What is the CLSMF Pro Bono Peer Academy?
Our Peer Academy has been designed by volunteers for volunteers to prepare you to effectively represent clients in various areas of the law. Each Academy module will be a discreet area of law. The program consists of live (virtual) training, dedicated mentors, peer email discussion groups, forms, checklists, client interview questions, additional CLE training, practical application of learning through case representation and brief advice and counsel clinics, and networking with judges and other professionals.
- Learn or strengthen your knowledge in a new area of law
- Receive CLE training, case support, access to experts and peers, and forms and checklists
- Gain competency in an area of law to grow your practice
- Practical learning experiences with real cases and clients
- Get paired with a mentor to support your education and casework
- Access to our experienced faculty at live trainings and through regular office hours and listserv
- Networking opportunities with judges and other professionals
- Recognition at our annual awards and in our monthly newsletter
- Certificate of completion recognizing you in the completed area of law
- Satisfy your professional pro bono responsibility
What We Ask of You
- Take a full representation case (assigned during the Academy module)
- Attendance at live monthly trainings
- Completion of two clinics or brief service engagements during the Academy module
- Consistent contact with your client(s) and mentor throughout the Academy module
- Return as a mentor for a future Academy module
Join our Peer Academy!
The CLS Pro Bono Peer Academy is a competitive program, and we anticipate more applicants than number of available slots. We are continually adding new academies. See below for Peer Academy modules that are accepting applications.
Family Law Peer Academy
Our Family Law Peer Academy is designed to take an attorney with little to no experience in family law and prepare them to take a dissolution of marriage (DOM) case from start to finish. Participants in the Academy will become familiar with the necessary forms, processes, and rules at play in a DOM case with the support of experienced family law attorneys. Join us for nearly 10 hours of CLE programming, guest speakers and members of the judiciary, and practical case experience over the 6 month* program.
Our first live meeting will take place on February 7th at 5pm and all subsequent meetings will be held on the 1st Tuesday of every month for a total of 6 meetings (our July live meeting will take place on July 11 to accommodate the July 4th holiday). Click the link below to register.
Family Law Mentors Needed!
If you are an experienced family law attorney, consider serving as a mentor in our Peer Academy program. As a mentor, you will support one or two participants throughout the course of the Academy module. You will answer questions, review draft documents, and provide practice tips during regular check-ins with your mentees. You are encouraged to attend or watch the recordings of the live sessions to understand and support each stage of the program. Click the link below to register.
Estate Planning and Probate Peer Academy
Our Estate Planning and Probate Peer Academy is designed to guide attorneys through the fundamentals of life care and estate planning, including completing two estate plans for CLS clients. Participants will then represent a client through a summary administration probate matter. This Academy includes over 8 hours of CLE programming, model documents and pleadings, experienced support, document assembly software, and a start to finish approach to the estate plan as well as its administration. During this six month* program we’ll discuss important emerging issues like using the estate plan for the preservation of housing and generational wealth for members of our disproportionally affected minority and low-income communities, network with members of the judiciary, and apply the curriculum with practical case experience.
Our first live meeting will take place on February 21st at 5pm and all subsequent meetings will be held on the 3rd Tuesday of every month for a total of 6 meetings. Click the link below to register.
Estate Planning and Probate Mentors Needed!
If you are an experienced Estate Planning or Probate attorney (or both), consider joining our team of mentors to support or Peer Academy Participants. As a mentor, you will support one or two participants throughout the course of the Academy module. You will answer questions, review draft documents, and provide practice tips during regular check-ins with your mentees. You are encouraged to attend or watch the recordings of the live sessions to understand and support each stage of the program. Click the link below to register.
Past Peer Academies:
Bankruptcy (Pilot Program) February 2022 – July 2022
*While the programming is scheduled for 6 months, each case is unique and every court calendar is different. Cases may extend beyond the Peer Academy. CLS is committed to supporting our volunteers until the case has concluded.