Fordham Law

Feerick Center Releases Results of Attorney Emeritus Program Survey

April 11, 2013

As part of its work with the New York State Unified Court System in developing and implementing the Attorney Emeritus Program (AEP), the Feerick Center for Social Justice has released data compiled from a survey of AEP volunteers. More than 600 attorneys are currently registered with the program, which aims to recruit New York State's senior or retired attorneys to assist the growing number of New Yorkers with civil legal services needs who cannot afford counsel.

Of all respondents:
  • 57.1% are retired and 42.9% are active.
  • The most common ways volunteers learned about the AEP were through the biennial bar registration (36.8%) and bar associations (29.8%).
  • As the alma mater of almost 25% of respondents, Fordham Law was the most represented law school.
  • Almost 50% of respondents were volunteering with an AEP-approved legal services provider or court program in 2012. 

Of respondents who volunteered with the AEP in 2012:

  • 87.5% would recommend the AEP to other attorneys, and 91.7% would recommend their host organization to other attorneys.
  • Almost 33% volunteered over 60 hours.
  • In equal proportions, volunteers came from the following sectors: private law firms, both litigation and transactional; government; and corporate in-house counsel. More than 60% volunteered in an area of the law that they had practiced in the past.
  • 86.4% thought the training program provided by the legal services provider or court program was good or excellent. 90.9% evaluated the adequacy/accessibility of supervision by the host organization as good or excellent.

The AEP is designed to enhance the capacity of New York State legal service providers—professionals with increased demands at a time of diminished resources—by engaging seasoned lawyers in pro bono efforts. The Feerick Center is engaged in work on all aspects of the AEP in collaboration with court personnel, legal service providers, and other stakeholders. In addition, John D. Feerick and Fern Schair serve as co-chairs of the AEP Advisory Council established by New York State Chief Judge Lippman to help guide the AEP. The program sprouted from a Feerick Center idea, which was recognized by the Kennedy School of Government as one of the "Bright Ideas of 2010".