The Brooklyn Bar Association’s Continuing Legal Education Program

July 20, 2023 Rob Abruzzese
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Over the past year, the Brooklyn Bar Association (BBA) has been active in providing its members with a rich array of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) opportunities. Ranging from cybersecurity to ethics, the BBA has made considerable efforts to ensure that its members are equipped with knowledge and skills that extend beyond the basics of practicing law.

In February, the BBA demonstrated its commitment to embracing the future of law practice by offering a CLE seminar on cybersecurity. Cybersecurity expert David Bensinger led this seminar, teaching lawyers the basics of cybersecurity, including how to protect their own and their client’s information.

The BBA also showed its dedication to ethical practice. They invited Kaylin Whittingham, a legal ethics expert, to provide updates on case law changes, offering CLE credits for attendees.

Further addressing the nuanced aspects of legal practice, the BBA hosted a virtual workshop on active listening and conflict resolution. Attorney mediators Michelle Exline Minovi and Antoinette Delruelle facilitated this interactive seminar, providing essential communication skills to litigators.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

Recognizing the complexities of the city’s legal landscape, the BBA offered guidance on navigating the City’s Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings. This seminar, in partnership with The Administrative Judicial Institute, featured presentations by high-ranking officials of OATH and provided insights into the intricacies of adjudicating cases at this administrative law court.

The Association also acknowledged the multiculturalism of Brooklyn by offering a CLE on language access and working with court interpreters. A panel of highly esteemed speakers educated judges and lawyers on promoting cultural fluency and effectively communicating with limited English proficient (LEP) litigants.

In response to the rising threats of cyberattacks, BBA brought in cybersecurity expert Tom Kirkham to deliver a seminar on defending against cyber threats. This session aimed to equip attendees with strategies to prevent cyberattacks and promote digital security.

The diverse array of topics covered in the BBA’s CLE offerings reflects the organization’s dedication to equipping its members with the comprehensive skill set needed in today’s evolving legal landscape. The BBA’s offerings in the CLE program provide a benchmark for continuing legal education and set the standard for the holistic development of legal practitioners.

Continuing Legal Education (CLE) is a professional development program required of attorneys to maintain their license to practice law. These educational activities aim to keep legal professionals updated on new developments and to enhance their skills, knowledge, and professional growth throughout their careers.

CLE is essential for lawyers for several reasons. The legal field is dynamic and constantly changing due to new legislation, court decisions, and technological advancements. Therefore, it’s critical for lawyers to stay current on these changes to effectively serve their clients and maintain their professional competence. Additionally, CLE provides an opportunity for legal professionals to network, share knowledge, and discuss relevant issues with their peers.

In New York State, attorneys admitted to practice law must complete 24 credit hours of CLE every two years. These credits come from various fields including Ethics and Professionalism, Skills, Law Practice Management, Areas of Professional Practice, and Diversity, Inclusion and Elimination of Bias.


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