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Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida, Onondaga & Oswego Counties

CLE Credit for Pro Bono


Approved Pro Bono activities | How much CLE can you earn? | How do you get CLE credit?

The Fifth Judicial District Pro Bono Action Now Program (The Program) is authorized by the New York State Continuing Legal Education Board as a Pro Bono CLE Provider. CLE credit can be provided for approved Pro Bono activities performed after April 5, 2006.

Approved Pro Bono Activities for The Program in Herkimer, Lewis, Jefferson, Onieda, Onondaga, and Oswego Counties are:

  • advice, brief service, and/or representation of clients who are referred from The Program
  • mentoring provided to Pro Bono Coordinator and to Pro Bono attorneys serving The Programs’ clients
  • service to clients through the Consumer Law Clinic
  • service to clients through the Pro Se Divorce Clinic
  • service to clients through any other program in which clients are screened for income eligibility


How much CLE credit can you earn?

You will earn 1 CLE credit hour for every six 50 - minute hours of Pro Bono legal service (so 300 minutes or 5 full hours equal 1 CLE credit). You can report up to 6 Pro Bono CLE credits during any 2 year reporting cycle. The credit will be given in the area of “skills” as defined by 22 NYCRR 1500.2.

Attorneys can also use up to 6 credits as carry over credits into the next biennial reporting cycle (the maximum number of carry over regardless of the source of credits is 6), but you can only report up to 6 Pro Bono CLE credits in one cycle whether earned in the current cycle or as carry over credits. Newly admitted attorneys can earn CLE from Pro Bono work also, but they can not use it except as carry over credits to the following biennial reporting cycle.


How do you get credit for Pro Bono work through The Program?

The New York State CLE Board Regulations and Guidelines require:

  • that attorneys keep Pro Bono time records
  • that attorneys who perform Pro Bono for CLE activities sponsored by an Approved Pro Bono CLE provider (such as The Program) must complete an Affirmation describing the services provided, and stating the number of hours of Pro Bono legal service that the attorney performed, and;
  • the attorney must submit the Affirmation to the sponsoring Pro Bono CLE provider.

Once The Program receives an attorney’s affirmation, the Pro Bono Coordinator will provide the attorney with a Letter of Participation which the attorney should retain for 4 years along with the attorney’s own Pro Bono time records and Affirmations. The Letter of Participation is your “proof” that you have earned CLE credit for Pro Bono time.

Attorneys can submit Affirmation of service to the Pro Bono Coordinator at any time, and include hours for cases that are not yet closed. The best way to maximize the CLE credit you receive is to contact the Pro Bono Coordinator every 2 years at the time you receive your notice of Biennial Registration from the Office of Court Administration.