Lisa Reiner, John-Paul Kocot, and Alizabeth Newman


The Community Legal Resource Network

The Community Legal Resource Network, (CLRN) provides innovative support for CUNY Law graduates in having fulfilling, social justice careers from law school through retirement.

Ongoing training and development

At CUNY Law, we believe that your legal education goes far beyond your years in law school. Rather, it is an ongoing process of professional and individual growth for your entire career. We support that professional development by providing continuing legal education courses, mentoring and opportunities to connect with peers.


Our Continuing Legal Education courses, or CLEs, provide quality current information and are geared toward issues and themes faced when practicing law in the service of human needs. Please click on the title for more information about the program and to register.

2016-2017 CLE and Practice Group Networking Event Line-Up

5:30PM - 6:30Pm -- Networking Session
6:30PM - 8:30PM -- CLE Program

8/23/16 -- The Labor/Employment Law Practice Group presents: "Spotlight on Employment Law: A Challenge to Pervasive Confidentiality Provisions"

9/27/16 -- The Family Law Practice Group presents: "To Move or Not To Move...That Is the Question - Is Tropea Still the Answer for Parents in 2016?"

10/20/16 -- The Immigration Law Practice Group presents: "Avoiding Denials in Extreme Hardship Immigration Petitions: Obstacles and Strategies"

11/14/16 -- The Elder Law/Special Needs Law Practice Group presents: "Basic Topics of Elder Law"

12/12/16 -- The Real Estate Law Practice Group presents: "Spotlight on Real Estate Law: Foreclosure Defense"

1/19/17 -- The Community Lawyering Practice Group presents: "Community Lawyering Strategies: Preparing for Social Justice Work Under a Trump Administration"

2/16/17 -- The Mindful Lawyering Practice Group presents: "Deep Listening as a Necessary Skill & Other Explorations into Mindful Lawyering"

3/13/17 -- The Landlord/Tenant Law Practice Group presents: "Animals in Housing: An Introduction to Laws that Protect Tenants' Rights to Keep Pets, Service Animals, and Emotional Support Animals"

POSTPONED -- The Mediation/Collaborative Law Practice Group presents: "Understanding Collaborative Divorce: Turning an Oxymoron into Reality"


CLRN connects newer and older alumni to share their experiences and resources, and to discuss the legal issues that arise from practice. Practice groups are based on areas of legal experience, or shared interests, such as CUNY judiciary, motherhood and law, LGBT law, or law and organizing.

Community Lawyering Practice Group
The Community Lawyering Practice Group will explore what it means to be a “community lawyer,” whether in a non-profit organization or from within a private community practice.  It will address the following questions: How does one define a community? How do we assess the needs of a community? Who are the stakeholders in that community and how do we reach them? How does one balance community vs. individual needs? For more information about the Community Lawyering Practice Group, please contact the group's facilitator, Mercedes Cano ('99), at

Elder Law/Special Needs Law Practice Group
The purpose of the Elder Law/Special Needs Law Practice Group is to foster community among elder law practitioners in which they can discuss elder law and special needs topics; as well as review cases of interest and discussion on the special client base which an elder law practitioner deals with including the needs of the clientele and identifying the client. Anticipated topics include: asset preservation; estate planning including Medicaid; Supplemental Needs Trusts; Basic Elder Law Instruments including Wills, Trusts, POA, HCP, Living Will; Article 81 Guardianship. For more information about the Elder Law/Special Needs Law Practice Group, please contact the group's facilitators, Kenneth Barocas ('90) and Patricia Powis ('08), at

Family Law Practice Group
The Family Law Practice Group is a supportive place where you can exchange ideas and practice tips with other participants, and where you can expand your knowledge and skills. The focus will be on the practice of law in the Family and Supreme Courts, current issues in practice, changes in the law, recent decisions, and litigation in this very diverse area which encompasses such topics as Custody and Parenting time, Relocation, Domestic Violence issues, Child and Spousal Support, Paternity, Uncontested and Contested Divorce, and other Matrimonial actions, such as pendente lite and post-judgment matters. As many of you are aware, domestic relations issues often impact other legal matters, such as immigration, criminal, wills, housing, etc., and we would like to discuss topics that others may find the most useful. For more information about the Family Law Practice Group, please contact the group's facilitators, Anne Crawley ('97) and Pamela Marsh ('02), at

Immigration Law Practice Group
The Immigration Law Practice Group will be a resource for CUNY Law graduates who practice in all areas of immigration law. This practice group will consist of practitioners in both the private and public interest sectors who are working to support immigrants and their families. The goal of the Immigration Law practice group is to build a trusting and supportive community of immigration practitioners, which will act as a source of support and referrals within our practice area. The group will have an active listserv where people can post questions, answers, and updates in the immigration field and it will serve as an ad hoc clearing house of practice related immigration news and information. For more information about the Immigration Law Practice Group, please contact the group's facilitators, Celiann Barksdale ('93) and Amanda Doroshow ('12) at

Labor/Employment Law Practice Group
The purpose of the Labor/Employment Practice Group is to create a group of lawyers who want to see law practiced in a client-centered way that also upholds the principles of social justice, as learned at CUNY School of Law. The group will provide the bridge for new CUNY Law graduates who want to put their training into practice and also learn how to navigate the litigation world as it is. The practice group will be dedicated to ensuring compliance with labor and employment law and finding creative, effective ways to resolve conflicts between employers and employees. We will work together to break down the polarization that exists in the field, which is counter-productive in so many ways. At the same time, we will be focused on helping each other make a living doing this kind of work, so it will be sustainable. For more information about the Labor/Employment Law Practice Group, please contact the group's facilitator, Margaret McIntyre ('95), at

Landlord/Tenant Law Practice Group
Housing is one of the hottest topics in NY City at this time. Many resources are being directed to this area and several graduates are securing employment as housing attorneys. The Landlord/Tenant Practice Group will support them. The practice group will be a space where attorneys can feel comfortable asking questions about court procedures, statutes, judges, case law, or any “help!” question. The Landlord/Tenant Practice Group will also be a resource center, which will provide access to statutes and where attorneys would be able to post interesting decisions to the platform. For more information about the Landlord/Tenant Law Practice Group, please contact the group's facilitator, Peggy Collen ('02), at

Mediation/Collaborative Law Practice Group
The Mediation/Collaborative Practice Group focuses on mediation, collaborative practice and other problem solving approaches to conflict resolution. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss practice tips, to share support around starting a practice, to develop skills, and earn continuing education credits. This group will also serve as a forum to discuss cases & practice-related situations. For more information about the Mediation/Collaborative Law Practice Group, please contact the group's facilitators, Teresa Calabrese ('87) and Joy Rosenthal ('96), at

Mindful Lawyering Practice Group
The goal of the Mindful Lawyering Practice Group is to share best practices and resources in mindfulness, meditation, self-care and sustainability for social justice lawyering among CUNY Law School alumni. The Mindful Lawyering practice group seeks to alleviate the stress and burnout inherit in social justice legal work. We do this through meditation, mindfulness, community-building, and resource sharing. Some tools we plan to prepare are: a 'mindfulness at work' resource guide, organized in-person and virtual meditation sits, establishment of a mindfulness mentor network, and the hosting of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) programs. For more information about the Mindful Lawyering Practice Group, please contact the group's facilitator, Erica Braudy ('13), at

Real Estate Law Practice Group
The Real Estate Law (Buy/Sell, Foreclosure) Practice Group will explore issues that come up when handling a real estate deal, such as contract interpretation, issues that come up during closings, and what to do when your client is sued for specific performance. The group will also have a foreclosure defense component where practitioners can share their knowledge and experience when defending homeowners in the ever-changing landscape of foreclosure defense. Topics ripe for discuss will be answering the complaint and filing a late answer, what to expect during the CPLR 3408 settlement conferencing, conducting discovery, and motion practice. There will be emphasis on sharing documents that practitioners can use as templates, rather than competing with one another for clients, as we carry on the CUNY Law tradition of "Law in the Service of Human Needs." The practice group will have as one of its goals to provide attorneys with the skills necessary to take on a residential house closing, which is one of the first cases that many practitioners will handle in a basic practice. For more information about the Real Estate Law Practice Group, please contact the group's facilitator, Susan Pepitone ('98), at


Experienced CUNY Law alumni generously volunteer to guide new graduates into the practice of law, based on their areas of interest.  We are always looking for interested alumni to pair with graduates. If you would like to be a legal mentor contact CLRN director Alizabeth Newman.

Forum/Web-Based Exchange/Listserv

CLRN continues to manage and enhance the web-based forum/listserv, which has been a gathering point and means through which attorneys exchange practice tips, best practices, referrals, office management questions and ideas.  If you’d like to join the web forum, please contact Lisa Reiner.


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