NYC Pro Bono Recruiting Meetings Begin This Week; Outreach Program Needs Attorneys For Housing, Consumer Credit, Immigration Law For The Unrepresented
In New York City, the New York Law Journal reports:
- The first of five meetings to recruit, motivate and inform attorneys for the new NYC Legal Outreach initiative will be held [Tuesday night, May 26] in Brooklyn. The campaign is an "unprecedented" joint effort by the judicial and executive branches to expand pro bono legal assistance, Corporation Counsel Michael A. Cardozo said in an interview. The joint program is an attempt to address the growing number of unrepresented consumers with financial and immigration problems brought on by the weak economy.
- At a press conference last month, Mr. Cardozo said New York City does not intend to "reinvent the wheel," but hopes to use the "mayor's bully pulpit" to boost existing volunteerism. In a May 12 letter to bar groups, law schools and the 100 largest law firms, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and [Chief Judge Jonathan] Lippman said that NYC Legal Outreach will target four key areas: foreclosure, eviction, immigration and consumer credit.
- "Whether you are fully employed, retired, recently laid off or deferring employment, there is a place for you at this 'table,'" the letter said. At the press conference in April, Judge Fern A. Fisher, deputy chief administrative judge for courts in New York City, said there were some 600,000 filings last year in consumer credit and housing cases. Upward of 90 percent to 95 percent of litigants in housing cases are unrepresented, and as many as 99 percent of litigants in consumer credit cases appear pro se.
- [The Tuesday, may 26th] meeting will be held at Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon St. at 6:00 p.m. Additional meetings will be held on June 8 in the Bronx, June 17 on Staten Island, June 22 in Manhattan and June 25 in Queens.
For times and locations of the five meetings, see the Mayor and Chief Judge's May 12th letter.