The very first continuing legal education course I ever took was right here in the office where I now work. It was a class required of all incoming lawyers. In fact, it’s still a class required of all incoming lawyers. And it was pretty good. In addition to teaching me some of the ethical obstacles I was sure to face in my early years of practice, it also taught me what CLE was, which was something I didn’t think about much [at all] during school. CLE was pretty much like law school–you went to a classroom, listened to someone who knew more than you about a given topic, and got credit for doing so. Easy enough.
But that was a long time ago, at least in years measured by a new era of information, and I didn’t have it quite right. CLE is about professional development and that doesn’t stop and start with an event–live or online. And it’s certainly not defined by the credits you submit to a regulatory authority at the end of the year. It’s an ongoing learning process that comes in many forms.
Which is why my organization launched this free site just over a year ago. Through it, we’re sharing all the information we learn in the course of doing what we already do: planning programs, publishing books, and looking out for the professional development of Colorado lawyers. When State Judicial releases new forms, we’re posting about it. If the Supreme Court updates the rules of professional conduct, we’re on top of it. And if a lawyer blogs on an important topic, we’re working with them to highlight that, as well.
As a nonprofit organization devoted to educating Colorado’s lawyers, we think this is simply another step toward fulfilling our mission. Our obligation doesn’t begin when our students walk into a classroom and end when they leave. It’s bigger than that.
Sometimes we’re linking back to a relevant product we sell, but often we’re not. More and more, we’re finding the site to be a tool that is helping us target the the most relevant topics for product development. For example, this issue we posted on turned out to be a topic big enough for a CLE program. So just as we’re feeding the site, it’s feeding us.
And as our traffic and subscriptions subscriptions have grown, I’m feeling more and more optimistic that we’re feeding the practices of Colorado lawyers, as well.