New York State Bar Association Assists Israel Bar in Pro Bono Effort
The New York State Bar Association is participating in an innovative effort to match pro bono lawyers with residents of Israel who need legal assistance as a result of Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel and the subsequent ongoing war.
The New York State Bar Association collaborated with the Israel Bar Association, led by Adv. Amit Becher, and Paladin, a legal technology company that works with law firms, in-house teams, and bar associations, to create the pro bono website. The effort is partly funded by the international law firms Greenberg Traurig and Paul, Weiss. Together, the bar associations and the legal tech company created a dedicated website that will connect residents of Israel with legal professionals to resolve inquiries stemming from the attacks of Oct. 7.
Paladin, co-founded and headed by entrepreneur Kristen Sonday, has a track record of providing technological support for similar humanitarian efforts and worked with the New York State Bar Association during the Covid crisis on online platforms that connected attorneys with Empire State residents seeking pro bono assistance with issues such as unemployment and housing.
“Expanding access to justice is a fundamental tenet of the bar association, and it is especially critical and meaningful in the face of the barbaric Oct. 7 attack by Hamas on Israel, and subsequent ongoing war, that continues to impact so many lives,” said Richard Lewis, president of the New York State Bar Association. “When tragedy strikes, people require legal representation, but often are unable to locate and afford it. We are proud to have the opportunity to again work with Paladin on this important effort to support residents of Israel in this challenging moment in history.”
The website matches residents of Israel who need legal assistance with pro bono representatives from the Israel Bar Association, which is the mandatory bar association for the country’s lawyers. The Israel Bar Association reports that it has already received more than 300 requests for help with social security, relocation, and medical benefits, among other issues.
This effort is being made possible with funding provided by Greenberg Traurig, which has a Tel Aviv office and where the New York State Bar Association’s former president, Hank Greenberg, is a shareholder; and Paul, Weiss. Greenberg played a key role in spearheading the collaboration between the New York and Israel bars. Additional support is under consideration by the New York Bar Foundation, the New York State Bar Association’s charitable arm.