Community Legal Resource Network
CLRN at CUNY Law and the Health Care Rights Initiative
CUNY TV produced this story about the Community Legal Resource Network (CLRN) and the work of the Health Care Rights Initiative, an education and advocacy organization that assists patients and health care providers to navigate private health insurance issues. HCRI was founded by Alum Juliette Fostenzer Espinosa ('08), and alum Joanna Donbeck ('08) serves as staff attorney and director of advocacy programs for the organization. Both are members of CLRN.
The Community Legal Resource Network (CLRN), started in 1998, is a collaborative that supports CUNY Law School graduates as they work to set up and run solo or small-group practices devoted to serving pressing needs of the poor and disadvantaged in communities that are underserved by lawyers.
The personal and professional rewards of such practice can be great, and increasing access to justice in underserved communities is an enormously important sector of public interest law, the specialty of CUNY School of Law. Without mentoring support and additional training, it is easy for new attorneys to founder in isolated, economically precarious, situations. CLRN, based at the Law School, also helps new attorneys "find" one another for networking opportunities through virtual connections such as e-mail and other modern technologies. Individual members thus retain autonomy and the ability to locate in a community of their choice while, at the same time, tapping into the virtual community of some 300 lawyers.
In late 2007, CLRN also established a new project, the Incubator for Justice, in Manhattan. The Incubator trains CLRN members, over an 18-month period, in basic business issues such as billing, record-keeping, technology, bookkeeping and taxes while, at the same time, facilitating Incubator participants' involvement in larger justice initiatives and in subject-based training in immigration law, labor and employment and other topics that will arise continually as these attorneys build their practices.
The ultimate goal both of CLRN and the Incubator: continuing legal education tailored to members' needs, and a sophisticated mentoring program to make its members financially, professionally, and personally successful, and help them achieve their individual justice missions.
Read our special feature from CUNY Law's Fall 2010 Magazine.
Become a Member
If you are in solo or small firm practice, or are thinking of this type of practice as a career option, contact CUNY Law Alum Lisa Reiner (’90) at CUNY Law about the Community Legal Resource Network (CLRN).
You can become a member of CLRN free-of-charge, share your experience and learn from the hundreds of other CLRN members who participate in this nationally recognized network of community-based lawyers who, in the spirit of CUNY Law, collaborate with each other in their quest to increase access to justice.
CLRN members are encouraged to participate in the active listserv and Practice Groups (Immigration, Labor and Employment, Family Law) and to engage in community service opportunities. They also are eligible to participate in low-cost CLE courses designed to enhance the quality and viability of solo and small firm practice.
The CLRN Team (l-r): Benjamin Flavin, Lisa Reiner, Angela Perez and Fred Rooney.
Faces of CLRN Booklet
A compilation of CLRN related articles.
This PDF is very large and may take a few minutes to download depending on your internet connection.
Join the CLRN Facebook Group to discover and engage with fellow CLRN members.