For about twenty-six years beginning in 1978, the Gloucester County Bar Association held continuing legal education (CLE) seminars on an intermittent basis. During that time, James L. Capobianco was a trustee of the bar association. He had worked part-time since the late 1980’s as the co-coordinator of the Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Program for Accountants at Richard Stockton College in Pomona, New Jersey. While with Stockton, Jim invited a number of accountants and attorneys to give presentations. Steve Richardson, who became president of the bar association in June 2004, was among those he recruited. Lecturing for Jim at Stockton, and seeing his experience in organizing CPE, Steve asked Jim to chair the bar’s CLE Committee.
Concentrating in the area of wealth transfer taxes for almost thirty years, Jim worked with both attorneys and accountants. He envisioned an ongoing education program that was broad in scope, one that could serve not only the judiciary and members of the bar, but the accounting community, students and the general public as well. Jim quickly instituted formal CLE/CPE courses. Seminars have been offered each month (except for the summer) since November 2004.
Inasmuch as he is a certified public accountant as well as an attorney, Jim has to fulfill a continuing professional education requirement to maintain his CPA license. This, combined with the fact that CLE was already obligatory for Pennsylvania licensed attorneys, led Jim to believe that it was only a matter of time before New Jersey would institute mandatory continuing legal education. He saw the need to build a separate organization to better allow for constant improvement to, and expansion of, the program he had created. Thus, in October 2006, less than two years after the inception of his lecture series, Jim (then treasurer of the bar) founded the Gloucester County Legal Education Association (GCLEA). Donald L. Kingett, a trustee of the bar, prepared the by-laws and handled the incorporation of the new entity. In August 2007, the Internal Revenue Service declared GCLEA a charity under IRC §501(c)(3) thereby rendering donations to the program tax deductible.
GCLEA is committed to providing convenient, quality education and an ever-increasing level of service as it moves forward into the future.