Daily Coronavirus Update: Court of Appeals Waives Pro Bono Requirements for Spring 2020 Law Grads

By Christian Nolan

April 22, 2020

Daily Coronavirus Update: Court of Appeals Waives Pro Bono Requirements for Spring 2020 Law Grads


By Christian Nolan

Good evening Members,

The Court of Appeals issued an order today implementing temporary waivers of several bar admission requirements for spring 2020 graduates, including pro bono work.

First, the court announced it is implementing a waiver of the full-time pro bono work requirement and the corresponding academic component of the Pro Bono Scholars Program for those enrollees expected to graduate in spring 2020. The court also noted that the feasibility of the Pro Bono Scholars Program for the 2020-2021 academic term will be evaluated at a future date.

The court also decided to temporarily waive several additional bar admission requirements for spring 2020 graduates, including the pro bono requirement for bar admission and the skills competency requirement for admission.

While applicants must still successfully complete the New York Law Course (NYLC) and the New York Law Examination (NYLE), the requirement that applicants complete the NYLC and pass the NYLE no earlier than one year before sitting for the Uniform Bar Examination will be temporarily waived for any applicant who fulfilled the NYLC and NYLE requirements after July 2019 and who first sits for the Uniform Bar Examination no later than 2021.

The Court of Appeals has also approved the relaxation of specified application guidelines, including certain notarization, original document and timing requirements. Those changes will be implemented through the Board of Law Examiners and the four departments of the Appellate Division.

Previously, on March 31, the court announced a waiver of distance learning limitations to enable law students to continue their coursework virtually. That waiver applies broadly to all categories of students, including J.D., LL.M. and students who have completed fewer than 28 credit hours.

Pursuant to the distance learning waiver, any classroom-based course that has been converted to a virtual course as a result of the public health crisis will count fully as a classroom-based course – not a distance education course. If necessary, the court is prepared to further extend the waiver of distance learning limitations, including into the fall 2020 term.

COVID-19 Webinars

On Thursday, April 23 NYSBA will host Pandemics and Planning: The Documents Every Attorney Should Have.

And on Friday, April 24 join us for COVID-19: Legal Malpractice Perspectives on Small and Mid-Sized Law Firms.

 Latest NYSBA.ORG Coronavirus News

We are adding new content each day to our website related to the coronavirus public health emergency and its impact on the legal community.

Today we take a look at how to virtually execute an estate plan and the best practices for business continuity. Additionally, with the legal profession working remotely, we have information on how to access software and services freebies for lawyers.


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