Do Pro Bono | Law Firms and Corporations

We match over 1,100 pro bono attorneys with cases each year across a wide range of legal matters including immigration, bankruptcy, end of life planning, veterans disability, homelessness, and micro-entrepreneurship.

Pro Bono Overview

Pro bono legal services are integral to the City Bar Justice Center’s mission of furthering access to justice for New Yorkers struggling with poverty and systemic socioeconomic barriers.  CBJC serves over 25,000 individuals each year across a dozen civil practice areas ranging from immigration, homelessness, and bankruptcy to LGBTQ+, micro-entrepreneur, and veterans advocacy.  With a full-time staff of approximately 30 lawyers and support professionals, CBJC relies in large measure on the pro bono volunteer and financial support of leading law firms and corporate legal departments in New York City and beyond.  Our supporters get results – securing meaningful relief for our clients and helping us provide nearly $20 million worth of free legal services each year to those in need.


The City Bar Justice Center Pro Bono Experience

As a legal services organization that is “built for pro bono,” the City Bar Justice Center offers a range of volunteer opportunities for law firms and corporate legal departments – from brief services clinics and transactional matters to full client representation in state, federal, or immigration court or in administrative proceedings. CBJC views its work with law firms and corporate legal departments as a partnership, assigning volunteers to clients and matters that CBJC personnel carefully vet before placement.

Attorneys working with the City Bar Justice Center grow professionally and personally by providing hands-on assistance to New Yorkers in need under the guidance of CBJC’s highly experienced and dedicated staff. Volunteers receive all necessary substantive training, and have ready access to our attorney project directors throughout the duration of an assignment for troubleshooting and strategic advice to ensure that it proceeds as smoothly as possible. Working under the supervision and mentorship of CBJC attorneys who have developed cutting-edge legal services practices maximizes volunteers’ capacities to both refresh core skills and build new substantive knowledge as they engage in work outside their usual practice areas.

Partner with Us

If you supervise pro bono, corporate social responsibility, or philanthropic activities at your law firm or corporation, please contact City Bar Justice Center director of pro bono initiatives Cassandra Celestin to learn about partnering with us and to receive regular communications profiling pro bono opportunities and resources.

Firms and corporations that financially support the City Bar Justice Center – e.g., by contributing to our Annual Gala in the spring or our Summer Appeal in the fall, or by sponsoring a new initiative – receive priority in the scheduling of pro bono clinics and placement of pro bono matters.  CBJC also provides supporting firms and corporations with CLE-accredited trainings, advising on best practices in building or refreshing your pro bono practice, and branded “day of service” opportunities hosted at the historic City Bar building in midtown, at your offices, or at easily accessible community venues throughout the city.


Pro Bono CLE Credit at the City Bar Justice Center

Visit our Pro Bono CLE page to learn how your attorneys can get CLE credit for volunteering with us.


Other Inquiries

Are you a New Yorker of limited income in need of legal assistance?  Click here.

Are you an individual attorney looking to do pro bono?  Click here.

“One of the most meaningful moments you can have as an attorney is standing up with your pro bono client in immigration court or at a welfare fair hearing and being able to tell them, ‘You’ve won your case.  You don’t have to be afraid anymore.’ Taking on a pro bono case with the City Bar Justice Center means that you have the opportunity to change someone’s life.”
– Mei Lin Kwan-Gett, Deputy General Counsel and Head of Global Litigation, Citigroup, Inc.

“Our message to the legal community is that we can — and we must — do more, especially in an environment where so many New Yorkers need our help. As lawyers, we are uniquely qualified to help on issues involving social justice, and we’ve recently witnessed an unprecedented level of interest among peers to make a difference through pro bono service. As we have been inspired by our many pro bono partners, I hope we can serve as inspiration for other corporate legal functions on how to make a significant difference in our communities through pro bono service. It isn’t enough to offer words of encouragement and money. Those of us in leadership roles have an obligation to set an example and do.”
– David Levine, General Counsel, Bloomberg L.P.