Besides having one of the most difficult Bar Exams in the country, all applicants to the New York State Bar Exam must now first complete 50 hours of pro bono work.
As reported in the Wall Street Journal Law Blog in an article written by Ashby Jones entitled: It’s Official: New York Imposes 50-Hour Pro-Bono Requirement on Lawyers-to-Be, beginning in 2012, all new aspiring lawyers will have to complete 50 hours of free legal service in order to qualify to practice law in the State of New York. This is the first rule of its kind in the country.
New York State estimates that currently only 20% of the need for legal services is being met in the State of New York. The new requirement will add as many as 500,000 hours of pro bono service each year.