Pro Bono CLE
Providing pro bono legal services to New Yorkers struggling with poverty and systemic socioeconomic barriers through the City Bar Justice Center provides many benefits, from increasing access to justice to developing professional skills. Another benefit is the opportunity to receive CLE credit. As a New York State CLE Board-approved Pro Bono CLE Provider, CBJC is happy to issue such credit to volunteer attorneys providing qualifying pro bono legal services.
Instructions for Requesting CBJC Pro Bono CLE Credit
To request pro bono CLE credit, please complete an Affirmation of Services form (click for fillable PDF), and return it, preferably by email, to the City Bar Justice Center attorney or coordinator who coordinated your pro bono service with CBJC.
If you are unsure to whom you should direct your completed form, you may:
- Email your form to CBJC Director of Pro Bono Initiatives Cassandra Celestin: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mail your form to: City Bar Justice Center, 42 West 44th Street, New York NY 10036
- Fax your form to us at 212.221.5318
Additional Resources / FAQs
Click here for the regulations governing pro bono CLE credit in New York (New York State CLE Board, Regulations and Guidelines, Section 3(D)(11) (June 2018)). For additional information, see New York State Unified Court System, Continuing Legal Education, Pro Bono Information.
The following FAQs address issues governed by the CLE Board Regulations and Guidelines:
FAQ 1: What work with the City Bar Justice Center qualifies for pro bono CLE credit?
Providing uncompensated legal services to income-screened City Bar Justice Center clients unable to afford counsel qualifies for pro bono CLE credit. In most instances, legal services provided in connection with a CBJC clinic or through referral by one of our projects will qualify. In all cases, CBJC personnel can confirm whether legal services you provide qualify for pro bono CLE credit.
FAQ 2: How are pro bono CLE credits calculated, and how many can I earn?
Qualifying attorneys may earn one (1) CLE credit for every 120 minutes of eligible pro bono legal services, up to a maximum of 10 pro bono CLE credits during any given biennial reporting cycle. Pro bono CLE credits are calculated in half-credit increments. Thus, for example, two hours of eligible service (120 minutes) qualify for 1 credit, three hours of eligible service (180 minutes) qualify for 1.5 credits, and so forth.
FAQ 3: Under what CLE category are City Bar Justice Center pro bono CLE credits classified?
Pro bono CLE credit issued by the City Bar Justice Center qualifies for the “skills” category of CLE credit, as defined by 22 NYCRR § 1500.2(d). Note that under New York CLE regulations, credit for the ethics and professionalism category is unavailable for participation in pro bono CLE activities.
FAQ 4: Other than completing qualifying pro bono legal services, what am I responsible for doing to earn pro bono CLE credit from the City Bar Justice Center?
Your first step after you complete your service is to complete and submit the Affirmation of Pro Bono Services form (fillable PDF) and return it to CBJC. Usually within two weeks of submitting your Affirmation, you will receive a Letter of Participation from CBJC confirming the issuance of your qualifying pro bono CLE credits. You should retain that letter, your Affirmation, and time records detailing your pro bono program participation for a period of four years – or, six years if you are a newly admitted attorney (i.e., admitted two years or less).
FAQ 5: When will I receive confirmation of my credits from the CLE Board?
You won’t! As with all CLE credits, attorneys are responsible for self-reporting earned pro bono CLE credit during each biennial registration cycle. Accordingly, the Letter of Participation you receive from CBJC, together with your supporting Affirmation and time records detailing your pro bono program participation, constitute your “proof” that you have earned pro bono CLE credits issued by CBJC. You should retain all of these materials for a period of four years – or, six years if you are a newly admitted attorney (i.e., admitted two years or less).
FAQ 6: I’m an in-house attorney, can I request pro bono CLE credit?
Per order of the New York Court of Appeals, an attorney registered as in-house counsel in New York but admitted in another state may provide pro bono legal services in New York. However, you should consult your own state’s rules to determine whether pro bono service performed in New York qualifies for CLE credit in your state of admission.
FAQ 7: I’m a newly admitted attorney, can I request pro bono CLE credit?
Newly admitted attorneys – i.e., those admitted two years or less – may earn pro bono CLE credit, but only for the purpose of carrying credit over (up to a maximum of 6 credits, including pro bono CLE credit) towards fulfillment of CLE requirements for experienced attorneys in their next biennial reporting cycle. Newly admitted attorneys may not apply pro bono CLE credit to minimum requirements set forth in 22 NYCRR § 1500.12(a) and section 2(A) of the New York State CLE Board Regulations and Guidelines. Additionally, note that newly admitted attorneys must maintain all records pertaining to their participation in pro bono CLE activities for a period of six years.
If you have additional questions, please email City Bar Justice Center Director of Pro Bono Initiatives Cassandra Celestin (email@example.com).