Pro Bono Requirement

Not-for-Credit Opportunities

These opportunities fulfill your fifty-hour pro bono requirement through volunteering with one of these agencies.  You could also learn valuable skills to enhance your ability to become practice-ready.  These opportunities are not credit-bearing nor are they paid positions.  Some of these legal service offices have limitations on the number of law students they can accommodate and others require you to make a commitment of a certain amount of time.

The opportunities below are listed geographically starting with Erie County (Buffalo) and also include Monroe County (Rochester).

Any questions, please contact Vice Dean Melinda Saran.

On this page:

Inside Buffalo

Erie County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project Inc.
237 Main Street, Suite 1000, Buffalo, New York 14203
716-847-0662
Contact: Gregory Stewart, Supervising Attorney - 716-847-0662 (Ext. 313), gstewart@ecbavlp.com
Gayle Murphy, Esq., Pro Bono Coordinator (Ext. 321), gmurphy@ecbavlp.com

  • Attorney of the morning
    Location: Buffalo City Court, Housing Court
    Date/Time: Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings
  • Immigration rights project assistance
    Location: Batavia Detention Center
    Date/Time: Tuesday and Thursday mornings
    Fluency in Spanish, Chinese or Arabic preferred.
  • Unemployment Insurance Benefits project representation
  • Family Court help desk
    Erie County Family Court
    Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 11:30 a.m. -2:00 p.m.
  • Say Yes Legal Clinics
    School 54, School 18, South Park High School, East High School
    Monday through Thursday from 3:30 – 5:30 (one day at each school)
    Adult Learning Center: noon - 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday
  • Federal Court Pro Se Assistance Program
    Room 203, Robert Jackson Federal Courthouse, Buffalo
    Wednesday and Friday, 11:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo Inc. 
290 Main Street, Suite 450, Buffalo, NY 14202
716-853-9555
Contact:  Chief Attorney, Criminal Appeals Unit

  • Arraignment intake
    Public Defender Unit
    Location: Buffalo City Court
    Contact: Kevin Stadelmaier, Chief Attorney - Public Defenders Unit
    Pre-training required
  • Criminal appeal briefs
    Criminal Appeals Unit
     
  • Family Court in-court attorney assistance
    Attorney for the Child Unit
    Contact: Pamela Neubeck, Chief Attorney - Attorneys for Children Unit, pneubeck@legalaidbuffalo.org
  • Civil Unit
    Reentry from incarceration
    Domestic Violence rapid response - family and financial issues
    Immigrant/refugee issues - working with settlement agencies
    Veteran’s issues - legal check-up
    LGBTQ issues
    Contact: Paul Curtin pcurtin@legalaidbuffalo.org or Lisa Strand lgrad@legalaidbuffalo.org

Center For Elder Law & Justice
438 Main Street, Suite 1200, Buffalo, NY 14202-3208
716-853-3087
Contact: Karen Nicholson, Esq. Chief Executive Officer

  • Housing (tax and mortgage foreclosure, eviction defense)
  • Elder Abuse Prevention, Consumer (fraud and scams that target the elderly)
  • Family (relative custody, grandparents rights, and kinship care issues)
  • Veteran’s Support
  • Substituted Decision-Making
  • Income Maintenance
  • Health Care

Neighborhood Legal Services, Inc. (NLS)
237 Main Street, 4th Floor, Buffalo, New York 14203
716-847-0650

  • Attorney of the morning
    Location: Buffalo City Court, Housing Court
    Date/Time: Tuesday and Thursday mornings
    Contact: Grace Andriette, Housing Unit Supervisor - gandriette@nls.org
  • Housing, Public Benefits, Family Law and Disability Advocacy Project
    Location: Buffalo office
    Date/Time: Flexible
    Contact:  Christine McMenamin, Staff Attorney/Pro Bono Innovator – cmcmenamin@nls.org

WNY Law Center Inc.
237 Main Street, Suite 1130, Buffalo, New York 14203
716-855-0203
Contact: Joseph Keleman, Esq., Executive Director

  • Foreclosures
  • Consumer advocacy assistance through CLARO project

Mental Health Association of Erie County, Inc., Legal Services & Advocacy
999 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14209
886-1242
Contact: Michael M. Kane, Director; 716-886-1242 Ext. 322; mkane@eriemha.org

Journey’s End Refugee Services, Inc.
2495 Main Street, Suite 317, Buffalo, NY 14214
882-4963, ext. 203
Contact: Sarah Bertozzi, Esq., Managing Attorney; 716-882-4963 x203; sbertozzi@jersbuffalo.org

  • Refugee services; one year commitment required

Outside Erie County

Niagara County

Neighborhood Legal Services, Inc. (NLS)
225 Old Falls Street, Suite 3A  Niagara Falls, New York 14302
716-284-8831
Contact: Mary Ann Oliver, Managing Attorney - maoliver@wnylc.com

Genesee County

Neighborhood Legal Services, Inc. (NLS)
5073 Clinton Street Road, Batavia, New York 14020
585-343-5450
Contact: John Zonitch - jzonitch@wnylc.com

Rochester (Monroe County)

Empire Justice Center
Telesca Center for Justice
One West Main Street, Suite 200, Rochester, NY 14614
585-454-4060
Volunteer Online Form

The Legal Aid Society of Rochester
One West Main Street, Suite 800, Rochester, New York 14614
585-232-4090
Volunteer information can be found at their website under Volunteer/Intern.

Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc.
Monroe County Legal Assistance Center (MCLAC)
One West Main Street, 4th Floor, Rochester, NY 14614
585-325-2520
Volunteer Online Form

Volunteer Legal Services Project of Monroe County, Inc.
1 West Main Street, Suite 500, Rochester, NY 14614
585-232-3051
Danielle Nelson, VLSP Pro Bono Coordinator, dnelson@vlsprochester.org or 585-295-5717
Pro bono opportunities:  Program can only handle one law student at a time.  Prefer Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in summer.  Winter break or one day each during the semester will also be acceptable.

Worker Justice Center of New York (formerly Farmworkers Legal Services Project)
1187 Culver Road, Rochester, NY 14609
585-325-3050 (Ext. 12)
Student will obtain hands on experience working with worker advocacy primarily with migrant and immigrant populations throughout Western New York. Areas include employment and wage issues and representing migrant workers in domestic violence and human trafficking cases.
Contact: Lewis Papenfuse, Co-Executive Director – lpapenfuse@wnylc.com

Jamestown (Chautauqua County)

Southern Tier Legal Services (formerly Chautauqua County Legal Aid)
111 West Second Street, Suite 250, Jamestown NY 14701
866-664-4567

From your home, office or library

Empire Justice Center Fair Hearing Bank Pro Bono Project

The Empire Justice Center needs hundreds of cases to be summarized and categorized to add to its Online Resource Center (ORC) database.  Your pro bono job will be to complete these summaries and add them to the bank.  You will be supervised and the summaries will be reviewed by an attorney from the Empire Justice Center before they are added to the ORC.  You will receive one hour of pro bono credit for each summary completed.

Interested?  Send an email to Susan Antos (Santos@empirejustice.org).  Attach your resume to the email and explain your interest in the project, how may hearings you are willing to summarize and the date you expect your summaries to be complete.