Online CLE Programs

Red State/Blue State: Lawyers, Politics & Moral Counseling

The Red State/Blue State video/text program has been accredited by the New York State CLE Board for experienced attorneys to earn one (1) ethics and professionalism, nontransitional, CLE credit hour for a film based on the scholarship of Fordham Law Professor Russell Pearce.

Delivered in a nontraditional format, the program consists of the following.

  1. A film entitled Red State/Blue State: Lawyers, Politics & Moral Counseling, available at law.fordham.edu/redstatebluestate or on YouTube 
  2. A Viewer's Manual available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=1574458
  3. An article written by Fordham Law Professor Pearce, “The Legal Profession as a Blue State: Reflections on Public Philosophy, Jurisprudence, and Legal Ethics,” Fordham Law Review, Vol. 75, p. 1339, 2006; Fordham Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 988196; review the article at http://ssrn.com/abstract=988196
  4. A 20-question verification quiz on the materials

Program Description

The 23-minute film features interviews with prominent legal scholars such as Ken Starr, Erwin Chemerinsky and Deborah Rhode, and also includes a few R.E.M. songs.  It uses the question of why lawyers are more politically liberal than Americans generally to stimulate exploration of critical issues of ethics and professionalism.

The film asks, for example, whether the compartmentalization of lawyer’s lives contributes to the high rates of job dissatisfaction, substance abuse and anxiety related mental illness among lawyers, as well as the complicity of lawyers in corporate scandals. While the film has a point of view, it seeks to include a diverse set of opinions and in the Viewer’s Guide to invite the perspectives of lawyers and law students who do not accept some or all of the contentions in the film.

The project reflects Prof. Pearce’s attempt to “bridge the gap” between practicing lawyers and the academy by making scholarship fun and accessible.

Bertis Downs, R.E.M.’s manager, said “R.E.M. was happy to lend some music to this worthy film, which explores the various tensions between advocacy, justice, morality and social responsibility. In this digital world it is heartening to see such topics presented in such a lively and creative way, and I hope the resulting dialog it sparks will inspire new generations of law students to consider the public service calling of the profession, regardless of the field of practice they enter.”

CLE Credits Available

To earn one (1) ethics and professionalism, nontransitional, CLE credit for completion of this video/text program, the participating attorney must score at least 80% on the 20-queston verification quiz submitted with your application. 

Registration Fees

$35 for practitioners ($25 for public interest attorneys and Fordham Alumni)

Please complete and submit your application and verification quiz by mail or fax to the Office of Public Programming & CLE, Fordham Law School, 140 West 62nd Street, New York, NY 10023. FAX: 212-636-6984. If 16 out of 20 answers are correct, your CLE Certificate of Attendance will be mailed to you.

CLE and Public Programs

Fordham University School of Law
Office of Public Programming & CLE
150 West 62nd Street, Suite 8-126, New York, NY 10023

Tel: 212-636-6945

Fax: 212-636-6984

Email: lawCLE@law.fordham.edu