New York Makes History By Forcing Its Aspiring Lawyers To Work For Free

jonathan lippmanChief Judge Jonathan Lippman

Photo: wmhttv/YouTube

New York’s top judge signed a rule Wednesday requiring law students to put in 50 hours of pro bono service before they can practice in the state, Reuters reports.Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman said only 20 per cent of the state’s legal services needs are currently being met and that law students’ free services are necessary to fill the gap, Reuters reported.

That work will include providing legal services to low-income people, nonprofits, government entities, or civil rights groups.

Pro bono work “is a part of the core values of our profession,” Lippman said. “Lawyers, or those aspiring to be lawyers, have to embrace those core values.”

New York is the first state to have a pro bono requirement, but the Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog predicted more states would follow suit.

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