Unlike other professions, lawyers are expected to continuously improve their skills and update their legal knowledge through a process known as continuing legal education or CLE. In fact, CLE is not only expected but even mandated by many U.S. states to maintain excellence in the legal profession. In such areas, active lawyers are required to complete a specific number of hours dedicated to CLE courses, every year or once every two years, before they can renew their license and practice law.
If you are an active attorney, you know full well the importance of continuing legal education in enhancing your expertise in various aspects of the law and understanding the diverse issues encountered by your clients. While the process is necessary and beneficial, you also know that CLE demands your time, money, and effort if you do it the traditional way.
Fortunately, you are no longer confined to physically attending CLE classes or seminars. Thanks to the internet, you now have the option to take online CLE courses. If you have yet to try this modern method of mandatory continuing legal education, here are some of the reasons why it is time to make the switch:
One of the many misconceptions about online learning is that it is not as effective as a conventional classroom set-up. Even educators believe that taking online classes cannot be as impactful as physically going to the lecture hall and listening to resource persons.
If you are avoiding online continuing education for many years because of the same perception, you are mistaken. A study done by professors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology revealed that online courses are not only as effective, but even the amount of learning is “somewhat greater,” compared to usual lecture-based classes.
Unlike traditional learning environments, online CLE courses make use of a wide variety of teaching strategies that positively impact learning and retention. For instance, online classes make use of multimedia technology, an approach that has been found to improve student engagement and retention of information significantly. Multiple studies also show that the use of text, video, and audio can foster better understanding.
Flexibility and Control
In the traditional set-up, you need to reserve a slot and travel to the CLE venue at a designated date and time. You have no choice but to adjust your schedule to accommodate the requirements of the course you are eyeing.
When you take CLE classes online, on the other hand, you have more control since you do not have to conform to the strict schedule enforced by the CLE course organizers. You have the option to select the time and date most convenient to you. Since online classes are available 24/7, you can take them wherever you are for as long as you can access the internet.
Apart from the schedule and location, online CLE classes are also flexible in terms of pace. You can stop at any time and go back online whenever you have time. When you have more control over the process, you will be more relaxed and able to absorb information better.
Access to Current Materials and Resources
If you choose to take CLE classes online, you have access to current and authoritative legal materials and resources with just a click of the mouse. Since everything is stored online, it is easy for you to retrieve, download, print, and review research materials and relevant sources whenever you have to.
With the traditional CLE method, information is limited to the handouts and papers provided by the program organizers. You have no choice but to do your research if you want more materials.
Given the advantages mentioned above, it is evident that taking online CLE courses may just be what you need. This method is effective and can also make the mandatory continuing legal education process enjoyable and less stressful. Take the time to look for reputable and accredited online CLE providers so that you can be assured of high-quality and relevant programs.