The other day I urged lawyers and judges to sign up for a free trial membership in the American Bar Association, my employer. Do so, and you get to register for one free hourlong CLE webinar per month as long as you’re a member. The trial membership offer extends through August 31, but you have to sign up this month, before May 31, to take advantage of it. My employer might give me a cool prize if I recruit enough new members, so I hope you’ll sign up–the ABA is a great organization, you get all the usual member benefits in addition to the FREE CLE, and–I did say it was FREE, didn’t I?!
Lawyers in active practice always need CLE credits, and here is another nice way that you can not only get several hours of free CLE but also do some important pro bono work if you’re in the Chicago area: attend a 2.5 hour free MCLE credit training session, conducted by Cabrini-Green Legal Aid and the Cook County Public Defender, for the annual Expungement Summit on Saturday, June 2 at Apostolic Church of God (6320 S. Dorchester Ave), sponsored by the Circuit Clerk of Cook County.
Here’s more info on the summit from a CGLA e-mail:
“We need our experienced attorneys to help staff two four hour shifts (morning (~10-2) and afternoon (~2-6)) where they will advise summit attendees of their eligibility for expungement or sealing and assist those who are eligible to fill out forms. It will very closely resemble the work we do at the Expungement Help Desk, with the differences being attendees come to us with their court dispositions verses us having to look up their record ourselves. We’re expecting several thousand attendees and are hoping to train at over 100 private and public sector attorneys.”
This is a great opportunity to get some free CLE and do some good pro bono work at the same time. Though I can’t make the summit, I’ve been volunteering at the Expungement Help Desk at the Daley Center. It’s not glamorous and won’t garner you any headlines, but it’s a way to provide people who need it some help to get their lives on track after having made and paid for some mistakes. There but for grace and fortunate circumstances might go many of us, right?
I’d urge any lawyer with an interest in the area, or in doing something different and something good, to join the CGLA volunteers. The training sessions are May 23 and 24; you just have to attend one of them to volunteer at the summit. And then, when you have to report not only MCLE compliance but also whether you’ve done some pro bono work, you can feel very satisfied by answering “Yes!”