2013 NY Task Force Report offers best practices for implementing 50 hour pro bono bar admission rule, plus recommendations for additional roles for law schools in response to justice gap

The Task Force to Expand Access to Civil Legal Services in New York, established by the New York Unified Court System,  has issued its 2013 report on the state of access to justice in New York.

Parts of the report will be especially valuable to law schools, courts, access to justice commissions, law firms, and others who are working on initiatives to strengthen legal education and increase access to justice.

The Report of the Task Force’s Working Group on Law School Involvement (included as Appendix 15 to the full Task Force report) sets forth best practices for implementing New York’s 50 hour pro bono service bar admission rule.

It also offers recommendations for strengthening legal education in other respects, focusing on:  i) models of collaboration, ii) post graduate programs, iii) curriculum reform, and, iv) technology.

The full report and appendices are available here (including Appendix 15, the Report of the Task Force’s Working Group on Law School Involvement, which is also available as a separate document, here).

The report’s best practices and recommendations for strengthening law student pro bono programs in light of the 50 hour rule  include:

1.  Match Students to Pro Bono Opportunities

2.  Replicate Successful Pro Bono Projects, taking into account such factors as:

  • responsiveness to unmet need
  • the number of students involved
  • the number of beneficiaries
  • individual impact
  • systemic impact
  • opportunity to acquire professional skills
  • ease of administration and cost.

3.  Track Hours of Pro Bono Service

4.  Track the Quality of the Pro Bono Experience, taking into account such factors as:

  • opportunity to perform specified tasks
  • opportunity to work under supervision of an attorney
  • opportunity to engage with clients, allies, opponents
  • opportunity to acquire substantive knowledge
  • opportunity to acquire knowledge of the justice gap.

5.  Track the Impact of the Pro Bono Experience, taking into account such factors as:

  • level of supervision
  • responsiveness to unmet need
  • the number of students involved
  • the number of beneficiaries
  • individual impact
  • systemic impact
  • opportunity to acquire professional skills
  • ease of administration and cost.

For more information about the report, about other aspects of the access to justice movement, and about the National Center for Access to Justice, please visit NCAJ’s web site, http://www.ncforaj.org.  Please also sign up for NCAJ’s blog and newsletter, http://www.ncforaj.org.

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  1. […] – my main man David Udell of Cardozo Law’s National Center for ATJ looks at the 2013 report of the Task Forc….  David highlight’s the report’s content focused on “initiatives to strengthen […]



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