Pro Bono Opportunities

The School of Law provides for-credit pro bono opportunities, and will identify not-for-credit opportunities available in the Western New York region. Any questions about not-for-credit opportunities should be directed to Vice Dean Melinda Saran.

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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: Erie County (Buffalo)Chautauqua County (Jamestown), Genesee County, Monroe County (Rochester), and Niagara County.  

Erie County (Buffalo)

Center for Elder Law & Justice
438 Main Street, Suite 1200, Buffalo, NY 14202-3208
716-853-3087
Pro Bono Contact: Jesslyn Holbrook, Pro Bono Coordinator, jholbrook@elderjusticeny.org 

Opportunities include: 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, and Health Care.

Erie County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project Inc.
438 Main St. 7th Floor, Buffalo, New York 14202,
716-847-0662

Pro Bono Contacts:
Gretchen Gonzalez, Deputy Director, 716-847-0662 (ext. 331), ggonzalez@ecbavlp.com
Immigration Pro Bono Contacts: Batavia Office, 8 S, Lyon St., Batavia, NY 14020
Ramon Irizarry, Esq., Supervising Immigration Attorney, 716-847-0662 (ext. 203), ririzarry@ecbavlp.com

Opportunities include:

  • In-house internships (divorce, bankruptcy, tort defense, low income taxpayer clinic, unemployment insurance benefits, DOH Positive Family Program)
    Date/Time:  Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Attorney of the morning Eviction Defense Program
    Location: Buffalo City Court, Housing Court
    Date/Time: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings
  • Immigration rights project assistance
    Location: Buffalo or Batavia VLP Office
    Date/Time:  Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    Fluency in Spanish strongly preferred.
  • Unemployment Insurance Benefits project representation
  • Family Court help desk
    Location: Erie County Family Court
    Date/Time:  Monday to Friday, 11:30 a.m. -2 p.m.
    - During the school year, Pro Se Civil Litigation Support Practicum students
    - During the January Bridge and summer months, need interns to conduct intake and assist pro bono attorneys
  • Niagara County Family Court
    Location: Niagara Falls Family Court Building
    Date/Time:  Wednesday, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
  • Housing Helpline (for Residents outside of Buffalo)
    Location: Volunteer Lawyers Project Office - intakes on Helpline
    Date/Time: Tuesday and Thursday, 9 - 11 a.m.
  • Chautauqua County Family Court
    Date/Time:  Wednesday
  • Say Yes Legal Clinics
    Location: Various Buffalo Public School sites throughout the year
    Date/Time: Monday to Thursday, noon -3:30 p.m., or 3:30 - 5:30 (depending on legal clinic location)
    Location: Adult Learning Center
    Date/Time:  Wednesday, noon - 2 p.m.
  • Federal Court Pro Se Assistance Program
    Location: Room 203, Robert Jackson Federal Courthouse, Buffalo
    Date/Time: Wednesday and Friday, 11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.
    - During the school year, Pro Se Civil Litigation Support Practicum students
    - During the January Bridge and summer months, need interns to conduct intake and assist pro bono attorneys

Journey’s End Refugee Services, Inc.
2495 Main Street, Suite 530, Buffalo, NY 14214
882-4963, ext. 203
Contact: Sarah Bertozzi, Managing Attorney, 716-882-4963 (x203), sbertozzi@jersbuffalo.org

Opportunities include:

  • Refugee services
    One year commitment required

Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo Inc. 
290 Main Street, Suite 450, Buffalo, NY 14202
716-853-9555

Opportunities include:

  • Arraignment intake
    Location: Public Defender Unit at the Buffalo City Court
    Pro Bono Contact:
    Kevin Stadelmaier, Chief Attorney, Public Defenders Unit, kstadelmaier@legalaidbuffalo.org
    Pre-training required.
  • Criminal appeal briefs
    Criminal Appeals Unit
  • Family Court in-court attorney assistance
    Attorney for the Child Unit
    Pro Bono Contact:
    Judith Gerber, Chief Attorney, Attorneys for Children Unit, jgerber@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)
    Pro Bono Contacts:
    Paul Curtin, Deputy Executive Director, pcurtin@legalaidbuffalo.org
    Lisa Strand, Chief Attorney for New Americans, lgrad@legalaidbuffalo.org

Legal Services & Advocacy
999 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14209
716-886-1242
Pro Bono Contact: Michael M. Kane, Director; 716-886-1242 Ext. 322; mkane@eriemha.org

Mental Health Association of Advocates of WNY
999 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14209
886-1242
Pro Bono Contact: Michael M. Kane, Director; 716-886-1242 Ext. 322; mkane@eriemha.org

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

Opportunities include:

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

WNY Law Center Inc.
37 Franklin St., 2nd Floor, Buffalo, NY 14202
716-855-0203
Contact: Joseph Keleman, Esq., Executive Director

Opportunities include:

  • Foreclosures
  • Consumer advocacy assistance through CLARO project
    Pro Bono Contact: Paulette Campbell, pcampbell@wnylc.com

Chautauqua County (Jamestown)

Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc.
115 East Third St., Jamestown, NY 14701 (Chautauqua County)
103 South Barry St., Olean, NY 14760 (Cattaraugus County)
Pro Bono Contact: Jessica Malone, 716-373-4701 (ext. 2000), jeberhardt@lawny.org

Genesee County

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

Monroe County (Rochester)

Empire Justice Center
Telesca Center for Justice
One West Main Street, Suite 200, Rochester, NY 14614
585-454-4060
To volunteer, please apply online. http://www.empirejustice.org/get-involved/volunteer.html

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.
One West Main Street, 4th Floor, Rochester, NY 14614
585-325-2520
To volunteer, please apply online or email doprobono@lawny.org

Volunteer Legal Services Project of Monroe County, Inc.
1 West Main Street, Suite 500, Rochester, NY 14614
585-232-3051
Pro Bono Contact: Danielle Nelson, VLSP Pro Bono Coordinator, dnelson@vlsprochester.org, 585-295-5717
Opportunity: Program can only handle one law student at a time.  Prefer Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 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)
Opportunity: 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.
To volunteer, please apply online.

Niagara County

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