Unlimited Legal Training Thanks to PLI and Leonard McKenzie

By Meg Benson, Co-Chair of the CBF Legal Aid Academy Advisory Committee

Leonard McKenzieLeonard McKenzie loves legal aid lawyers. At least in the professional sense. He admires the work they do and wants to help them help their clients better.

Leonard’s job is to make sure legal aid lawyers have access to hundreds of accredited CLE programs for free. Yes, free. Practising Law Institute (PLI) offers free pro bono privileged membership to legal aid, pro bono, and other nonprofit organizations. This membership gives us access to all of PLI’s live, webcast, and on-demand programs.

Leonard has worked for PLI for more than 25 years. Originally in charge of awarding individual scholarships to attorneys or small law firms on a case-by-case basis, he helped to expand the program to allow legal aid, pro bono, and related non-profit organizations free access to PLI’s on-demand offerings. The CBF Legal Aid Academy first connected to PLI through partnerships with many generous local law firms that were allowed to extend their memberships to partner legal aid organizations. Leonard helped expand that further by making PLI’s programs available to all CBF grantee organizations. Then, three years ago, PLI went all the way offering full privileged membership, which means free access to all live, webcast, and on-demand programming. These programs are popular, often with hundreds of people in attendance.

[pullquote align=”right”]COLLEAGUE CORNER
Each quarter, the CBF Legal Aid Academy spotlights in its newsletter one legal professional who has made important contributions to training the Chicago legal community.[/pullquote]

Now, Leonard monitors and makes sure legal aid, pro bono, and non-profit programs around the country know of and make use of this valuable opportunity. He is happy to report that usage in Chicago’s legal aid and pro bono community is growing. The entrepreneurial attorneys at the CBF’s Justice Entrepreneurs Project have embraced PLI wholeheartedly, as have staff at LAF, Chicago Volunteer Legal Services, Prairie State, and others. PLI’s partnership with the CBF has helped Leonard reach eligible programs around Illinois.

Leonard was excited to note that he had just recruited a non-profit organization that provides legal services to veterans. Programs that help vets and children are near and dear to his heart and he appreciates being able give them something they otherwise could not afford.

Chicago legal aid attorneys: Leonard loves us. The least we can do for him is to take advantage of his generosity. Go to http://www.pli.edu and start enjoying these unlimited learning opportunities.