An administrative panel of New York’s top judges on Thursday approved an amendment to state ethics rules allowing attorneys to provide financial aid to poor clients in need of assistance.

The Administrative Board of the Courts adopted a so-called humanitarian exception to Rule 1.8(e) of the New York Rules of Professional Conduct, which permits lawyers, firms and legal service organizations to create a fund to help cover the cost of such basic living expenses as groceries, clothes and medical supplies.

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