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Friday, May 25, 2007

CLE credit for pro bono work

The Minnesota Supreme Court announced last week that it will hold a hearing to consider a petition by the Minnesota State Bar Association to amend the Rules of the Minnesota State Board of Continuing Legal Education. The proposed amendments would allow attorneys to receive CLE credit for doing pro bono work -- up to a total of six CLE credits within a three-year reporting period.

Many within the legal community support the proposal, primarily because it will likely encourage attorneys to take on pro bono matters, therefore addressing a crisis of unmet legal needs. But some aren't convinced, and argue that the rule won't provide an incentive to lawyers who would not otherwise do pro bono work, but will only mean that lawyers who would have done pro bono work anyway will wind up with less time in the classroom. Many also lament that receiving CLE credits defeats the purpose of pro bono work, which should be a selfless act and a demonstration of professionalism.

The hearing on the proposed amendments will be held in Courtroom 300 of the Minnesota Judicial Center, on Sept. 18, 2007, at 2:00 p.m.

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