COMMUNITY LEGAL RESOURCE NETWORK
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.
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 email@example.com 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.
We're on Facebook!
Join the CLRN Facebook Group to discover and engage with fellow CLRN members.
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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. Check back for further details and registration information.
- March 6 - Women Confronting ISIS: Local Strategies and States' Responsibilities, facilitated by Clinical Law Professor, Lisa Davis, International Women's Human Rights Clinic (please note that CLE sessions will be offered during the symposium)
- March 17 - Emerging Legal Issues in Cybersecurity, Legal Ethics, and Technology, facilitated by Jonathan Stribling-Uss (’12) and co-sponsored by The Constitutional Communications Project and The Bertha Justice Institute at the Center for Constitutional Rights.
- March 31 - The Ethics of Work Life Balance for Social Justice Lawyers, facilitated by Alizabeth Newman, Director of Immigrant Initiatives and Clinical Law Professor, and Associate Professor Nina Chernoff
- Using Law in Service of Human Needs: Social Justice Career Options
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.