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Pro bono network being organized for pandemic-related cases

The New York State Court System is partnering with the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) to build and coordinate a statewide pro bono network of lawyers to handle an expected surge in legal matters resulting from the coronavirus pandemic and ensuing economic fallout.

As a first step, the courts and NYSBA will convene meetings of New York’s local and affinity bar associations, large law firms, the deans of New York’s 15 law schools, the heads of law school clinics, institutional providers of legal services, and others to assemble a statewide network of pro bono lawyers that can be rapidly dispatched to help those in need of legal assistance and unable to afford a lawyer.

Former Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, who is of counsel at Latham & Watkins, will spearhead the effort.

Experts are predicting a surge in a wide variety of cases as a result of the coronavirus crisis.