The City Bar Justice Center has established an Estate Pro Bono Advisory Panel for low-income callers to its Legal Hotline, and will soon establish a regularly scheduled clinic to advise low-income people on personal planning, end of life, and estate matters.
The panel is the idea of Pamela Ehrenkranz, who heads the Trusts & Estates practice group at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, and who perceived a gap in the availability of services to low-income New Yorkers. “Everyone – regardless of economic resources –should have access to competent legal counsel with respect to these deeply personal issues affecting their legacies and personal affairs at death,” said Ms. Ehrenkranz. “We at the bar have an obligation to meet these needs.”
Joining Ms. Ehrenkranz on the panel are Mary Croly of McLaughlin & Stern, LLP; Chi-Yu Liang of Withers Bergman LLP; Jurij Mykolajtchuk (Law Offices of); and Glenn A. Opell of Cullen and Dykman LLP . The attorneys on the panel are all current or past members of the New York City Bar Association’s Trusts, Estates and Surrogate’s Courts Committee or Estate & Gift Taxation Committee.
“This is a new model for pro bono help from experts in trusts and estates law, and will make a difference for people at difficult times in their lives,” said Lynn M. Kelly, executive director of the City Bar Justice Center.
The Justice Center’s Legal Hotline is directed by Libby Vazquez. Since 1996, it has grown to provide legal advice, information and referrals to nearly 10,000 low-income New York City residents annually on civil matters, landlord/tenant issues, consumer law problems, family/matrimonial law, domestic violence, bankruptcy and more. The Legal Hotline can be reached Monday through Friday at (212) 626-7383.