Continuing Legal Education
We know that being a successful lawyer for the public good is a lifelong pursuit, and we know that throughout a career, public interest attorneys grow to serve their communities in many ways. We support you throughout that pursuit with professional development opportunities, CLE programming, networking and social interactions, and meaningful ways to engage with the law school and our students.
As any attorney knows, Continuing Legal Education (CLE) courses are required in many states, including New York, for an attorney to maintain the ability to practice law after passing a bar exam. New York's rules can be viewed at www.courts.state.ny.us/attorneys/cle. While there is no shortage of companies and organizations offering CLEs, it can be difficult to find low-cost or free classes, particularly those geared towards public interest, non-profit, or pro bono work.
One thing to keep in mind is that New York and several other states now accept pro-bono work for CLE credit. The New York State CLE Board rules require that providers offer financial assistance based on financial hardship. Look for the scholarship policy of providers whose courses you are considering. Under the CLE rules, the CLE Board defines pro bono as "uncompensated legal services within the State, for clients unable to afford counsel." The program must be accredited by the CLE Board or be done as a court assignment. Under this new rule, passed January 1, 2000, 6 hours of accredited pro bono work equals 1 CLE credit, not to exceed 6 credits every 2 years. More information and details of this ruling in New York can be found on Pro Bono New York State Bar Association Web site. This web site also hosts a newsletter and a guide that may be a helpful resource to attorneys.
The New York State Continuing Legal Education Board has a listing of Pro Bono CLE Providers as of Aug. 28, 2007 in PDF format available for download. The board also features a helpful list of pro bono CLE FAQs and a Regulations and Guidelines section.
Information for other states can be found at the Center for Pro Bono of the American Bar Association Web site.
The American Bar Association also offers some free online CLE courses of interest to public service and public interest practitioners, available in formats that include MP3 downloads. There is a range of course offerings for ABA members. Check your state requirements to be sure these courses will be accepted for credit.
The CUNY School of Law Community Legal Resource Network (CLRN) is proud to present a curated professional development and continuing legal education program featuring CUNY School of Law faculty and alumni presenters. The program will address emerging legal issues and strategic social justice responses featuring topics in the following areas of law and professional development. Click each title for further details and registration information. Please note registration is required for all CLE programs and financial aid is available.
- Current Issues in Digital Forensics: Social Media in the Courtroom: obtaining and introducing social media evidence at trial, facilitated by Sid Thaxter ('11), Staff Attorney, Digital Forensics Unit, The Bronx Defenders.
Description: This CLE will examine how to access preserve and authenticate social media evidence. It will also address common ethical questions faced by public interest attorneys in their use of social media.
- Reproductive Health and Rights in the State: Legislative and Litigation Trends, facilitated by Amanda Allen ('08), Senior State Legislative Counsel and Lauren Paulk, ('13), State Legislative Fellow, Center for Reproductive Rights.
Description: From all-out abortion bans in North Dakota to backhanded attempts to close the last remaining abortion clinic in Mississippi, reproductive rights have been under assault since the 2011 midterm elections. This CLE will discuss the recent legislative trends affecting reproductive health care in state legislatures across the country, as well as the litigation mounted in state and federal courts to block these attacks.
- Basics and Hot Topics in Article 81 Guardianships, facilitated by "Elizabeth Valentin ('01), Partner, Littman Krooks, LLP.
Description: This CLE will highlight the fundamentals of how an Article 81 guardianship works as well as the latest legal and regulatory developments in this area.
- Group Representation in Housing Court cases: Challenges and Benefits, facilitated by Nadya E. Rosen, ('04), Deputy Director of the Housing Unit, South Brooklyn Legal Services and Rebecca Greenberg, ('08) Staff Attorney, Housing Unit, Bedford Stuyvesant Community Legal Services.
Description: In this workshop we will be discussing the challenges created by representing a number of tenants who reside in the same building including developing a case strategy, working with community organizers, and the ethical concerns that can arise.
- Labor/Immigration: Immigration Relief for Labor Exploitation: Expanded Use of U visas, facilitated by Suzanne Tomatore, ('01) Director of the Immigrant Women & Children Project at the City Bar Justice Center, NYC Bar Association.
Description: This session will provide practical knowledge and ethical concerns about the widening application of labor exploitation as the basis for immigration relief for undocumented workers.
CUNY School of Law Students are invited and welcome to attend all professional development and continuing legal education programs.
Please check our events page for the most current information about CLE seminar dates, times, locations, and speakers. Please note that while CLE seminars will be posted on the events page, not all events listings are CLE courses. CLE details will be explicitly noted for those events offering CLE credit.
CLE Credit and Regulations
Please note our CLEs are appropriate for both newly admitted and experienced attorneys. Under Continuing Legal Education regulations, CLE credit will be offered only to those attorneys completing entire sessions; attorneys attending only part of a session are not eligible for partial credit for a session. Attorneys arriving late are welcome to attend the program but will not be eligible for CLE credit. Attorneys wishing to receive CLE credit must sign in the program’s attendance register prior to and following the CLE program; once a speaker begins the program, the sign-in sheets will be removed. Similarly, attorneys leaving the session early are also ineligible for CLE credit. While in NYS 50 minutes of CLE training provides 1 hour of credit, all CLEs sponsored by CUNY School of Law run a full 60 minutes, not including introductory remarks or breaks, but including questions and answer periods.