NYSBA | Changes to Mandatory Pro Bono Reporting Requirement

http://www.nysba.org/probonorequirement/

Office of the President

New York attorneys will report their pro bono hours anonymously in the future–as was recommended by the House of Delegates of the New York State Bar Association.

The Office of Court Administration issued this statement on Dec. 18, 2014:

Today the Administrative Board of the Courts unanimously approved modifications to the mandatory pro bono reporting framework in New York, consistent with the recommendations of Chief Administrative Judge A. Gail Prudenti and NYS Bar Association President Glenn Lau-Kee that were an outgrowth of their recent discussions on the subject.

Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman said that he is confident that mandatory pro bono reporting in New York “will provide the Court System and the bar with the information that we need to chart a course that promotes pro bono work by the legal community very much in the spirit of our noble profession.”

State Bar President Glenn Lau-Kee observed: “I am pleased the court system has responded to the concerns of the New York State Bar Association and other bar associations. The compromise is the outcome of collegial and productive discussions between representatives of the court system and State Bar leaders, which bode well for our future working relationship.”

The earlier rule, which took effect in May 2013, required attorneys to report their pro bono hours and charitable donations to legal service organizations when completing their biennial registration forms.

The Administrative Board of the Courts adopted a resolution to amend the requirement as follows:  

  • Attorneys still are required to report their pro bono hours and charitable donations, but they will report the information anonymously.
  • The information will be made public only on an aggregate basis.
  • The courts will broaden pro bono and public service categories on the reporting form.
  • All reported pro bono information submitted prior to the requirement change will be designated confidential. 

The changes were recommended by the House of Delegates at its November meeting. 

Details of the changes will be available at a future date. 

Sincerely, 
 
Glenn Lau-Kee, President

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