The Community Legal Resource Network (CLRN), started in 1998, is a collaborative that supports CUNY Law School graduates as they work to set up and run solo or small-group practices devoted to serving pressing needs of the poor and disadvantaged in communities that are underserved by lawyers.

Learn more about CLRN membership

A compilation of CLRN related articles

A compilation of CLRN related articles.

Faces of CLRN Booklet

The personal and professional rewards of such practice can be great, and increasing access to justice in underserved communities is an enormously important sector of public interest law, the specialty of CUNY School of Law. Without mentoring support and additional training, it is easy for new attorneys to founder in isolated, economically precarious, situations. CLRN, based at the Law School, also helps new attorneys "find" one another for networking opportunities through virtual connections such as e-mail and other modern technologies. Individual members thus retain autonomy and the ability to locate in a community of their choice while, at the same time, tapping into the virtual community of some 300 lawyers.

The ultimate goal of CLRN: continuing legal education tailored to members' needs, and a sophisticated mentoring program to make its members financially, professionally, and personally successful, and help them achieve their individual justice missions.

If you are in solo or small firm practice, or are thinking of this type of practice as a career option, contact Interim Director and CUNY Law Alum Lisa Reiner (’90) at about the Community Legal Resource Network (CLRN).

CLRN at CUNY Law and the Health Care Rights Initiative

CUNY TV produced this story about the Community Legal Resource Network (CLRN) and the work of the Health Care Rights Initiative, an education and advocacy organization that assists patients and health care providers to navigate private health insurance issues. HCRI was founded by Alum Juliette Fostenzer Espinosa ('08), and alum Joanna Donbeck ('08) serves as staff attorney and director of advocacy programs for the organization. Both are members of CLRN. 

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Launchpad to Justice

The CUNY School of Law Launchpad to Justice Program is part of our commitment to educating and supporting our Public Lawyers beyond the three years of law school.  The Launchpad to Justice program offers recent CUNY Law graduates continued professional development in the area of Landlord and Tenant Law, and an opportunity use the law in service of low income tenants in the most critical need for habitable housing.

In 2009, in collaboration with the Honorable Fern Fisher, New York Deputy Chief Administrative Judge and Director of NYS Courts Access to Justice Program, the CUNY School of Law created the Launchpad program.  With the permission of the Court, the Launchpad for Justice program operates under a special practice order for the Court’s Volunteer Lawyer for a Day program to allow recent CUNY law graduates to provide legal advice and support to unrepresented tenants in Housing Court. The Court provides the Fellows with intensive substantive training, and CUNY Law provides additional training, as well as experienced Housing Court attorneys to supervise and mentor the graduates to ensure high quality legal services are delivered.  The training qualifies for free CLE credits through the Court’s Volunteer Lawyer for the Day Housing Program as well as the Volunteer Lawyers Program.  Fellows gain unparalleled experience in the practical implementation of Landlord Tenant Law and transition from law graduate to lawyer in an exceptional structured and supportive setting.  And unrepresented tenants receive legal support and representation

General FY-15 Launchpad Eligibility Criteria:

  • May 2014 CUNY School of Law graduate
  • Must have taken the July 2014 New York State Bar Examination
  • Commitment to serving as a Public Lawyer and Gaining In-Court Experience
  • Positive references

The application for Fall 2014 will be available on Simplicity beginning August 15, 2014 and will be due by August 30, 2014. Please contact Community Legal Resource Network Interim Director Lisa Reiner with any questions.


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