Brian Peteritas is a GOVERNING contributor.E-mail: email@example.com
A growing number of people have been in need of legal help dealing with civil cases like foreclosures, employment issues and health-care matters. Defendants in such cases have no legal right to free representation like their criminal counterparts and are unlikely to receive help as government funding has been shrinking. In an effort to provide legal help to those in need, New York will become the first state to make pro bono work a mandatory requirement for admittance to the state bar, reports the New York Times.
Starting in 2013, each of the roughly 10,000 bar applicants a year will need to show that they have completed a minimum of 50 hours of free work. Speaking to the Times, Don Saunders of the National Legal Aid and Defender Association speculated that the new requirement in New York could spur pro bono work in other states.