CLE Requirements as a Clerk (NY)

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owlofminerva

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CLE Requirements as a Clerk (NY)

Postby owlofminerva » Sun Aug 17, 2014 10:47 am

Anybody know what the rule is on clerking and CLE requirements in NY? I know the rules say that CLE isn't required during the period that one is not "practicing law" and that it says those practicing judicial and quasi-judicial roles are exempt--however, the examples it gives are only judge-roles and no mention is made of clerks. Are we supposed to get our 16 hours (new attorneys) over the course of the year of the clerkship or are we fully exempt during that time? I'm getting close to the end of my first year in practice and haven't really accumulated much CLE credit seeing as I don't have a firm paying for it right now.

(For those going to say just ask the CLE Board, their website explicitly states in a number of places that they will refuse to answer any question as to whether or not a certain role is considered the practice of law).

Quichelorraine

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Re: CLE Requirements as a Clerk (NY)

Postby Quichelorraine » Sun Aug 17, 2014 2:50 pm

This question perplexes many and has been answered by precious few. The general consensus around my office was that if you were an NY admit, but were clerking in another jurisdiction, you were exempt from the NY CLE requirements and were eligible for the pro rata reporting requirement if you resumed practicing during the registration cycle. But as you've observed, the CLE requirements are written to be amazingly opaque, possibly so that people will shrug, give up, and just do the full run of credits; and, of course, the CLE people won't answer any questions. An attorney in my office had successfully registered as "exempt" for over a decade; make of that what you will.

owlofminerva

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Re: CLE Requirements as a Clerk (NY)

Postby owlofminerva » Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:18 am

Thanks--it is pretty amazing how little information there is on a clear answer for this. Still hoping some others out there might be able to give some information on what they did as a clerk.

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Re: CLE Requirements as a Clerk (NY)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:30 pm

Was a clerk on a NYS appellate court. Still did all the CLE's, as did every other clerk I knew. I remember somebody bandying this theory around but nobody really wanted to be the first to test it out.

Yeah, it sucks if you coming from OOS, but there are (relatively) cheap programs at the County and City Bar Associations and from private companies that allow you to get all the credits in a weekend. Just get it done early and you won't have to worry.

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Re: CLE Requirements as a Clerk (NY)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:44 pm

FYI-I am barred in NY and clerking in a state outside of New York. My courthouse does bunch of free CLEs so I wanted to get some credit. Thus, I contacted the NY Bar folks and told her my situation. She told me that I do not have to do CLEs since I am not practicing in NY. Not sure if this applies only to judicial clerks outside NY or the fact it had something to do with my status as a new admitte to the bar.

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Re: CLE Requirements as a Clerk (NY)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:54 am

FWIW, the consensus among the clerks in our SDNY chambers was that since bar admission is not required to clerk, clerks don't "practice law" and are exempt from the CLE reqs. But, as everyone else has noted, the standard is amazingly opaque and NY will not give any further guidance.

Quichelorraine

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Re: CLE Requirements as a Clerk (NY)

Postby Quichelorraine » Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:09 pm

Presumably, this means that if you have multiple years of clerkship following your graduation (and you get admitted as early as you can), you can conceptually be exempt from the more-onerous newly admitted attorney requirements?

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Re: CLE Requirements as a Clerk (NY)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:23 am

Sorry to dig this thread up again. Is anyone actually aware of someone who (1) was clerking while they were admitted, (2) ended the clerkship shortly thereafter to go into private practice, and (3) successfully went through with doing the 'prorated credit' option by his/her second anniversary of bar admission (instead of doing all 16 credits by the first anniversary)?

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Re: CLE Requirements as a Clerk (NY)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:46 am

Anonymous User wrote:Sorry to dig this thread up again. Is anyone actually aware of someone who (1) was clerking while they were admitted, (2) ended the clerkship shortly thereafter to go into private practice, and (3) successfully went through with doing the 'prorated credit' option by his/her second anniversary of bar admission (instead of doing all 16 credits by the first anniversary)?


Interested in this as well. Recently admitted in NY and clerking in fed court in NY, but leaving the state after the end of my clerkship. I would like to avoid the CLE requirement if at all possible.

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Re: CLE Requirements as a Clerk (NY)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:35 am

I can't speak for NY, but I can tell you how it works for California. In CA, you are required to sit for 36 CLE hours over the course of three years and the year you're due is based upon your last name. There is a calculator where you select the months you were exempt (i.e. still a student, clerking, etc.). You select the months that don't apply to you and it then gives you your pro-rata number and a breakdown of each special type of credit necessary (i.e. ethics, substance abuse, etc.).

So for example, I was due this month. In the past three years I was till in law school, then worked at a firm, and then became a federal clerk. I checked off the months I was either in school and clerking, and left with only a few hours that needed to be completed.

I don't know if NY does anything similar, but I'd imagine it probably does. Hope this is helpful.

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Re: CLE Requirements as a Clerk (NY)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:55 am

This is helpful--thank you. If possible, I still would like to come across a person who was clerking in NY when they were admitted, left the clerkship for some other job in NY at some point before the first anniversary of her bar admission, and successfully pulled off the prorated credit option/exemption by her second year.

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Re: CLE Requirements as a Clerk (NY)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:This is helpful--thank you. If possible, I still would like to come across a person who was clerking in NY when they were admitted, left the clerkship for some other job in NY at some point before the first anniversary of her bar admission, and successfully pulled off the prorated credit option/exemption by her second year.


I'm admitted NY and NJ and clerking, was admitted while in private practice, but was in private practice while admitted for only 8 months.

NJ specifically classifies clerking as the practice of law on the annual registration, as just another data point. So I figured if I was practicing law for NJ purposes, I might as well consider myself as practicing law for NY purposes too and assume the CLE requirements apply. Also, most places that offered NJ CLE also offered NY CLE for the same class, so it wasn't really that much effort for me to make sure I complied.

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Re: CLE Requirements as a Clerk (NY)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:FWIW, the consensus among the clerks in our SDNY chambers was that since bar admission is not required to clerk, clerks don't "practice law" and are exempt from the CLE reqs. But, as everyone else has noted, the standard is amazingly opaque and NY will not give any further guidance.

I am inclined to adopt this interpretation, which I think is quite reasonable in light of the opaque guidance. Would be great to hear if any other clerks in NY-based federal courts have also taken this approach.



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