Procedures for Obtaining CLE Credits for Chapter Programs
The WBASNY CLE Guidelines are used to certify programs for chapters and committees. This information is relevant to the chapter CLE liaisons and the program providers. WBASNY is an approved provider of MCLE, and we will all work together to ensure that those of our programs, which meet the requirements of the Rules and Guidelines, can be offered for CLE credit.
Chapter CLE Liaison & The Program Provider:
The program provider is the committee or chapter producing the program. The Chapter’s CLE liaison is the intermediary between the program provider and that chapter’s designated WBASNY CLE Co-Chair. Basically, the job of chapter CLE liaison, or her designee – which might be that particular program’s chairperson – is to interface with the program provider and to timely send the required materials to the chapter’s WBASNY CLE Co-Chair. The CLE liaison has jobs before and after the program as summarized below.
Before the program – At least six weeks prior to the program, the CLE liaison must collect from the program provider all necessary documentation and material (see CLE Checklist), review the materials to ensure that they meet the requirements of the Rules and Regulations, request additional information from the program provider (if necessary) and forward the checklist and copies of all materials as detailed on the checklist to the appropriate Co-Chair for review and approval. It is also the liaison’s job to review all requests for financial hardship scholarships for programs offered by her chapter. Upon final determination of the date, time and location of the CLE program, the chapter’s CLE liaison should e-mail or fax the program information to headquarters for posting on the WBASNY website.
After the program – The CLE liaison must personally send (or she must arrange for the program provider to send) a final copy of the: checklist, original materials, faculty list and bios, license agreements and copyright approvals, advertisement or publicity flyer, timed agenda, attendance sheet(s), program evaluation form(s), a typewritten list of all attendee and speaker names, and check payable to WBASNY in an amount equal to $10 multiplied by the number of people who are requesting CLE credit, including speakers if necessary, to WBASNY Headquarters. Headquarters will, in turn, only after receiving all the materials and the check, send the certificates of participation back to the liaison or the program provider who must then distribute the certificates of participation to the program participants.
WBASNY’s System for Accreditation:
At least six weeks prior to the date of the program, and preferably earlier than that, the chapter CLE liaison, or her designee, will collect copies of the following materials from the program provider and forward all of them in one package to the appropriate WBASNY CLE Co-Chair.
- CLE checklist (see below: Liaison Checklist)
- Written statement setting forth the title of the program, and the date, time and location of the program
- Timed course agenda or program outlines which must include identification of program, date, time, location, course content, breakout of time devoted to each topic (in 25 minute intervals or less). Separate out introductions, introductory remarks and breaks, none of which can be counted towards program time
- Identify speakers and their qualifications
- Copies of the program materials to be handed out. The final program materials must comply with MCLE regulations and cannot be merely a synopsis or outline or lists of citations
- Sample course brochure, or copy of flyer or other advertisement. Don’t forget to include hardship policy and whether credits are transitional (appropriate for the newly admitted attorney) or non-transitional. Identify the number of credit hours and a breakdown of categories of credit (e.g. ethics and professionalism, skills, practice management, and areas of professional practice). This may be subject to modification upon review of the WBASNY CLE Co-Chair
- A typewritten list of the faculty together with faculty biographies or C.V.’s of each speaker
- Permission from the speaker to use the materials (see License to Publish and Reprint). Remember that the person preparing the written materials must not violate copyright laws. In the event the writer needs copyright permission, we have prepared a letter requesting copyright permission (see Copyright Request Letter).
The CLE liaison should review all the documents to make certain that the materials are complete and that they meet the standards set forth in the Regulations and Guidelines and will send a complete copy of all of the documents to the designated WBASNY CLE Co-Chair.
The WBASNY CLE Co-Chair will then review the documents and fax back to the CLE liaison either (i) approving the package or (ii) requesting additional information or materials. If approved, a copy of the Accreditation Approval is emailed or faxed to WBASNY Headquarters.
After we approve the program, the CLE liaison will give the attendance sheets and evaluation forms (see Attendance Sheet, Evaluation Form) to the program provider. Either the liaison or the provider is responsible for (1) filling in the information pertaining to the program on these forms, (2) making certain that every participant (and only participants who stay for the entire program) sign the attendance sheet, and (3) collect completed evaluation forms for each attendee.
Within two weeks after the date of the program, the CLE liaison or the provider must send a final copy of the checklist, original materials, faculty bios, license agreements and copyright approvals, advertisement or publicity flyer, timed agenda, completed attendance sheets, program evaluation forms, information as to how many people requested financial hardship (including the requests and how many requests were granted), a type written list of all attendee and speaker names and a check payable to WBASNY equal to $10 multiplied by the number of people requesting CLE credit, to WBASNY, Post Office Box 936, New York, NY 10024-0546 or email@example.com. The chapter CLE liaison should keep a copy of the attendance sheet. Upon receipt of all required documents, certificates will be issued within a two month timeframe.
All materials for CLE programs must be received by WBASNY Headquarters sixty days post program. For any program held in November or December, all materials must be received by January 5th.
Accredited continuing legal education courses or programs shall comply with the following guidelines:
- One (1) hour of continuing legal education credit shall consist of at least 50 minutes of instruction, exclusive of introductory remarks, meals, breaks or other non-educational activities.
- The program shall have significant intellectual or practical content and its primary objective shall be to increase the professional competency of the attorney in ethics and professionalism, skills, practice management and/or areas of professional practice.
- Thorough, high quality, readable and carefully prewritten materials shall be made available to all participants at or before the time the course or program is presented, unless the absence of materials, or the provision of such materials shortly after the course or program, is pre-approved by the CLE Board.
- Written materials for approved courses and programs shall be prepared or compiled specifically for the accredited course or program, and shall specifically address each topic presented in the course or program; shall be prepared or adopted and approved by the speaker and shall be distributed to the attendees at or before the time the course or program is to be held; shall reflect that they are timely or that they have been updated with specific reference to the course or program; shall cover those matters which one would expect for a comprehensive and professional treatment of the subject matter of the course or program. Brief outlines without citations or explanatory notations shall not constitute compliance with Program accreditation criteria.
- The cost of continuing legal education courses or programs to the participating attorney, apart from optional meals, lodging, and travel, shall be reasonable.
- The provider must offer a financial hardship policy and so state on all advertisements and brochures.
Ethics and Professionalism may include, among other things, the following: the norms relating to lawyers’ professional obligations to clients (including the obligation to provide legal assistance to those in need, confidentiality, competence, conflicts of interest, the allocation of decision making, and zealous advocacy and its limits); the norms relating to lawyers’ professional relations with prospective clients, courts and other legal institutions, and third parties (including the lawyers’ fiduciary, accounting and record keeping obligations when entrusted with law client and escrow monies, as well as the norms relating to civility); the sources of lawyers’ professional obligations (including disciplinary rules, judicial decisions, and relevant constitutional and statutory provisions); recognition and resolution of ethical dilemmas; the mechanisms for enforcing professional norms; and professional values (including professional development, improving the profession, and the promotion of fairness, justice and morality).
Skills may include, among other things, problem solving, legal analysis and reasoning, legal research and writing, drafting documents, factual investigation (as taught in courses on areas of professional practice), communication, counseling, negotiation, mediation, arbitration, organization and trial advocacy.
Law Practice Management may encompass, among other things, office management, applications of technology, state and federal court procedures, substance abuse control, stress management, management of legal work and avoiding malpractice and litigation.
Areas of Professional Practice may include, among other things, corporations, wills/trusts, elder law, estate planning/administration, real estate, commercial law, civil litigation, criminal litigation, family law, labor and employment law, administrative law, securities, tort/insurance practice, bankruptcy, taxation, compensation, intellectual property, municipal law, landlord/tenant, environmental law, entertainment law, international law, social security and other government benefits, and alternative dispute resolution procedures.
Diversity, Inclusion and Elimination of Bias courses, programs and activities must relate to the practice of law and may include, among other things, implicit and explicit bias, equal access to justice, serving a diverse population, diversity and inclusion initiatives in the legal profession, and sensitivity to cultural and other differences when interacting with members of the public, judges, jurors, litigants, attorneys and court personnel.
Cybersecurity, Privacy and Data Protection – Ethics courses must relate to lawyers’ ethical obligations and professional responsibilities regarding the protection of electronic data and communication and may include, among other things: sources of lawyers’ ethical obligations and professional responsibilities and their application to electronic data and communication; protection of confidential, privileged and proprietary client and law office data and communication; client counseling and consent regarding electronic data, communication and storage protection policies, protocols, risks and privacy implications; security issues related to the protection of escrow funds; inadvertent or unauthorized electronic disclosure of confidential information, including through social media, data breaches and cyber attacks; and supervision of employees, vendors and third parties as it relates to electronic data and communication.
Cybersecurity, Privacy and Data Protection-General must relate to the practice of law and may include, among other things, technological aspects of protecting client and law office electronic data and communication (including sending, receiving and storing electronic information; cybersecurity features of technology used; network, hardware, software and mobile device security; preventing, mitigating, and responding to cybersecurity threats, cyber attacks and data breaches); vetting and assessing vendors and other third parties relating to policies, protocols and practices on protecting electronic data and communication; applicable laws relating to cybersecurity (including data breach laws) and data privacy; and law office cybersecurity, privacy and data protection policies and procedures.
Financial Hardship Guidelines & Publicity:
Financial Hardship –
The Rules and Guidelines require that all program publicity must include our financial hardship policy: The program provider must notify the public of the existence of WBASNY’s financial hardship policy in its continuing legal education advertisements and brochures but need not include the text of its financial hardship policy. If the provider is not charging for the program, the hardship policy is irrelevant. If the provider is charging for the program, all your publicity must state the existence of WBASNY’s hardship policy. The following language is mandatory:
FINANCIAL HARDSHIP SCHOLARSHIPS: Full and partial scholarships for these programs based on financial need are available. A written request must be forwarded to the WBASNY President, Post Office Box 936, New York, NY 10024-0546. All requests are confidential. The cost of this CLE program (excluding food) will be waived for up to ten (10) attorneys employed by a non-profit organization in New York State that provides direct legal services to victims of domestic violence. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and how to register.
It is the job of the liaison to review all requests for financial hardship. WBASNY’s policy is as follows: If anyone calls to request a financial hardship discount, you may offer a 50% discount of the program tuition (same policy for members and non-members). We do not need to offer financial hardship for food. Ask the applicant for a letter requesting the discount, but the letter need not disclose any reason or personal or financial information. We will accept anyone’s request at face value. The applicant can bring the letter to the program, the liaison does not need to see it in advance. If the applicant cannot afford to pay even 50%, the liaison may, within her discretion; offer a larger discount, as she believes is appropriate. Of course, we do not want to give away our programs, but we do want to encourage people to attend programs and become members. We trust your liaison’s discretion, but if anyone has a question or problem, do not hesitate to call your designated WBASNY CLE Co-Chair. Remember that the CLE Board wants information on financial hardship; the program provider must report the number of financial hardship requests and number of requests granted.
Program publicity should include the information that CLE credit is available. The following paragraph is the language from the Guidelines. The Program provider will complete the number of credits and the category. Providers of approved courses and programs may announce in information, brochures or registration materials the following:
“This course or program has been approved in accordance with the requirements of the New York State Continuing Legal Education Board for a maximum of _____ (transitional or non-transitional) credit hours, of which _____ credit hours can be applied toward the ____________________ requirement or the ____________________ requirement, and ____________________ credit hours can be applied toward the ____________________ requirement or the ____________________ requirement. Each hour may be counted only as satisfying one category of ____________ credit; duplicate credit for the same hour of instruction is not permitted.
FINANCIAL HARDSHIP SCHOLARSHIPS: Full and partial scholarships for these programs based on financial need are available. A written request must be forwarded to _______________________________. All requests are confidential.
Publicity for programs presented by a chapter must include the chapter name and that it is a chapter of WBASNY, because it is WBASNY which is the accredited provider, not the chapters. For example, a program would be sponsored by the Trusts and Estates Committee of the – Insert chapter name here – , a chapter of WBASNY. Publicity must also include whether the program is transitional (and thus can be used by newly admitted attorneys) or non-transitional.