Legal Aid Society

Pro Bono & Volunteer Opportunities

Attorneys, law students, and other volunteers work in partnership with Legal Aid Society staff in order to expand our ability to provide legal services to a greater number of clients and communities.

All pro bono referrals have been screened by our attorneys and legal professionals who are experts in the field. Those same experts remain on the case to provide mentorship and guidance throughout the representation.

From The Staff of the Pro Bono Practice

We Draw Strength from You

Last year, over 2,900 volunteers donated 200,000 hours of legal assistance to the clients of The Legal Aid Society.

But no metrics can adequately quantify what pro bono assistance means to a family facing homelessness, a client whose rights are violated by unlawful police conduct, or a child in foster care whose educational needs are not being met.

For over 140 years The Legal Aid Society has worked together with the private bar to provide life changing legal assistance and deliver “Justice In Every Borough”.

The staff of The Legal Aid Society’s Pro Bono Practice is:

Lou Sartori, Chief Counsel, Pro Bono Practice
Rosemary Hare-Bey, Pro Bono Coordinator

Time & Talent

2,915

volunteers

208,337

hours of pro bono work

73 & 49

participating law firms & law schools.

2021 Pro Bono Honor Roll

  • Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
  • Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP
  • Blank Rome LLP
  • Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP
  • Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
  • Cooley LLP
  • Covington & Burling LLP
  • Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP
  • Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
  • Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
  • Dechert LLP
  • Fish & Richardson
  • Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
  • Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP
  • Frost Bank Inc.
  • Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP
  • Goodwin Proctor LLP
  • Greenberg Traurig, LLP
  • Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP
  • Jenner & Block LLP
  • Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP
  • Kelley Drye & Warren LLP
  • Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP
  • Loeb & Loeb LLP
  • Lowenstein Sandler LLP
  • Mayer Brown LLP
  • Milbank LLP
  • Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello P.C.
  • O’Melveny & Myers LLP
  • Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
  • Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP
  • Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
  • Proskauer Rose LLP
  • Pryor Cashman LLP
  • Reed Smith LLP
  • Relman Colfax PLLC
  • Ropes & Gray LLP
  • Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP
  • Selendy & Gay PLLC
  • Shearman & Sterling LLP
  • Sidley Austin LLP
  • Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
  • Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
  • Starr Associates LLP
  • Steptoe & Johnson LLP
  • Stout Risius Ross, LLC
  • Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP
  • Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
  • White & Case LLP
  • Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
  • Winston & Strawn LLP

2021

The Honorable Jonathan Lippman Pro Bono Publico & Public Service Law Firm Award

The Legal Aid Society is proud to recognize Milbank LLP for its exceptional pro bono commitment to our organization and clients. Under the leadership of Managing Partner and Legal Aid Board Member Scott Edelman, Pro Bono Counsel Anthony Perez Cassino, and Deputy Pro Bono Counsel Rebecca Heller, the attorneys, legal assistants, and administrative staff at Milbank have been committed partners with our team in meeting the legal needs of the less fortunate in New York City.

No firm has made more of an impact on the clients and communities served by The Legal Aid Society in the past year. Advocating on behalf of young immigrants, homeless students, and people experiencing the scourge of unlawful police behavior, the attorneys at Milbank achieved outstanding results that improved the circumstances of Legal Aid clients and thousands of New Yorkers in every borough.

2021

Public Interest Law Leadership Award

Jennifer Cowan is recognized for her outstanding achievement overseeing the Debevoise & Plimpton pro bono program and her constant support of The Legal Aid Society and its clients.

Each year, Debevoise volunteers handle more than 800 pro bono matters for low-income clients across the country. Thanks to Jennifer’s efforts, an average of 100 Debevoise attorneys and professional staff have contributed more than 4,000 hours each year to the clients of The Legal Aid Society since 2018. Debevoise has provided critical assistance to clients in areas as diverse as immigration defense, disability advocacy, civil rights litigation, criminal appeals, and the preservation of affordable housing, and Jennifer is actively involved in many of those cases. Despite the many challenges of practicing law during a global pandemic, Jennifer and her colleagues have continued to meaningfully engage in pro bono work on behalf of our clients, including as co-counsel with Legal Aid in Douglas v. City of New York, an action to ensure police officers comply with a new law requiring tickets, not arrests, for low-level offenses.

Jennifer Cowan