule requires any applicant who seeks admission to practice in New York after January 1, 2015, to complete 50 hours of pro bono or public service work before filing an application for admission. To fulfill this requirement students must work under the direct supervision of an attorney admitted and in good standing in the jurisdiction where the pro bono work is performed; law school faculty, adjunct faculty, or instructor; or, for work completed in a court system, by the judge or an attorney employed by that court. Students may complete their service through law school pro bono programs; clinics; field placements; qualifying internships or externships with a government agency, office, court system, legal service provider, or law firm; or by directly assisting private practice attorneys doing pro bono work.

WHY SHOULD LAW STUDENTS DO PRO BONO WORK?

PRACTICING LAWYERS AND PRO BONO WORK

STANDING PRO BONO PROJECTS

Doing pro bono work enables law students to touch and change the lives of others.

Eighty percent of all attorneys in the United States have performed pro bono service in the last year, and the average annual amount of pro bono service was 56 hours.

Students provide direct assistance to a private practice attorney for a portion of the attorney’s pro bono case.

Pro bono service can advance your professional development and career planning goals. For example, performing pro bono legal work can help you better understand the substantive issues you are studying in your courses. Trying to use the law to help clients achieve their goals, pro bono volunteers learn about the power—and the limits—of the law and the lawyer's role in resolving complex problems associated with poverty and powerlessness. Pro bono legal work can enhance marketable skills that you will need as practicing lawyers such as interviewing and counseling clients, drafting pleadings, negotiating deals, or appearing in court—skills that are attractive to prospective employers. Pro bono legal work can also help you identify areas of practice you may (or may not) wish to pursue when you graduate. Pro bono legal volunteers meet practicing lawyers who may be helpful to them as they consider and search for employment opportunities.

Attorneys performing pro bono work report high levels of personal satisfaction and gratification. Most pro bono attorneys report that they would like to do more pro bono work and that their firm embraces a culture of volunteerism. Almost all attorneys believe that pro bono work makes a difference in improving equal justice under the law. Most attorneys who are approached by a legal service provider or local bar association to take a pro bono case do so. Almost half of all attorney employers actively encourage pro bono work. from Supporting Justice III: A Report on the Pro Bono Work of America’s Lawyers. American Bar Association, March 2013 (http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/administrative/ probono_public_service/ls_pb_Supporting_ Justice_III_final.authcheckdam.pdf)

FREEPASS

THE FACULTY INITIATIVE

Students work with faculty in connection with the professor’s pro bono efforts. ƒƒ Poverty Law ƒƒ Criminal Defense ƒƒ Health Law ƒƒ Domestic Violence and Family Law ƒƒ Consumer Law ƒƒ Environmental Law ƒƒ Civil Rights ƒƒ Native American Law ƒƒ International Law ƒƒ Succession and Probate Law THE PRO BONO SOCIETY A student-run organization that provides students with pro bono opportunities through partnerships with legal services providers. ƒƒ Foreign Language Translation Services ƒƒ Elder Law ƒƒ Income Tax Assistance ƒƒ Prisoners’ Rights ƒƒ Prisoner Re-Entry ƒƒ Matrimonial & Family Law ƒƒ Children’s Rights ƒƒ Family & Child Public Benefits ƒƒ Family Court ƒƒ Landlord/Tenant Law ƒƒ Veteran’s Rights ƒƒ Anti-Human Trafficking Law ƒƒ Immigration & Refugee Law ƒƒ Access To Legal Information ƒƒ LGBT Rights ƒƒ Health & Human Rights ƒƒ Labor Law & Worker’s Rights ƒƒ NYSBA Leaders Program

PRO BONO HONORS The Pro Bono Program Honors and Service Awards were created to acknowledge the time, care and effort that students, community partners and faculty dedicate to pro bono projects every year.

The Pro Bono Program awards Pro Bono Honors to students who complete at least 75 hours of qualifying pro bono service through the program prior to graduation (100 hours starting with the Class of 2016). Each recipient of Pro Bono Honors will be acknowledged in their graduation program with a special notation. Pro Bono Service awards, including Pro Bono Honors, are given to students, community partners and faculty for exemplary service and other accomplishments during the Annual Pro Bono Recognition Ceremony.


2013-2014

CLOSING THE JUSTICE GAP The Poverty Rate has Increased The number of individuals living below the federal poverty level increased for the fourth consecutive year from 46 million to 48 million between 2010 and 2011. By 2012 the number of Americans living below 125 percent of the federal poverty level was nearly 66 million. Funding for Legal Services has Decreased: Since 1995, Legal Services Corporation funding has been cut from $574 million down to $404 million (a $169 million difference). Since 2007 Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts funding has declined by 75 percent, from $371 million to $93 million. The Result is a “Justice Gap” On average, low-income people face three legal issues per year per household, however: 80 percent of low income New Yorkers cannot access legal representation in court to address their civil legal needs. Less than one in five of the legal issues faced by low-income people are addressed with the assistance of an attorney. Nearly half of those people seeking assistance from an LSC funded program are turned down because of insufficient resources. In foreclosure matters some jurisdictions across the nation see as many as 92 percent of defendants without any legal representation. LAW STUDENTS CAN HELP NARROW THE JUSTICE GAP

PRO BONO PROGRAM Enhance Legal Skills While Changing Lives

NEW YORK RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT: RULE 6.1 The NYSBA Rules for Professional Conduct define pro bono service as (b)(1) professional services rendered in civil matters, and in those criminal matters for which the government is not obliged to provide funds for legal representation, to persons who are financially unable to compensate counsel; (2) activities related to improving the administration of justice by simplifying the legal process for, or increasing the availability and quality of legal services to, poor persons; and (3) professional services to charitable, religious, civic, and educational organizations in matters designed predominantly to address the needs of poor persons. Each Pro Bono Program project meets this definition, encourages student leadership, and maintains an emphasis on community-based service learning.

8 0 N E W S C O T L A N D AV E N U E A L B A N Y, N E W Y O R K 1 2 2 0 8 - 3 4 9 4

Pro Bono Program Phone: 518-445-2304 Fax: 518-445-3333 Post-Graduate Pro Bono Fellow Nic Rangel ’12, J.D/M.P.A. erang@albanylaw.edu www.albanylaw.edu/students/probono


PRO BONO LAWYERS DON’T JUST TAKE CASES TO COURT, THEY TAKE THEM TO HEART. Albany Law School’s Pro Bono Programs are one part of a multi-faceted response to the vast justice gap facing New Yorkers. Albany Law partners with legal service providers, law firms and government agencies to help address the unmet legal needs in the community. “We are bound by a responsibility to use our unique skills and training—not just to advance cases, but to serve a cause; and to help our nation fulfill its founding promise of equal justice under law....The obligation of pro bono service must become a part of the DNA of both the legal profession and of every lawyer.” ­–Excerpt from Attorney General Eric Holder’s address to participants at the National Pro Bono Summit on October 24, 2011 in Washington, D.C.

THE PRO BONO BAR ADMISSION REQUIREMENT In 2012, the New York State Court of Appeals implemented a pro bono/ public service requirement. This rule requires any applicant who seeks admission to practice in New York after January 1, 2015, to complete 50 hours of pro bono or public service work before filing an application for admission. To fulfill this requirement students must work under the direct supervision of an attorney admitted and in good standing in the jurisdiction where the pro bono work is performed; law school faculty, adjunct faculty, or instructor; or, for work completed in a court system, by the judge or an attorney employed by that court. Students may complete their service through law school pro bono programs; clinics; field placements; qualifying internships or externships with a government agency, office, court system, legal service provider, or law firm; or by directly assisting private practice attorneys doing pro bono work.

WHY SHOULD LAW STUDENTS DO PRO BONO WORK?

PRACTICING LAWYERS AND PRO BONO WORK

STANDING PRO BONO PROJECTS

Doing pro bono work enables law students to touch and change the lives of others.

Eighty percent of all attorneys in the United States have performed pro bono service in the last year, and the average annual amount of pro bono service was 56 hours.

Students provide direct assistance to a private practice attorney for a portion of the attorney’s pro bono case.

Pro bono service can advance your professional development and career planning goals. For example, performing pro bono legal work can help you better understand the substantive issues you are studying in your courses. Trying to use the law to help clients achieve their goals, pro bono volunteers learn about the power—and the limits—of the law and the lawyer's role in resolving complex problems associated with poverty and powerlessness. Pro bono legal work can enhance marketable skills that you will need as practicing lawyers such as interviewing and counseling clients, drafting pleadings, negotiating deals, or appearing in court—skills that are attractive to prospective employers. Pro bono legal work can also help you identify areas of practice you may (or may not) wish to pursue when you graduate. Pro bono legal volunteers meet practicing lawyers who may be helpful to them as they consider and search for employment opportunities.

Attorneys performing pro bono work report high levels of personal satisfaction and gratification. Most pro bono attorneys report that they would like to do more pro bono work and that their firm embraces a culture of volunteerism. Almost all attorneys believe that pro bono work makes a difference in improving equal justice under the law. Most attorneys who are approached by a legal service provider or local bar association to take a pro bono case do so. Almost half of all attorney employers actively encourage pro bono work. from Supporting Justice III: A Report on the Pro Bono Work of America’s Lawyers. American Bar Association, March 2013 (http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/administrative/ probono_public_service/ls_pb_Supporting_ Justice_III_final.authcheckdam.pdf)

FREEPASS

THE FACULTY INITIATIVE

Students work with faculty in connection with the professor’s pro bono efforts. ƒƒ Poverty Law ƒƒ Criminal Defense ƒƒ Health Law ƒƒ Domestic Violence and Family Law ƒƒ Consumer Law ƒƒ Environmental Law ƒƒ Civil Rights ƒƒ Native American Law ƒƒ International Law ƒƒ Succession and Probate Law THE PRO BONO SOCIETY A student-run organization that provides students with pro bono opportunities through partnerships with legal services providers. ƒƒ Foreign Language Translation Services ƒƒ Elder Law ƒƒ Income Tax Assistance ƒƒ Prisoners’ Rights ƒƒ Prisoner Re-Entry ƒƒ Matrimonial & Family Law ƒƒ Children’s Rights ƒƒ Family & Child Public Benefits ƒƒ Family Court ƒƒ Landlord/Tenant Law ƒƒ Veteran’s Rights ƒƒ Anti-Human Trafficking Law ƒƒ Immigration & Refugee Law ƒƒ Access To Legal Information ƒƒ LGBT Rights ƒƒ Health & Human Rights ƒƒ Labor Law & Worker’s Rights ƒƒ NYSBA Leaders Program

PRO BONO HONORS The Pro Bono Program Honors and Service Awards were created to acknowledge the time, care and effort that students, community partners and faculty dedicate to pro bono projects every year.

The Pro Bono Program awards Pro Bono Honors to students who complete at least 75 hours of qualifying pro bono service through the program prior to graduation (100 hours starting with the Class of 2016). Each recipient of Pro Bono Honors will be acknowledged in their graduation program with a special notation. Pro Bono Service awards, including Pro Bono Honors, are given to students, community partners and faculty for exemplary service and other accomplishments during the Annual Pro Bono Recognition Ceremony.


PRO BONO LAWYERS DON’T JUST TAKE CASES TO COURT, THEY TAKE THEM TO HEART. Albany Law School’s Pro Bono Programs are one part of a multi-faceted response to the vast justice gap facing New Yorkers. Albany Law partners with legal service providers, law firms and government agencies to help address the unmet legal needs in the community. “We are bound by a responsibility to use our unique skills and training—not just to advance cases, but to serve a cause; and to help our nation fulfill its founding promise of equal justice under law....The obligation of pro bono service must become a part of the DNA of both the legal profession and of every lawyer.” ­–Excerpt from Attorney General Eric Holder’s address to participants at the National Pro Bono Summit on October 24, 2011 in Washington, D.C.

THE PRO BONO BAR ADMISSION REQUIREMENT In 2012, the New York State Court of Appeals implemented a pro bono/ public service requirement. This rule requires any applicant who seeks admission to practice in New York after January 1, 2015, to complete 50 hours of pro bono or public service work before filing an application for admission. To fulfill this requirement students must work under the direct supervision of an attorney admitted and in good standing in the jurisdiction where the pro bono work is performed; law school faculty, adjunct faculty, or instructor; or, for work completed in a court system, by the judge or an attorney employed by that court. Students may complete their service through law school pro bono programs; clinics; field placements; qualifying internships or externships with a government agency, office, court system, legal service provider, or law firm; or by directly assisting private practice attorneys doing pro bono work.

WHY SHOULD LAW STUDENTS DO PRO BONO WORK?

PRACTICING LAWYERS AND PRO BONO WORK

STANDING PRO BONO PROJECTS

Doing pro bono work enables law students to touch and change the lives of others.

Eighty percent of all attorneys in the United States have performed pro bono service in the last year, and the average annual amount of pro bono service was 56 hours.

Students provide direct assistance to a private practice attorney for a portion of the attorney’s pro bono case.

Pro bono service can advance your professional development and career planning goals. For example, performing pro bono legal work can help you better understand the substantive issues you are studying in your courses. Trying to use the law to help clients achieve their goals, pro bono volunteers learn about the power—and the limits—of the law and the lawyer's role in resolving complex problems associated with poverty and powerlessness. Pro bono legal work can enhance marketable skills that you will need as practicing lawyers such as interviewing and counseling clients, drafting pleadings, negotiating deals, or appearing in court—skills that are attractive to prospective employers. Pro bono legal work can also help you identify areas of practice you may (or may not) wish to pursue when you graduate. Pro bono legal volunteers meet practicing lawyers who may be helpful to them as they consider and search for employment opportunities.

Attorneys performing pro bono work report high levels of personal satisfaction and gratification. Most pro bono attorneys report that they would like to do more pro bono work and that their firm embraces a culture of volunteerism. Almost all attorneys believe that pro bono work makes a difference in improving equal justice under the law. Most attorneys who are approached by a legal service provider or local bar association to take a pro bono case do so. Almost half of all attorney employers actively encourage pro bono work. from Supporting Justice III: A Report on the Pro Bono Work of America’s Lawyers. American Bar Association, March 2013 (http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/administrative/ probono_public_service/ls_pb_Supporting_ Justice_III_final.authcheckdam.pdf)

FREEPASS

THE FACULTY INITIATIVE

Students work with faculty in connection with the professor’s pro bono efforts. ƒƒ Poverty Law ƒƒ Criminal Defense ƒƒ Health Law ƒƒ Domestic Violence and Family Law ƒƒ Consumer Law ƒƒ Environmental Law ƒƒ Civil Rights ƒƒ Native American Law ƒƒ International Law ƒƒ Succession and Probate Law THE PRO BONO SOCIETY A student-run organization that provides students with pro bono opportunities through partnerships with legal services providers. ƒƒ Foreign Language Translation Services ƒƒ Elder Law ƒƒ Income Tax Assistance ƒƒ Prisoners’ Rights ƒƒ Prisoner Re-Entry ƒƒ Matrimonial & Family Law ƒƒ Children’s Rights ƒƒ Family & Child Public Benefits ƒƒ Family Court ƒƒ Landlord/Tenant Law ƒƒ Veteran’s Rights ƒƒ Anti-Human Trafficking Law ƒƒ Immigration & Refugee Law ƒƒ Access To Legal Information ƒƒ LGBT Rights ƒƒ Health & Human Rights ƒƒ Labor Law & Worker’s Rights ƒƒ NYSBA Leaders Program

PRO BONO HONORS The Pro Bono Program Honors and Service Awards were created to acknowledge the time, care and effort that students, community partners and faculty dedicate to pro bono projects every year.

The Pro Bono Program awards Pro Bono Honors to students who complete at least 75 hours of qualifying pro bono service through the program prior to graduation (100 hours starting with the Class of 2016). Each recipient of Pro Bono Honors will be acknowledged in their graduation program with a special notation. Pro Bono Service awards, including Pro Bono Honors, are given to students, community partners and faculty for exemplary service and other accomplishments during the Annual Pro Bono Recognition Ceremony.


2013-2014

CLOSING THE JUSTICE GAP The Poverty Rate has Increased The number of individuals living below the federal poverty level increased for the fourth consecutive year from 46 million to 48 million between 2010 and 2011. By 2012 the number of Americans living below 125 percent of the federal poverty level was nearly 66 million. Funding for Legal Services has Decreased: Since 1995, Legal Services Corporation funding has been cut from $574 million down to $404 million (a $169 million difference). Since 2007 Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts funding has declined by 75 percent, from $371 million to $93 million. The Result is a “Justice Gap” On average, low-income people face three legal issues per year per household, however: 80 percent of low income New Yorkers cannot access legal representation in court to address their civil legal needs. Less than one in five of the legal issues faced by low-income people are addressed with the assistance of an attorney. Nearly half of those people seeking assistance from an LSC funded program are turned down because of insufficient resources. In foreclosure matters some jurisdictions across the nation see as many as 92 percent of defendants without any legal representation. LAW STUDENTS CAN HELP NARROW THE JUSTICE GAP

PRO BONO PROGRAM Enhance Legal Skills While Changing Lives

NEW YORK RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT: RULE 6.1 The NYSBA Rules for Professional Conduct define pro bono service as (b)(1) professional services rendered in civil matters, and in those criminal matters for which the government is not obliged to provide funds for legal representation, to persons who are financially unable to compensate counsel; (2) activities related to improving the administration of justice by simplifying the legal process for, or increasing the availability and quality of legal services to, poor persons; and (3) professional services to charitable, religious, civic, and educational organizations in matters designed predominantly to address the needs of poor persons. Each Pro Bono Program project meets this definition, encourages student leadership, and maintains an emphasis on community-based service learning.

8 0 N E W S C O T L A N D AV E N U E A L B A N Y, N E W Y O R K 1 2 2 0 8 - 3 4 9 4

Pro Bono Program Phone: 518-445-2304 Fax: 518-445-3333 Post-Graduate Pro Bono Fellow Nic Rangel ’12, J.D/M.P.A. erang@albanylaw.edu www.albanylaw.edu/students/probono


The Pro Bono Program at Albany Law School 2013-14