Wednesday, August 20, 2008

More Robbery from the Bar Assocation

Scales they use to measure the money which they steal from you

By way of background, all lawyers have to keep their lawyer license "current" by getting something called Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits. CLEs are exceedingly boring seminars about boring legal topics that often have zero relevance to whatever field you practice in. You have to fulfill certain credit areas (like ethics, professional practice and "skills") every year before the anniversary of your admission to the bar, my anniversary naturally being 9/11 (not kidding). In any event, before I left my firm, I tried to stock up on CLE credits by going to the free CLE seminars offered at the firm, but it still wasn't enough so I just planned to ignore it after I quit my job and felt confident that the problem would just go away.

Well, unfortunately the problem DID NOT go away, so last week I had a goddamn panic attack because I started searching online for CLE classes that were being offered before 9/11 and pretty much there was absolutely nothing in NYC which meant that I would either have to apply for an extension and pray or just get my license suspended and then calmly proceed to the nearest bridge and jump off. Luckily, resourceful Megan found some free skills credits for me, but literally the ONLY ethics credit class available before 9/11 is a $355 NYC Bar Association class entitled "Ethical Considerations for Corporate Investigations - Updates 2008" a topic that anybody know knows me knows I'm passionate about. IN NARNIA.

That's right, they're requiring me to show up with an Us magazine, read it for 3 hours during the class, following which they will grab me and turn me upside down so $355 falls out of my pockets, and give me a piece of paper apparently made of shards of the Heart of the Ocean which then entitles me to renew my legal license for $360 per year, and which will then give me the privilege of paying $360 per year thereafter until I die or get disbarred. Basically what this means is that unless you're a millionaire (which I luckily am), might as well stop wasting time, write your own disbarment letter to the NY Bar counsel now and start panhandling ASAP. Is this a joke.


Maria said...

Move to Massachusetts. There are no CLE requirements here. Booyah.

Jennifer said...

Should have done NY/NJ like me. That NJ CLE hell doubles for NY credits - I'm good through 2025 now.

Above14thSt said...

why can't you take them online?

Not Jackson said...

PLI has some webcasts and audiotapes programs on ethics that you should look into -- a few seem to be a bit cheaper than the live one you're considering, too.

Enjoy. Warning -- you do have to click something on the screen every so often for the PLI webinars, but on the upside, you can also pause them and take them in smaller chunks.

Robespierre said...

Unfortunately in NY during the first two years of admission you have to go to live seminars and can't watch videos, etc. to fulfill credits. This is of course just another way to shanghai more money from new attorneys before they have quit their law firms. But thanks for the link, notjackson, I'm definitely going to use that after 2nd year because the chances I am leaving my apartment to go to a CLE are around 0%.

Not Jackson said...

They really have a rule that you have to go a live CLE if you haven't been admitted for 2 years? Wow, that sucks. Sorry for the Not Correct advice.

On the upside, maybe one of the presenters will have an entertaining war story to tell. You know, something along the lines of ". . . and then I told the general counsel, 'no, I said that the guy's conduct violated section 3275, not 3725!' Hahahahahaha!" [forced chuckles from the speaker's groupies/associates, rustle of newspapers from back row]

Blogonaut said...

I found myself in a similar position in December a few years back (I needed 2 years worth of CLE credits, in 30 days.)

I called Rutter, and said “don’t you have anything were I can get all 33 credits someplace WARM?” I signed up for a CLE marathon, in Hawaii!

A week later, I get a call from another Rutter guy who says “do you realize that you signed up for the appellate judges seminar?” I replied that I had nothing against judges, some of my best friends are judges.

The second Rutter guy mumbled something about this being highly irregular and that I would have to speak with the head of the Appellate Judges Association, a retired State Supreme Court justice from some Midwestern state who sounded north of 80 years old. (Fortunately, I do really well with the elderly.)

Judge 80 something allowed as how “No one who is not a judge ever signed up before”, and “why do you want to come”? I assured him that it was my love of appellate law not my need for 33 CLE units. He then mentioned the need for confidentiality. Me: “I am like a priest.”

Long story shorter, I was allowed to attend the one-week conference, during which I got to sit at a U-shaped table with a bunch of state and federal court appellate judges and a sign in front of me that said “Judge ____”. (The guest speakers, all of them from big firmsh, addressed me as Judge ______, which was also quite pleasant.)

I then flew from Honolulu to the Four Seasons on Maui for 4 more days.

The end.