Pro Bono Scholars Program

The Pro Bono Scholars Program (PBSP) allows students in their final year of law school to devote their last semester of study to performing Pro Bono services through an approved externship program, law school clinic, legal services provider, law firm or corporation.

LawNY has been a placement site for several Pro Bono Scholars Program participants. Pro Bono Scholars work on civil legal matters, with an emphasis on combating poverty and assistance to vulnerable populations, including veterans, the homeless, seniors, refugees, and domestic violence survivors. The nature of work will vary depending on location, and is provided by the Scholar under the supervision and training of experienced advocates. Pro Bono Scholars may assist with termination of housing subsidies, eviction defense, public benefit issues, unemployment insurance benefits issues, employment discrimination, homelessness prevention, health law issues, seniors legal services, community development, nonprofit organization formation, foreclosure, representation of victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, education law, disability advocacy, and veterans legal services. Scholars can also work with their host site to develop a specific project focus. Pro Bono Scholars may do legal and factual research, draft pleadings, negotiate with government agencies and opposing counsel, assist LawNY staff with trial preparation and court appearances, represent clients at administrative hearings, and engage in community legal education and outreach efforts.

Nature of Work: LawNY is a regional nonprofit law firm providing free civil legal assistance to low-income persons throughout a 14-county area of Western New York. LawNY has seven staffed offices, which are located in Rochester, Olean, Ithaca, Geneva, Jamestown, Bath, and Elmira. LawNY receives funding from the Legal Services Corporation, New York State Office of Court Administration, Interest on Lawyer Account (IOLA) Fund of the State of New York, AmeriCorps, Equal Justice Works, and numerous municipalities, foundations, and donors. Our workforce includes approximately 145 attorneys, paralegals, and support staff.

We welcome scholars to work in any of our offices to work on a variety of projects.

Examples of past Pro Bono Scholarships include assisting clients with transactional work, drafting uncontested divorce pleadings, representing clients in housing court (have Greg add stuff/quotes from Christina)............

For more information, email with a subject heading of Pro Bono Scholars.