Pro bono attorneys, community, and student volunteers have the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of clients who have nowhere else to turn for help. Pro bono service provides the personal satisfaction that comes from helping someone in need. Here at CELJ we have a wide range of volunteer and pro bono opportunities for attorneys, law grads, law students, undergraduates and others.

We currently need attorney volunteers for:

Estate Planning & Elder Law Clinics

Staffing our Senior Legal Advice Helpline (more information here)

Bankruptcy cases for seniors


In 2015, according to the New York State Court of Appeals, any applicant seeking to be admitted to practice in New York must satisfy the 50-hour volunteer requirement.

Law students can fulfill their 50-hour pro bono requirement through volunteering with our agency. Contact the Director of Pro Bono Programs, Amanda Warner at 716-835-3087 ext. 241, or via email at awarner@elderjusticeny.org for more information to cross another task off your law school graduation list!


Individuals interested in pro bono, internship, or volunteer opportunities should download and submit an application, cover letter, and resume. Some of the current opportunities for law students and non-lawyers are listed below.

Law firms, corporations, and in-house counsel interested in partnering with CELJ are encouraged to reach out to learn more. Contact the Director of Pro Bono Programs, Amanda Warner at 716-835-3087 ext. 241, or via email at awarner@elderjusticeny.org


Community Development Unit

Highly organized and motivated intern is needed to help our Community Development Unit. Interns will work on research projects, provide foreclosure numbers and data, and help develop and implement legal strategies to solve clients’ legal issues.

Consumer Debt Protection Unit

The Consumer Debt Protection Unit supports unrepresented litigants in consumer debt cases in New York City’s Civil Courts. Interns will work directly with an attorney on cases concerning debt matters, debt collectors, identify theft, scam prevention and recovery. Intern responsibilities include legal research, interviewing clients, and maintaining and updating client files.

Foreclosure Prevention Project

CELJ’s Foreclosure Prevention Project (FPP) helps homeowners who are in danger of losing their home due to mortgage foreclosure. The project also includes community education and financial counseling. Intern responsibilities will include client intakes and interviews, assisting with settlement conferences, legal research, and maintaining client files.

Guardianship Unit

CELJ’s Guardianship Unit serves as Court-Appointed guardian for persons who have been determined to be incapacitated by the court and require assistance to meet their needs.  Many of these people are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.   As guardian, CELJ attorneys, paralegals, accountants and social workers provide a wide range of services, depending on whether we are appointed as guardian of the person, property or both. Intern responsibilities include maintaining client files, preparing of documents, interviewing clients, legal research, drafting and filing documents.

Health Care Advocacy

CELJ’s Health Care Advocacy Unit offers help in a variety of issues concerning private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid and Managed Long Term Care. Matters include improving quality of care in skilled nursing facilities or homes, transitioning from a nursing or rehab facility back home, increasing a client’s amount or type of health care, and appealing denials or decreases in coverage. Intern responsibilities include legal research, policy work, data entry, drafting and filing client documents, and maintaining client files.

Kinship Unit

The Kinship Unit provides direct representation to relatives and other caregivers in non-parental custody cases (also known as third party custody).  Clients are often seeking temporary or permanent custody of relative children (nieces, nephews, siblings, grandchildren) because the parents are unable to continue parenting. Intern responsibilities include conducting intakes, interviewing clients, legal research, court observation, and assisting with the preparation and processing of client documents.


You do not need a law license to help make a difference in your community. If you have a skill set you want to contribute to the CELJ’s fight for justice, we are currently looking for volunteers with one or more of the following skill sets:

  • Translation
  • Graphic Design
  • Photographer and/or Videography


The type of experience available for each volunteer depends on your skill level, and the unit that you are assigned to. Below are some examples of the type of work by skill level:

  • Assist with cases involving litigated matters
  • Provide pro bono assistance to patient-clients of MedLaw Cancer Partnership
  • Assist staff attorneys with legal research and drafting court documents
  • Accompany attorneys to court appearances and client visits
  • Client intake
  • Work as a general volunteer or through a law school externship
  • Work with staff social workers in our guardianship unit
  • Help locate necessary services for clients
  • Work as a general volunteer or through an externship program
  • Work on special projects and outreach events
  • Assist with helping clients find assistance programs
  • Help organize and staff fundraising events
  • Assist in planning and implementing outreach presentations
  • Specialized projects available for accounting and web-based experienced students
  • Help organize and staff fundraising events
  • Assist with filing, scanning and copying
  • Sit in on client interviews and court appearances
  • Receive volunteer credits for school
  • Work with staff paralegals on existing cases
  • Draft letters to clients and make client calls
  • Provide assisted referrals to clients