Law Firms and Legal Departments



VOLS was founded in 1984 by partners from leading law firms and corporate law departments, including Louis A. Craco, a partner at Willkie, Farr & Gallagher and President of the New York City Bar Association, former Secretary of State Cyrus R. Vance, a partner at Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett, and Richard S. Lombard, General Counsel for Exxon Mobile. During the course of our 30 years of enabling firms to provide pro bono legal services to low-income New Yorkers, our Board of Directors has been comprised primarily of partners from leading New York City firms.  Today, our Board includes partners from 22 major law firms, and 50 firms volunteer through our projects.

Unlike organizations in which volunteering and pro bono are in service to a particular policy agenda, at VOLS, our only purpose is to encourage, promote, and support pro bono efforts for low-income New Yorkers.  "Volunteers" is the first word in our name, and all of our projects are carefully designed to provide great experiences for our volunteer lawyers, as well as excellent legal assistance for our clients.

We pride ourselves on providing pro bono opportunities to firms and legal departments that will fit within each institution's culture and strengthen each institution's pro bono program.  In addition to offering firms opportunities through VOLS' own projects, we have over 30 years' experience in connecting firms and legal departments to pro bono opportunities at other organizations as well.

Law firms and corporate law departments interested in developing or expanding their pro bono programs should contact Sara Effron, VOLS' Director of Pro Bono and Strategic Initiatives, at or 347-521-5703.