Pro Bono Partnership Program

What is the Pro Bono Partnership Program?

In 2011, PLS created the Pro Bono Partnership Program (PBPP), tasked with increasing access to legal services for prisoners, by referring cases to volunteer counsel. The program is managed by the Director of Pro Bono & Outreach, who works closely with PLS staff and the PBPP Pro Bono Coordinator to thoroughly screen cases for their appropriateness for referral. This pre-screening process includes obtaining releases and requesting relevant documents (including medical and mental health records, disciplinary records, and hearing transcripts) which will be provided to the pro bono attorney working on the case.

For More information, please contact:

Mary Cipriano-Walter, Esq.
Pro Bono Director
41 State Street, Suite M112
Albany, New York 12207
(518) 445-6050 x1110

Funded by:

PLS’s Pro Bono Partnership Program is funded, in part, by the New York Bar Foundation and New York Community Trust

Available Resources:

PLS provides a wide range of resources for all volunteer attorneys:
ŸPLS Attorneys can answer questions and provide guidance to volunteers.
ŸPLS will provide training materials on substantive areas of law and procedural legal issues.
ŸAs an accredited CLE provider, PLS can provide attorneys with CLE credit for the work they do on pro bono cases. (NOTE: Attorneys can now earn up to 10 of their required CLE credits from pro bono work, with one CLE granted for each 120 minutes of work completed.)
ŸVolunteer attorneys can coordinate visits to prisons with staff in the five field offices.
ŸVolunteer attorneys may utilize PLS resources including, office space, fax and copier machines and computer/internet/phones.
ŸPLS also provides liability coverage for pro bono attorneys who don't otherwise have access to it.
ŸThe PBPP staff will engage in regular follow-up to ensure that all of the volunteer’s needs are being met.

Service matters:

The PLS Pro Bono Partnership Program refers the following case types:

These cases may require anything from advocacy efforts to litigation work, and may be in the Court of Claims, New York State Courts, or the Federal Courts located in New York State. The PBPP staff strives to identify the goals and concerns of pro bono counsel and appropriately match cases.