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High court broadens pro bono CLE credit eligibility

The Minnesota Supreme Court recently amended a new CLE rule allowing credits for pro bono work. The changes were made in response to criticism that original version of the rule was not inclusive enough.

The CLE rule — which took effect on July 1 — allows attorneys to accrue one CLE credit for every six hours of legal representation provided to a pro bono client. Attorneys can accrue a maximum of six such credits per three-year reporting-period under the rule.

As originally worded, the rule sparked some controversy because of its narrow definition of what constituted a Legal Services provider. Only work done for a Legal Services provider was eligible for credit. The rule defined a Legal Services provider as “a legal services organization funded by the Legal Services Corporation.” Several local nonprofits that provide pro bono services — including the Volunteer Lawyers Network — were excluded by this language.

The new version (issued the day before the pro bono CLE rule was to take effect) is much broader in its definition of pro bono work eligible for credit. In addition to work for groups funded by the LSC, it includes pro bono efforts overseen by nonprofits that have a primary purpose of providing legal services to the poor, law firms that offer similar programs with a designated supervisor and the Minnesota Judicial Branch for designated projects, such as the Guardian ad Litem Program.

One comment


    On May 23rd, 2006,
    I lost custody to my childrens’
    paternal grandmother, the Intervenor, because my husband took my youngest (who is NOT their grandchild) put her against the wall by the throat. That custody case, when we got into court started to spiral out of control as the Intervenor and the Plaintiff told the court EVERYTHING that I ever did or didn’t do wrong. I admit
    that I made alot of poor parenting judgements. I have a big file
    from County Child Protection, In-home therapy that had nothing
    good to say about me, my home or my husband. With everything
    negative they said about me, I had many things that I mentioned
    in my paperwork and to my attorney(who later decided to quit on
    me on the day of the trail) that concerned me about the care that
    I felt that the children would have to endurein the intervenor’s
    care. Nobody seemed to be concerned, The Intervenor, was
    determined, by the court to take the children home with them.
    Her son, the Plaintiff, is their father (of course). He is
    bi-polar with mental issues, so therefore he did not try for
    custody–as he knew he could not win. This family is
    controlling, manipulative and possessive and would do anything to get their way.
    In late 2006, the Intervenor, moved my eldest daughter to her father’s home because she and her sister were constantly fighting and the Intervenor was worried that she would hurt her sister-literally. I did not find this out for almost 2 months! Everytime I called to speak to the children, my eldest would always “be gone”. They purposely kept this a secret. They also had my other daughter lie to me to keep it a secret.
    Through the course of the last couple years, I’ve noticed
    that the children have become more negative. They tell me that
    they get into trouble for telling their grandmother and/or father
    how they feel–to the point that the children are terrified to
    say how they really feel. They already know what they can and
    cannot say infront of them. My eldest daughter has gained
    atleast 120lbs in the past 2yrs!! At this present time she
    weighs about 200lbs. That is NOT healthy. She is only 13yrs.
    old! Her family doesn’t seem to care that she is over-weight.
    My midddle child is so extremely tired of living with her
    grandma–she wants to come home, as well as my eldest.
    They are convinced that nobody deserves a second chance.
    Her grandmother has a season pass to EVERYTHING within an hours
    drive of her home. My middle child used to love that, but now
    she doesn’t want nothing to do with it. My two oldest children
    want to come home with me, they DO NOT want to live there
    anymore. On our last visit, they both asked me to “kidnap them
    home with me”. Of course I had to tell them that as much as I
    wanted to, I couldn’t. It is so bad that my eldest wanted me to
    bring a tape recorder to our next visit. My eldest daughter does
    not see her “daddy” anymore. She sees her dad as the man that I
    know…controlling, angry, possessive, manipulative.
    Throughout the last couple years, I have realized that
    although the way they went about it was, in my opinion, was
    wrong. However, I feel they had valid concerns, and I can see
    that now. I have grown up since we went to court. When I see my
    children, I see hurt and pain. They are exited to see me, but
    underneath, I know they are hurting.
    My children are missing the biggest thing…family. They
    want to feel like they are important. They feel like they don’t
    matter…that they are just a thing to control me with. This is
    how I’m perceiving their feelings. Their family disregards their
    feelings. The children try to tell grandma and/or dad how they
    are feeling and all that happens is that they get yelled at for
    I do not believe that this is right. My children are
    telling me things that they perceive as wrong. They trust me
    enough to confide in me because they are finally comfortable
    telling me how they feel.
    These children need to get out of the situations they are
    in and I realize I may not get them myself but if we could get
    them out of there and into a foster care.
    My paychecks are good at what I make, but with child
    support taken out I haven’t enough to pay a lawyer. I need help,
    my children need help, and I need someone who will care enough to

    help me “fight” to help my children have a positive and safe

    Contact me at hummingclock@yahoo.com
    if you can help or if you
    know of someone who will. We need a heart.
    This case is resided in Hennepin County at this time.

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