Profession, Legal Education & Organization of the Bar

Addressing legal and policy issues attendant to professional and judicial ethics, responsibility and discipline.

The City Bar’s mission calls for elevating the profession by encouraging appropriate standards of professional and judicial ethics, competence, civility and integrity. We work to address all aspects of the legal profession to ensure the fair administration of justice. This is achieved through examination of ethical issues facing practitioners and recommendations as to potential changes in the standards that govern the conduct of lawyers; monitoring the role and function of the disciplinary and licensing processes; helping New York lawyers understand and comply with their ethical obligations; and promoting pro bono legal services.

To explore our work in connection with this issue – including related reports, committees, news and more – click on the links on the lower left of this page under “Overview.”

Related Resources


Policy Department Resources

Of Interest


The Office of Court Administration (OCA) has put out for public comment a proposal that would create a one-credit CLE requirement for experienced attorneys in the area of “diversity, inclusion and the elimination of bias.” This proposal represents a significant step toward increasing the legal profession’s awareness of issues of bias and inclusion. Voice your support by responding to OCA’s request for comments. The deadline for comments is February 15.

Key aspects of this proposal:

  • In February 2016, the ABA unanimously passed a resolution urging states to require CLE credit(s) in diversity, inclusion and the elimination of bias and we are happy to follow the ABA’s lead. D&I CLE training is another tool that can advance diversity in the profession. Passage of this rule will also help lawyers to better understand and enhance their interactions with clients, court and other public officials, opposing counsel, jurors and colleagues, all of whom are becoming more diverse based on changing demographics in New York.
  • CLE is an appropriate way to do this – it is how lawyers train themselves to better represent their clients and it also sends an important message to all those we interact with as lawyers.
  • This will not increase the 24 CLE credit hours required every two years for experienced attorneys; it would require one D&I credit that “floats” and can count toward any of the other required credit hours.
  • It is expected that the definition of “diversity, inclusion and elimination of bias” will be sufficiently broad so as to qualify towards many different types of courses.

What You Can Do

Join us in supporting this important initiative. To lend your support to a diversity and inclusion CLE requirement in New York, contact OCA at the information provided below:

Proposed CLE Requirement on Diversity, Inclusion and the Elimination of Bias
Description of proposal


Email your submissions to or write to:

John W. McConnell, Esq.
Office of Court Administration
25 Beaver Street, 11th Fl.
New York, New York 10004

Comments must be received no later than February 15, 2017

Comments need not be extensive, they should:

  • identify the attorney and/or organization submitting comments;
  • include key reasons why you support OCA’s proposal for a CLE requirement on diversity, inclusion and the elimination of bias; and
  • if possible, include specific diversity and inclusion programs that you and/or your organization have hosted, supported, or attended.

We encourage you to share your support letter on social media platforms using the hashtag #NYdiversityCLE and feel free to email us a copy.

Resources & News


For more information, please contact:

Gabrielle Brown
Office for Diversity and Inclusion,

Maria Cilenti
Policy Department,

Elizabeth Kocienda
Policy Department,