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Gov. Cuomo calls on lawyers to volunteer to help unemployed New Yorkers

April 16, 2020 Rob Abruzzese
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Gov. Andrew Cuomo has issued a call for lawyers to volunteer to help out unemployed New Yorkers who need legal assistance during the coronavirus pandemic.

The New York State Court System and the NYS Bar Association helped to create a pro bono network of lawyers due to the pandemic. Cuomo called upon that group to take part in a training program on Tuesday entitled, “Applying for Unemployment: Client Counseling Under the CARES Act.”

“At this unprecedented moment in the life of our state and nation, I know that New York’s generous legal community will do everything it can to help suffering New Yorkers get back on their feet,” said Chief Judge Janet DiFiore. “At a time when lawyers’ lives, too, have been upended, I am sure I can count on New York lawyers to put the needs of society and their clients first.”

Hank Greenberg, president of the NYS Bar Association, has called upon lawyers from the state to help New Yorkers dealing with legal issues that have arisen from the coronavirus pandemic.
Photo courtesy of the NYSBA

“The governor rightly recognizes that people across the state are hurting as a result of the economic crisis caused by this unprecedented public health crisis, and we all need to pitch in to be part of the solution,” said Hank Greenberg, president of the New York State Bar Association. “Just as he has issued a call for health care professionals to volunteer on the front lines of the fight against this virus, we are calling on lawyers to do what they do best — help New Yorkers put their lives back together.

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“In times of crisis, lawyers and law firms have always met their professional obligation to protect the rights of those who cannot afford an attorney. We saw that during 9/11. We are seeing that again now,” Greenberg added.

Former Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman is the chair of the court system and NYSBA’s volunteer lawyers network.
Photo: Rob Abruzzese/Brooklyn Eagle

Former Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman is the coordinator of the pro bono network. He said that the program is off to a quick start thanks to enthusiastic attorneys willing to help out.

This is the first major program being run with the help of the pro bono network, which was created to ensure that New Yorkers’ struggles adapting to life during the pandemic are not exacerbated due to legal issues.

“With the backing of the New York State court system and the New York State Bar Association, our network is getting off to a strong start,” Lippman said. “I want to personally thank the governor for helping the state through this crisis and bringing attention to how our partnership can help those whose lives have been upended by the virus.”

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