If you’re planning on seeking admittance to the New York bar in 2013 or later, you’ll need to put in 50 hours of pro bono work first. While I certainly support instilling an ethic of volunteerism in new lawyers, I’m not sure this is the best way to do it. Not everyone is suited to doing pro bono work; making it a requirement will only compel some people to resort to deception to satisfy the bar. And then there’s the questionable wisdom of foisting hordes of unlicensed law students on low-income people with real legal problems. Proper supervision and oversight from experienced attorneys would allay my concerns, but I’m skeptical that will happen.
What do my fellow attorneys think?