A new partnership with the New York State Court System will create a pro bono network of volunteer lawyers to provide New Yorkers with free legal assistance.

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On Saturday, during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a new partnership with the New York State Court System to create a pro bono network of volunteer lawyers to provide New Yorkers with free legal assistance. Volunteers will begin to receive training and start offering assistance next week, officials say.

"In the meantime, here you're going to have many people who are struggling, businesses who are struggling," Cuomo said. "We have government programs, but trying to access a government program is like trying to break into a bank sometimes. It's not that easy. The New York State court system and our chief judge is going to organize some lawyers statewide to do pro bono legal assistance to help people with issues that they may have: housing issues, access to government program issues, et cetera. Many legal issues are going to stem from this in many places where people need help. Lawyers who have time on their hands who are not working, they're looking for a volunteer."

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Lawyers interested in volunteering can sign up by CLICKING HERE.

Cuomo also said he issued a letter calling on the U.S. Treasury to ensure New Yorkers do not have their stimulus payments frozen by banks or seized by creditors as soon as they arrive.

"I understand the need to bring back the economy as quickly as possible and that people need to work, but more importantly we need to save lives," Cuomo said. "I want to make sure any decision we make to open the economy is based on what we've learned from our own experience and from other places around the globe. In the meantime, we have to make sure we're helping the many people and businesses who are struggling and we're partnering with the New York State Court System to organize lawyers statewide to provide pro bono legal assistance to help people with issues that they may have."