MCLE … More Than Just a Necessary Evil

MCLE … I am sure that the sound of that acronym makes many of you cringe in your seat. To many of you, Minimum Continuing Legal Education is simply an evil necessity that must be done to keep your law license.  How do I know?

As Director of Legal Education for an online CLE website, I get frantic calls and emails from many of you stating that you are almost out of time and you need to get your units done in a hurry.  Usually the calls start coming in from Texas and New York the last month before the MCLE deadline – as many as three to four months in big states with one MCLE deadline every year.  By the last week of the month things have hit a fever pitch.  And in January – California has a February 1st MCLE deadline – the phone rings off the hook.

I know that attorneys are notorious procrastinators due to their workload, and many of us know everything already!!  However, I am amazed at how many attorneys still treat CLE as a necessary evil, just something that must be done in order to keep your State Bar happy.  Especially in today’s digital times when society and the law have become so complicated.

For example, we videotaped an e-Discovery Seminar with our partner the North County Bar Association here in San Diego a few weeks ago.  I am still completely amazed at how many attorneys don’t know what ESI stands for.[1] After the 2006 Amendments to the F.R.C.P., e-Discovery became the law of the land at the federal level.  To date, thirty states have also adopted standards that are almost entirely similar to the federal amendments. And practically speaking, I just don’t see how you can ignore this evidence since it’s ubiquitous.

Now, I am not saying that you need to be an e-Discovery expert, but I don’t see how you can just completely sweep the topic under the rug.   We now live in a Digital World – there is electronic evidence everywhere … and this evidence can either be used to the benefit or the detriment of your client.  And as the bench catches up and becomes more technologically proficient attorneys will only be held to a higher standard.  This is the subject of one of my MicroSeminars e-Discovery & e-Competence.

I have gone out of my way to select courses that will benefit you in your daily practice, not just because you have to take them as part of some requirement.  These courses will make you a more knowledgeable, more efficient practitioner.  For example, we have great resources such as Email in Litigation: Digital Evidence Made Simple, Cybersleuthing for Legal Practitioners, Writing for the Trial Court, and Law, Ethics & Technology: E-mail, Metadata & Electronic Storage.  And we are just about ready to post an incredibly comprehensive course on the state of e-Discovery entitled Do’s and Don’ts of Electronic Evidence: A Review of the Rules of Evidence.  Currently, we have over 250 hours of CLE programming to choose from in California – all online at this point in time.  Many of these courses can increase your competence in a number of practice areas and benefit you in your professional practice.

The true beauty of online CLE is price and convenience.  Because we have leveraged technology to its fullest extent, we are able to bring you a better product at a better price – all on your time.  With online CLE you could take one class every month from the comfort of your living room or office … and still have enough courses to fulfill the MCLE requirement of your state.  MCLE doesn’t have to be a necessary evil – our goal at Attorney Credits is to make CLE a truly invaluable resource.

[1] In case you are one of those people, ESI stands for Electronically Stored Information … and it can make or break your case.