The Legal Aid Society is the oldest and largest not-for-profit organization in the United States providing free legal services for clients who cannot afford to pay for counsel. During 2008, the Society assisted 295,000 clients with civil, criminal, or juvenile rights legal problems. The Society provides legal services through a network of borough, neighborhood, and courthouse offices in 25 locations in all five counties of New York City.
The Legal Aid Society’s Pro Bono Practice seeks to build upon its success with its Helen Buttenwieser Senior Lawyer Project and leverage its ties with the city’s major law firms to create a comprehensive infrastructure to integrate substantial numbers of transitioning and retired attorneys in advancing their mission. The Second Acts pilot project at the Legal Aid Society will develop original ways to enlarge the pro bono opportunities for these attorneys—as counsel, mentors and consultants in individual representation, law reform, transactional, and legislative policy work, which is designed specifically to make use of veteran lawyers’ unique talents and experience.