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.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or write to:
John W. McConnell, Esq.
Office of Court Administration
25 Beaver Street, 11th Fl.
New York, New York 10004Comments 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.
Resources & News
- ABA Resolution 107
- City Bar Statement in Support of ABA Resolution on Diversity & Inclusion CLE
- Joint Letter from 13 Bar Associations Urging New York State to Create a Diversity and Inclusion CLE Requirement for Attorneys
July 21, 2016
- “CLE Should Include Diversity Training” – Raun J. Rasmussen, Executive Director, Legal Services NYC (NYLJ)
August 1, 2016
- Letter from the NYC Law Department in Support of a Diversity & Inclusion CLE Requirement
August 23, 2016
- City Bar Letter to NYS CLE Board Providing Further Details for Proposed Diversity & Inclusion CLE Requirement
August 25, 2016
- Letter from the Asian American Bar Association of New York (“AABANY”) urging New York State to include a separate diversity, inclusion and anti-bias continuing legal education credit requirement
September 14, 2016
- Letter from Wilson Elser in Support of Forming a CLE Requirement for Diversity and Inclusion Training
September 20, 2016
- City Bar Letter to NYS CLE Board Providing Details on Current CLE Courses Related to Proposed Diversity & Inclusion CLE Requirement
October 17, 2016
- Letter from the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York (“WBASNY”) in Support of a Diversity & Inclusion CLE Requirement
November 16, 2016
- The State Bar House of Delegates voted overwhelmingly to support New York’s adoption of a one-credit “floating” CLE requirement in diversity, inclusion and the elimination of bias for experienced attorneys
January 27, 2017
- Letter from the LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York (“LeGaL”) in Support of a Diversity & Inclusion CLE Requirement
January 30, 2017
- Letter from Practicing Attorneys for Law Students Program, Inc. (“PALS”) in Support of a Diversity & Inclusion CLE Requirement
January 31, 2017
- Letter from NYC Council Member Daniel Dromm in Support of a Diversity & Inclusion CLE Requirement
February 10, 2017
- Letter from Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission in Support of a Diversity & Inclusion CLE Requirement for NYS Attorneys
February 10, 2017
- Letter from the Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York (KALAGNY) in Support of a Diversity & Inclusion CLE Requirement
February 12, 2017
- Letter from Lambda Legal in Support of a Diversity & Inclusion CLE Requirement for New York State Attorneys
February 15, 2017
For more information, please contact:
Office for Diversity and Inclusion, email@example.com
Policy Department, firstname.lastname@example.org
Policy Department, email@example.com