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For immediate release: April 7, 2007
For further information contact: Winnie Comfort or Tammy Kendig

Committee to Consider Continuing Legal Education for All Attorneys

The New Jersey Supreme Court has asked 29 judges and attorneys from around the state to serve on a committee that will consider continuing educational requirements for New Jersey attorneys, announced Stephen W. Townsend, clerk of the New Jersey Supreme Court. Chaired by former Supreme Court Associate Justice Peter G. Verniero, the Ad Hoc Committee on Continuing Legal Education will revisit the suitability of New Jersey's continuing legal education (CLE) requirements, starting with the current bridge-the-gap Skills and Methods program, and make recommendations on how to improve both the quality and delivery of CLE to New Jersey attorneys.

The committee will advise the court on what type of CLE should be required for new attorneys, what CLE requirements should be expected of all attorneys as they continue in their careers, and on alternative ways in which those requirements can be satisfied. In addition, the committee will make recommendations regarding CLE structure and content.

Currently, new attorneys are required to complete three years of additional training in areas such as professional responsibility, criminal trial law, civil trial law, family law, real estate, and administrative law, and in electives such as municipal court and workers' compensation. The committee will consider whether or not to keep any or all of the current requirements.

Under the State Constitution, the Supreme Court has exclusive authority over the regulation of the practice of law in New Jersey. The Supreme Court sets the terms for admission to the practice of law in the state and regulates the professional conduct of attorneys. There are approximately 80,000 attorneys currently licensed in New Jersey.

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