Continuing Education in Law Careers

To keep up to date on developments in your law careers, you must receive continuing education. In fact, 46 states require attorneys to participate in continuing education. You will find information about these programs at most state bar association web site. Usually they are under a heading of CLE (Continuing Legal Education) or MCLE (Mandatory Continuing Legal Education). There are a number of ways to achieve the hours of CLE needed. You can take a class at a law school, attend a seminar, either in person or online, or use CD or DVD lessons.

The requirements for each state are different. For example, Colorado requires 45 credits over three calendar years. Seven of the credits must be in legal ethics. New attorneys in Virginia must complete 12 hours of MCLE per year, with 2 hours of legal ethics. New York has a graduated level of MCLE. They require attorneys practicing less than 2 years to complete 32 hours within the first two years after passing the bar exam. The program must include 3 hours ethics/professionalism, 6 hours practical skills, 7 hours practice management and areas of professional practice. Experienced lawyers must continue to take 24 hours of courses over each two year period. Continuing Education in Law Careers

The American Bar Association has an extensive CLE program. Seminars and workshops are available around the country. They also provide live webcasts and teleconferences. Online courses are also available. Each course listing gives the number of credit hours. They also have mp3 downloads and self study modules. You must check with your state bar association to ensure that these courses meet the state requirements.

State bar associations also offer continuing education courses. Check with your state’s bar association web site for classes or seminars that fit your schedule and specialty.

Continuing education is part of a lawyer’s workload and must be accommodated. Good time management skills are essential. Be sure to work the time needed for CLE study into your work schedule so you are not cramming it all into the last month before your deadline to have the credits done.

Last Updated: 09/18/2014

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