New York created a new registration status called Attorney Emeritus to encourage retired attorneys to volunteer their legal skills and experience to help those that cannot afford lawyers.
Attorneys must be retired and in good standing and be at least 55 years old and have practiced a minimum of 10 years.
Retired attorneys are encouraged to provide at least 30 hours annually of unpaid legal assistance through a qualified legal services provider, bar association, and court-sponsored volunteer lawyer program.
Attorneys enrolling in the program will be connected with an organization that needs pro bono attorneys in the attorney’s particular area of New York. The sponsoring organization trains and mentors the emeritus attorney and provides malpractice coverage or coverage is through the defense and indemnification provisions of Public Officers Law § 17.
Attorneys are not subject to the attorney registration fee or mandatory CLE requirements.
Attorneys are encouraged to enroll in the Attorney Emeritus Program by calling 877-800-0396, emailing AEP@courts.state.ny.us, or completing an Online Application.