Admission to the Bar in every state is a complicated series of steps and requirements. Effective January 1, 2013 every applicant applying to the New York State Bar will be required to complete 50 hours of pro bono service PRIOR to filing an application for admission. The definition of pro bono by the NY Court system is not the traditional one but much broader. Students may perform this service anytime after they start law school and prior to filing for admission to the New York Bar. There are many rules about supervision and the type of service that qualifies for the required affidavit. Any student who thinks that at some point in their career they may want to take the New York Bar examination should read the rules carefully and check on the site often. This is a new program and is just now being implemented and as such many changes are expected over the next few years.
New Jersey is considering a similar proposal.
The most comprehensive and official site is located at: http://www.nycourts.gov/attorneys/probono/baradmissionreqs.shtml
Note: M.Y. Pro Bono is an excellent method for you to keep track of your pro bono hours and to maintain a record of that service in anticipation that you might need to provide proof at some point in the future.