In 2015, the Institute launched a continuing legal education (CLE) initiative. Over the years, the Institute has convened focus groups around the State to identify speakers and themes for its Convocations. Building on the success and enthusiasm for the focus groups, the Institute piloted small group CLE programs with lawyers in law firms and court-based law departments to discuss issues of professionalism raised in scholarly articles in legal journals.
The Institute has hand-picked a selection of articles focused on professionalism for 90-minute CLE ethics discussions. For the sessions conducted so far, an announcement seeking a group of 12-15 participants at Institute members’ law firms and the law departments at New York County Supreme Court and the Appellate Division, Second Department, was circulated with the article and discussion prompts, indicating that participants would earn 1.5 CLE ethics credits, provided they come prepared to discuss the assigned article at the session, in the context of professionalism and the relevant rules from the NYCRR. The articles, including moderator biographies, are provided to the host CLE provider by the Institute. The Institute envisions that this CLE model will perpetuate itself to the extent that attendees would replicate sessions for their colleagues, following consultation with the moderator(s). Presently the articles are referenced on the Institute’s CLE Initiative Resources along with copies of the discussion prompts.