NY.freelegalanswers.org is a website where members of the public can go to post basic legal questions that attorneys can answer for free. The client can create an account on the website after completing a short screening questionnaire to determine if they qualify (based on income), and agreeing to the limited scope of representation that the website offers. Similarly, any attorney in New York can create an account on the website after completing a brief limited scope representation tutorial (developed by Judge Fern Fisher) and agreeing to the terms of the program.
Attorneys may, at their leisure, log on to the website and respond to questions posted by members of the public. Attorneys may select which questions to answer by previewing questions, which can be sorted by practice area so they can easily see which questions fall within their areas expertise.
This will allow attorneys of all types to do pro bono work from any location for any length of time. This will provide attorneys who may have difficulty doing pro bono work (government attorneys, retired attorneys, rural attorneys, etc.) an opportunity to do pro bono work in a way that fits their lifestyles.
NY.FreeLegalAnswers.org will be going live at the end of August. In order to adequately test out the platform and respond to questions submitted by members of the public in its early stages, I am seeking out 100 volunteers who are interested in learning more about the project and using the site. The target launch date is currently scheduled for August 23rd. If you are interested in learning more about volunteering, please fill out this form and send it back to me. You may also share the form with any trusted colleagues who may be interested in participating.
Please note that there is absolutely no obligation here. I am simply seeking out people who are interested in learning more about the project so that I may provide them with more information about it closer to the launch date. At that point, I can provide more guidance to those participating in the test panel so they know exactly how the site works and what to expect – most likely via a memo and conference call for those who are available for one.
To access a power point presentation and video demonstration of the national free legal answers platform, please go to: www.americanbar.org/groups/probono_public_service/….
If you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact me.
Kristen Wagner Esq.
Director, Pro Bono Services
New York State Bar Association