New York Institutes a Diversity, Inclusion and Elimination of Bias CLE Requirement for Experienced Attorneys

The City Bar is pleased to learn that the New York State CLE Board has created a new category of CLE credit effective January 1, 2018:  Diversity, Inclusion and Elimination of Bias (“D&I”). This welcome development follows a February 2016 ABA Resolution recommending that states implement a D&I CLE requirement; significant advocacy on the part of the City Bar’s President, John S. Kiernan, its Diversity & Inclusion Office (Gabrielle Lyse Brown, Director) and its Committee to Enhance Diversity in the Profession (Hon. Rosalyn Richter and Nate Saint-Victor, Co-Chairs); and an overwhelming vote of approval by the State Bar’s House of Delegates. D&I programs must relate to the practice of law and may include, among other things, implicit and explicit bias, equal access to justice, serving a diverse population, diversity and inclusion initiatives in the legal profession, and sensitivity to cultural and other differences when interacting with members of the public, judges, jurors, litigants, attorneys and court personnel. The CLE Board further notes that these programs may include, among other things, diversity, inclusion and elimination of bias based on, for example, race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, age or disability.    

Experienced attorneys who are due to re-register on or after July 1, 2018 must complete at least one (1) credit hour in D&I.  This change does not add to the current experienced attorney biennial CLE requirement of twenty-four (24) credit hours, nor does it change the requirement that experienced attorneys earn at least four (4) credit hours in Ethics and Professionalism. There is no change to the newly admitted attorney biennial CLE requirement.

For more information on the new requirement, visit

For further resource and background information and to see the many organizations that voiced support for this initiative, visit