The Legal Aid Society of Mid-New York, Inc.
"Serving the Legal Needs of Low Income People Since 1952"

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Helping Your Community
Monday March 30 2020

This is a picture of a volunteer lawyer helping two senior citizens with a legal problem

Pro Bono Opportunities for Attorneys

Volunteering pro bono at the Legal Aid Society of Mid-New York, Inc. is a great way to make a difference in the lives of low-income people, seniors, victims of violence and others who can’t afford legal help when they need it most.

Volunteer lawyers serve low income clients from throughout our 13 county service area and help us to continue to meet our clients’ needs, even as funding for civil legal services continues to decline.

How Do Our Pro Bono Lawyers Serve the Public Good?

In 2011, volunteer private attorneys with our Private Attorney Involvement program completed 706 cases and accepted 838 new cases.

What Kinds of Pro Bono Opportunities are Available?

We are confident that we can match your area of interest with one of our many exciting pro bono opportunities. Here is a sampling:

  • Legal Helpline Telephone Counsel and Advice: Provide telephone counsel and advice on almost any civil legal matter of your choosing from the convenience of your home or office.
  • Attorney of the Day Programs: Provide counsel and advice in person at a pro bono clinic; Child Support, Consumer, Bankruptcy, Divorce, Elder Law, Housing or Veterans clinics.
  • Pro Se Divorce Clinics: Instruct a pro se divorce clinic, assisting clients in filling out the uncontested divorce packet.
  • Unemployment Insurance Benefits Hearings: Represent clients in person or by phone at an unemployment insurance benefits hearing.
  • Simple Estate Planning: Draft simple wills, health care proxies, powers of attorney for clients who are ill or disabled.
  • Direct Representation: Represent clients in a variety of legal matters, including child support, bankruptcy, divorce, housing, public benefits and more.
  • Mentoring Program: Serve as mentor or co-counsel on LASMNY cases.


Binghamton City Court Eviction Project: Provide advice and/or representation to tenants in danger of eviction for nonpayment of rent at Binghamton City Court. We are looking for 25 new volunteers. Contact Arlene Sanders at (607) 231-5950 or

What Are The Benefits of Volunteering?

You will experience the personal reward of helping an individual in need. In addition:

  • Malpractice Coverage through Legal Aid Society of Mid-New York, Inc.
  • Continuing Legal Education Credit
  • Pro Bono recognition at the local and state levels
  • Forms and Research
  • Training
  • Ongoing support from dedicated pro bono staff
  • Attorney Emeritus: Senior volunteers may also qualify for "Attorney Emeritus" status through the New York State Bar Association (see

Take Advantage of our Reverse Referral Program!

If you would like to assist one of your low income clients pro bono through Legal Aid, we can do a phone intake and immediately tell you if they qualify. You will receive the same benefits as with a traditional referral.

How Do I Sign Up?

If you would like to do pro bono work, please contact one of our dedicated staff members below. We will follow-up with you promptly to discuss opportunities that match your interest.

Arlene Sanders, Pro Bono Managing Attorney at (607) 231-5950 or
Renee Kolwaite, Paralegal (Utica office) at (315) 793-7061 or
Pam MacLaren, Paralegal (Binghamton office) at (607) 231-5925 or

We are here to support you and to ensure that your pro bono experience is positive and rewarding.

Download LASMNY Pro Bono Brochure

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