The NYLAG Legal Clinic for Pro Se Litigants in the Southern District of New York provides free limited legal assistance to individuals who are representing themselves or planning to represent themselves in civil lawsuits in federal court in Manhattan and White Plains. All volunteers are provided with onsite supervision and training materials.

To sign up for any of the opportunities below, please click here to fill out our online form or contact Robyn Tarnofsky, Director of the SDNY Legal Clinic for Pro Se Litigants, at [email protected].

LIMITED SCOPE OPPORTUNITIES

  • Intake (open to all attorneys):
    Pro bono attorneys at the Manhattan and White Plains courthouses assist with intakes of walk-in visitors during the Clinic’s very busy lunch hour (12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.). Volunteers conduct substantive intake interviews for clinic visitors, and will be tasked with determining whether clients who have a pending case in the S.D.N.Y have any pending deadlines and whether the individual has any specific questions. Intake volunteers may also assess whether the individual has a claim that could properly be filed in the S.D.N.Y., and if not, direct the individual to the appropriate venue, and if at all possible, provide referrals to appropriate legal services providers for those venues or other referrals as necessary. The volunteers will be provided with an orientation and training and will be supervised by onsite Clinic staff.Note: In White Plains, these opportunities are limited to litigators with at least 3 years’ experience.
  • Client Interviews (litigators with clerkship experience or who have practiced one year):
    Pro bono attorneys work at our Manhattan office to assist with interviewing scheduled pre-screened clients and documenting their allegations. The volunteers will be provided with an orientation and training and will be supervised by Clinic staff.  If a volunteer does not complete the interview in the scheduled time slot, there is no obligation to come back to meet with the client again (although the volunteer is welcome to do so).  In those situations, the client will be scheduled for a second session with another volunteer or clinic staff.
  • Representation at Depositions (litigators admitted to the SDNY with at least 2 years’ experience):
    These limited scope opportunities provide an opportunity for junior lawyers to get deposition experience earlier in their careers than might otherwise be possible.  There is no obligation for the pro bono attorneys to assist with any aspects of the case after the depositions.
  • Mediation Assistance (litigators admitted to the SDNY with at least 2 years’ experience):
    These limited scope opportunities provide an opportunity for junior lawyers to get mediation experience in the employment context. There is no obligation on the part of the limited scope pro bono attorneys to assist with any aspects of the case after the mediation is complete.