CALL TO ACTION: MCBA Pro Bono Response to COVID-19 
 

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Volunteer Legal Services Project (VLSP)

Attorneys who wish to provide pro bono legal assistance to low-income clients in Monroe County are encouraged to contact the Volunteer Legal Services Project (VLSP). VLSP works in close partnership with the other agencies in the Telesca Center for Justice to identify community needs and help fill gaps in available civil legal services. VLSP provides all volunteers with training. mentorship, CLE credit for pro bono hours, and primary malpractice insurance coverage on VLSP matters.  All clients are pre-screened for income qualification and program eligibility. To volunteer, please contact VLSP at bfish@vlsprochester.org, or visit www.vlsprochester.org to learn more and view current pro bono opportunities.

If you are specifically interested in supporting the 7th Judicial District - VLSP Virtual Help Center - contact greid@vlsprochester.org.


Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc. (LawNY)

Attorneys who practice outside of Monroe County may contact LawNY for volunteer placement and/or remote volunteer opportunities in LawNY’s 13 rural counties. LawNY is specifically looking to develop a team of volunteer attorneys to help respond to community questions about the CARES Act and other legal issues directly related to COVID-19. To find out more information about LawNY volunteer opportunities, please visit www.nyprobono.org or send an email to doprobono@lawny.org. LawNY provides support and handles volunteer placement in the following counties: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, Livingston, Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Wayne and Yates. Attorneys practicing in Monroe County should contact VLSP.


Attorney Emeritus Program

Attorneys who are at least 55 years of age, whether retired or active, may join the New York State Unified Court System’s Attorney Emeritus Program if they have practiced law for a minimum of 10 years, and are willing to provide at least 30 hours annually of unpaid legal assistance under the auspices of qualified legal services providers, bar associations and court-sponsored volunteer lawyer programs. You may earn up to a total of 15 CLE credit hours through an Attorney Emeritus Program host organization. Please contact the Upstate Attorney Emeritus Coordinator, Asia Haywood, at aepcoordinator@lawny.org if you are interested.

Attorney Emeritus Program - Click Here 

Attorney Emeritus Brochure -  Click Here 

 

TRAINING 

Just getting started? Build your knowledge on areas of the law impacting low-income individuals in our community.

 

Upcoming CLE

VLSP/ MCBA Family Law Pro Bono Training - April 6th Time: TBA

VLSP Pro Bono CLE and Training for Migrant Family Preparedness Clinic - April 22 from 1 to 3 p.m.
MCLE: 2.0 Professional Practice
 
CLE Ethical Considerations for Law Practice in the Time of COVID-19: Staying Afloat in Unchartered Waters
April 9 from 9 to 10 a.m.

 

Online CLE

Family Law

Family Court Proceedings Series: Introduction to Family Court
This program will provide 1.5 CLE credits in the area of Professional Practice. Seminar date: February 1, 2013
 
Family Court Proceedings Series: Child Support
Topics for this seminar include Family Court Act, Sections 413.1, 416, and 429, initial case preparation, filing the petition, fact finding, and deadlines. This program will provide 2 CLE credits in the area of Professional Practice. Seminar date: June 7, 2013
 
Family Court Proceedings Series: Article 8 - Family Offenses Proceedings
Topics include defining a family offense and orders of protection. This program will provide 2 CLE credits in the area of Professional Practice. Seminar date: February 28, 2014
A Case Law Update of the Child Support Standards Act: Including Fundamentals of the Process
This case law review will focus on crafting a child support consent agreement with income (gross, adjusted, imputed, self-employed, assets), factors for deviation, private insurance availability and uninsured pro rata contributions for medical, dental, optical, and childcare. It will also focus on current case law, specifically deviations from the presumptive calculation modifications of child support. This program will provide 2 CLE credits in the area of Professional Practice. Seminar date: June 15, 2018
 
Divorce Agreements & "Uncontested" Judgment Rolls - Attorneys, Mediators, Pro Se Parties and the Court
This is a discussion of the path and various roles involved in getting parties from "I need a divorce," to a signed Judgment of Divorce when they don't want to use, or don't have the funds to retain attorneys. What is the divorce mediator's role, how are "uncontested" judgment rolls handled, and what is the impact of the Tuzzolino case on the durability of Agreements? This program will provide 2 CLE credits in the area of Professional Practice. Seminar date: September 27, 2018
 
Matrimonial Practice: New Rules, New Procedures and New Forms
This is a chance to learn about the newest developments in matrimonial law specifically, the new rules, new forms and new procedures. This program is developed for practitioners who have some experience in matrimonial law. The presenter will also provide tips for preparing better submissions and judgment rolls. If your practice includes matrimonial work, you will want to attend this program. This program is also appropriate for paralegals who handle matrimonial work. This program will provide 2 CLE credits in the area of Professional Practice. Seminar date: October 24, 2018

 

Employment
 
Unraveling the Unemployment Insurance Benefits Hearing Process: 
This program will provide an in-depth presentation on how to navigate the administrative hearing process and secure vital unemployment insurance benefits for your client. This program will provide 1.5 CLE credit in the area of Professional Practice and .5 CLE credit in the area of Skills. This program is appropriate for new attorneys, as well as experienced attorneys. This CLE is free of charge. Partial credit for the program is not permitted. This program was recorded on November 20, 2019.
 
Coronavirus: What You Need to Know in the Employment and School Contexts
Is your client a public (especially school) or private employer unsure whether to ask employees where they will travel within the next few weeks? Are you an employee-side attorney in need of guidance of whether your client breaking a COVID-19 quarantine is a punishable offense? Come to this panel discussion addressing these issues and others. Featured Speaker: Dr. Michael D. Mendoza Includes attorney panelists from the Labor & Employment Committee and Education Law Committee. This program will provide 2 CLE credits in the area of Professional Practice. Seminar date: March 16, 2020
 
Defending an Employment Discrimination Complaint before an Administrative Agency
This program is perfect for attorneys who are new to employment law and want to learn the ins and outs of employer defense. The program will cover all phases of an employment discrimination claim before an administrative agency, from first receipt of the complaint to conducting a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. Experienced practitioners will guide you through applicable procedural rules and will offer advice on strategy development. Through MCBA's partnership with GVC SHRM, the program includes a HR professional who will advise how to improve counsel - HR collaboration throughout the process. This program will provide 2 CLE credits in the area of New York (Skills). Seminar date: March 22, 2020
 
New York State's New Workplace Harassment Laws: What You Need to Know
In 2018, New York adopted anti-sexual harassment legislation that Gov. Andrew Cuomo described as the "strongest and most comprehensive" in the country. In 2019, another package of anti-discrimination and anti-harassment measures were signed into law, expanding the sexual harassment reforms from the prior year. The laws impose new requirements on employers and will significantly change the course of litigation of sexual harassment claims. There have also been other changes in the Human Rights Law, affecting all employment claims, such as attorney fees, coverage of contractors, and size of employers. In this program, panelists who represent employees and employers - along with Julia Day, the regional director of the Rochester office of the New York State Division of Human Rights that will investigate and adjudicate these claims - will provide insight from their respective areas on the new laws and anticipated changes. This program provides 1.5 CLE credits in the area of Professional Practice. Seminar date: January 22, 2020
 
 
Housing
 
Landlord Tenant Matters
This program will focus on evictions and the process. This program provides 1.5 CLE credits in Professional Practice and .5 CLE credit in New York (Skills). Seminar date: January 23, 2013
 
Hot Topic: Landlord-Tenant Statutory Changes
A review of Part G, Part M and Part O of the statute. Learn about the recently passed tenant protection laws and how they impact applications, tenant selection criteria forms, leases, notices to quit, notices to terminate, eviction forms and time frames. A must for attorneys in the landlord-tenant arena, including the changes to manufactured home park laws. This program provides 2 CLE credits in Professional Practice. Seminar date: August 29, 2019
 
Foreclosures
Updates to the foreclosures laws, and Handling a closing on a foreclosed property. This program provides 2 CLE credits in Professional Practice. Seminar date: January 13, 2016k
 
 
Wills and Estates
 
2019 Medicaid and Elder Law Update
This is a Medicaid and Elder Law update that includes a review of recent case law, updates regarding spousal support cases, recent county challenges to eligibility and planning, and nursing home admissions. Also covered is crisis planning techniques for asset protection planning and the new issues arising in executing and justifying these techniques to the Medicaid program. This program provides 1 CLE credit in Professional Practice and 1 CLE credit in New York (Skills). Seminar date: May 23, 2020
 
A Practical Guide to Settling Estates
Topics include: Must an estate representative "account"? Why?; Methods for settling an account and closing an estate; Legal fees; Dealing with special problems such as closing insolvent estates and discovering assets post-closing (unclaimed funds). This program will provide 2 CLE credits in the area of Professional Practice. Seminar date: April 22, 2016
 
Nuts & Bolts of Wills, Powers of Attorney and Health Care Proxies for Young Attorneys or Non-Trust & Estates Practitioners
Even if you don't practice in trusts & estates, it is inevitable that you will come across these documents in litigation, or in the context of real estate or commercial transactions where vesting or agency concerns may arise. This CLE will provide practitioners with an in-depth look at each of the components of a will, power of attorney and health care proxy. It will utilize form documents as the basis for a deep dive into their most important clauses and discourse into best practices. This program is suitable for attorneys beginning their careers in or looking to move to trusts and estates, or practitioners outside the field of trusts and estates who would like a primer on these important documents. This program provides 2 CLE credits in New York (Skills). Seminar date: April 29, 2019
 
How to Ensure a Power of Attorney Achieves Your Client's Goals
Major Topics: Drafting tips to minimize obstacles in the future; How the law applies to financial institutions; What clients and agents can expect when an agent is ready to use a POA; Practical considerations that will smooth the way for agents. This program will provide 2 CLE credits in the area of Professional Practice. Seminar date: April 22, 2015
 

Immigration

Collateral Consequences of Criminal Law Encounters on Immigration Status
This program explores the immigration consequences triggered by various New York and federal criminal pleas, dispositions and convictions, and offers guidance on strategies to minimize these consequences. This program will provide 1.5 CLE credits in the area of Professional Practice and .5 CLE credits in Ethics. Seminar date: March 18, 2015
 
 

COMMUNITY RESOURCES

 
Resource List (food, clothing, shelter, child care and more)
The Community Foundation has built a list of resources where people can find vital information about meeting immediate needs during the COVID-19 crisis. You can find these resources at www.racf.org/COVID.
 
Jobs
A new job portal has been created to connect essential businesses with job seekers through a partnership between Greater Rochester Enterprise, Monroe County Executive Adam Bello, RochesterWorks, and the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce. Call 585.258.3500 or learn more at www.monroecounty.gov/works
 
Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources
Compilation of resources from the U.S. Small Business Administration, including loan programs for small businesses. https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources 
Guidance on determining whether a business enterprise is subject to workforce reduction and essential vs. non-essential businesses https://esd.ny.gov/guidance-executive-order-2026 
Compilation of resources from the NYS Restaurant Association https://www.nysra.org/

 

About The President's Commission on Acess to Justice:

The President's Commission on Access to Justice considers and implements methods for enhancing access by low-income people to the legal system. Among other things, the Commission encourages lawyers to engage in more pro bono service to the poor, works to obtain adequate funding for programs designed to assure that the poor have access to the legal system and encourages improvements in the systems for delivering such services.

    
Chair
 
MCBA Team Liaison