National Conference on Continuing Legal Education Advocates for Ongoing Legal Professional Development in Pakistan

Islamabad, October 21, 2014 On October 21, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP) and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) co-sponsored the National Conference on Continuing Legal Education at the Serena Hotel in Islamabad. Hosted in conjunction with the Continuing Legal Education Institute of Pakistan (CLEIP) and the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan, the conference was the inaugural event organized by CLEIP, a non-profit organization recently established to advance the development of continuing legal education for Pakistani legal professionals.

Several hundred Pakistani attorneys, judges, and representatives of civil society organizations attended the conference, which featured panel discussions by local and international experts on both substantive Pakistani legal issues and the development of the field of continuing legal education in Pakistan. Honorable Mr. Justice Tassaduq Jillani, former Chief Justice of Pakistan, and the Honorable John R. Tunheim, U.S. District Judge for the District of Minnesota, both served as plenary speakers.

The U.S. Department of Commerce began its support to CLEIP earlier in 2014 by sponsoring the visit of a delegation of Pakistani bar leaders and CLEIP members to the United States for a series of consultations with U.S. bar associations and providers of continuing legal education services. It will continue to provide technical and capacity-building support to CLEIP in 2015 as the organizations implement an ambitious schedule of events and development activities to promote continuing legal education.

Dr. Fred P. Rooney, a Senior Fulbright Visiting Scholar and director of Touro Law Center’s International Justice Center for Post-Graduate Development in New York, also participated in the conference, and provided insights into post-graduate residency programs for legal professionals in the United States. In collaboration with CLEIP and local partners Insaaf Network Pakistan and School of International Law Islamabad, Dr. Rooney plans to create the first legal incubator in Islamabad to meet the continuing education needs of young Pakistani attorneys and increase access to justice. Dr. Rooney is credited with creating the first incubator model for lawyers and for being a catalyst in the transformation of legal education in the United States.