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Musings from a First-Time Attendee/New CLE Director

Posted By Allyson Felt, J.D., Director of Continuing Legal Education, Nebraska State Bar Association, Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Allyson Felt, J.D., Director of Continuing Legal Education, Nebraska State Bar Association

In July 2019, ACLEA hosted its 55th Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois. It was my first ever ACLEA event – and my first month on the job as the new CLE Director for the Nebraska State Bar Association. By the time ACLEA rolled around, I had been at my new post for three weeks. Needless to say, I had a lot to learn.

Before taking the position as CLE Director, I was a practicing attorney for several years. I knew why CLE was important to me individually and to the profession. However, I had no idea how much work went into planning each CLE, whether it be a one-hour webinar or a multi-week program. Thankfully, I was able to attend the ACLEA New Member Orientation and CLE Bootcamp. The Bootcamp was incredibly helpful to me, especially being so new to the position.  The Bootcamp provided CLE ideas, ways to discover new customers, and accreditation advice along with many other topics. I really enjoyed meeting my fellow newbies, and it was helpful to know that everyone had some of the same questions I did.

The rest of the Annual Meeting was just as useful as the Bootcamp. We discussed engagement in learning, thoughtful marketing strategies, and tech tools to make learning bigger and better. I attended the State & Provincial Bars SIG luncheon as well, and I got to meet my counterparts from other states around the country. It was incredibly interesting to hear more about their experiences and how certain court cases and current events have impacted their bar associations.

Overall, the planning team put together an amazing conference. The event staff did an amazing job, and the venue was great – perfectly located on the Chicago Riverwalk. I met some incredibly friendly people from all over the world, and I can truly say that I was better prepared for my new position having attended the Annual Meeting.

One topic that came up a lot at Annual Meeting was event evaluations/surveys and feedback from attendees. We all encounter the same problems as CLE providers – how do we give our attendees what they want if we don’t know they want it? Survey results are incredibly helpful when planning a CLE or reviewing who to use as a speaker, but it feels nearly impossible to get responses. (Full disclosure: I have major guilt over the numbers of surveys I failed to return as a CLE attendee prior to taking my current position. I have learned my lesson and now respond to every survey I receive – CLE or otherwise.)

Here are a few tips that may help improve surveys and responses:

  • Less is more: The surveys do not need to be complex or verbose – a few simple questions will work wonders. Keep in mind that the attendees are very busy, and they have already taken the time to attend the CLE program. Though we as providers may want to know what attendees thought about each specific component about a program, asking fewer questions can actually garner better feedback overall.
  • Keep it simple: Attendees are less likely to answer a question they don’t understand. If they do attempt to answer, the responses may not be accurate. For example, asking attendees to rank something on a scale of 1 to 10 without telling them which number is worst or best will cause confusion. An attendee may write 1 (worst) when they mean 10 (best). Use words over numbers. Instead of “Please rate the speaker on a scale of one to 10,” try “How engaging was this speaker?” with answers like, “extremely engaging, very engaging, somewhat engaging, not so engaging, not at all engaging.”
  • Do the work for them: Attendees will be more likely to respond when the work is done for them – meaning, don’t ask only open-ended questions. Providing them with a box to check or click instead of requiring them to write a lot will net response better numbers.  For example, a question like, “Please rate the quality of the program” with provided answers like, “excellent, good, fair, or poor” will be a quicker and easier response for an attendee than a question like, “Please tell us your thoughts on the quality of this program.” Adding a line for additional comments after each simple question will still provide attendees with space to add more detail if they wish.
  • If you want to know something specific, ask: Perhaps you want to know about a specific venue or time of year for an event, or you may want to know if attendees would like to have a shorter program on this topic. Ask! Give them a “yes” or “no” option, and you will likely get a response.
  • Anonymity is key: Though there are many attendees who have zero issue with sharing their feelings, some attendees – especially those giving negative feedback – do not want their names to be known to the program planning team or speaker on feedback. Unless required by a jurisdiction to do so, allow attendees the ability to submit their feedback anonymously. The answers obtained will likely be far more honest and a better picture of the attendees’ true opinions.
  • Add a personal touch:
    • For in-person events, paper is better than email. Get in front of attendees and tell them how important the survey is to improve programming. Provide the survey at the beginning of the event so they have as much time as possible to fill it out. Physically hand them the survey instead of placing it at their table in a stack – stacks are easy to ignore, but a person handing a paper to you is not. Make eye contact and thank them for coming, then ask that they fill out the survey to provide feedback. Let them know that you read every piece of feedback and use it for planning future events. Stand up and mention the survey at the beginning of the program, at the end of the program, and at any breaks in between. After the event is over and attendance has been recorded, send an email with a survey link for those who “forgot” to fill it out at the event. You may get some last-minute responses that way.
    • For webcast/online-only events, you are limited to sending email surveys to attendees. Mention the survey as often as possible. Include information about the survey in the introduction to the webcast, or have the speaker remind attendees in their introduction and closing.  Attendees may be more likely to respond if the speaker makes a direct request for feedback. After the event is over and attendance has been recorded, send an email with the survey. Another option is to have the survey pop up right after viewing the program. With this method, you can require answers in order to obtain the MCLE certificate.

With these tips, you should be able to increase responses to your surveys.

Tags:  aclea meeting  cle  first time attendee 

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You're Invited to a Free Colorado MCLE Virtual Provider Conference — Register Now!

Posted By Administration, Monday, November 26, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2018
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Colorado Supreme Court Attorney Regulation Counsel Logo ACLEA logo

December 18, 2018
1:00pm EST/12:00pm CST/11:00am MST/10:00am PST

 

>> Reserve Your Seat!

One of the biggest challenges when dealing with the accreditation of continuing legal education programming is keeping up with rules and regulations. How do you know when there has been a change in a jurisdiction’s rules? When do they go into effect? And most importantly, how do they affect you as a provider or the attendees of your programs?

The Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel, Colorado Supreme Court and the Association for Continuing Legal Education (ACLEA) is hosting the first “MCLE Virtual Provider Conference” to discuss recent changes to the Colorado MCLE rules and regulations and their impact on providers of Colorado-accredited programs.

Join Gina Roers-Liemandt, American Bar Association’s Director of MCLE, as she interviews Dawn McKnight, Colorado Deputy Regulation Counsel. This is your chance to:

  • Meet the Colorado CLE staff.
  • Learn about the new CLE rules and regulations that went into effect July 1, 2018, as well as recent updates to the regulations and how they affect you as a provider, including:
    • A general overview of accreditable and non-accreditable topics;
    • The definition of legal ethics and practical considerations for program planning for ethics credits;
    • Process for program accreditation, reconsideration, and appeals;
    • CLE credit calculations for your faculty and authors;
    • Two-tiered sponsor levels;
    • Comity and reciprocity– what lies ahead;
    • The difference between “independent study” and attorney self-submissions; and
    • Office technology update – future plans.
  • Participate in a live Q&A with the Colorado CLE Staff.

This COMPLIMENTARY webinar will be held on December 18, 2018 at 1:00pm eastern/12:00pm central/11:00am mountain/10:00am pacific. Note that ACLEA membership is not required for participation; this program is open to all CLE program providers.

>> Learn more and register today!

Tags:  CLE  Colorado  Virtual Provider Conference  Webinar 

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Uniform CLE

Posted By Ruta Stropus, Tuesday, August 14, 2018
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Recently, Jayne Reardon of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, posed an interesting question – Does a Uniform Bar Exam Call for a Uniform Regulatory System? The post outlined how the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) has been adopted in several jurisdictions and asked whether national standards for attorney regulation are on the way. Indulge me as I pose a corollary to that question – are national CLE standards on the horizon?

Could you imagine the glorious world of uniform CLE standards? Whether you are in-house, a national provider of CLE or a bar association, such thoughts are the things that daydreams were made of.  No more multiple applications for credit, no labyrinth of rules and regulations to navigate, no more convoluted calculus in trying to determine carry-over credit. Oh, to sleep perchance to dream! 

Prior to joining a national law firm, I was with a state government agency, and, therefore, only had to gain expertise in one state’s CLE rules. In fact, I was lucky enough to “grow up” with the Illinois CLE rules – they came into existence as I was easing into my career in government. And, it was no small tasks to start the process of understanding how CLE works in one state – the policy, the administration, its evolution. I must admit, I didn’t quite understand the hardship of juggling multiple states’ various CLE rules until I transitioned into a private firm with a nationwide presence. Wowza. 

On any given day, I spend numerous hours studying the intricacies of the CLE rules of various jurisdictions, determining whether credit is appropriate, and if so, what kind of credit, how much credit and the parameters of such credit (does it depend on format, on who is attending?).  The lawyers I serve as customers often don’t understand why or how one program is accredited in state a, but not in state, and might be in state c, but we have to wait for an answer. And don’t even get me started on reciprocity! I believe that these complex and sometimes contradictory regulatory schemes result in less innovation (I for one, am always advocating that we should design activities, not information, but in doing so I often risk being outside any given states’ CLE requirements, so why bother?) and more frustration for attorneys who engage in a multi-jurisdictional practice. 

I don’t know if we will get there in my lifetime, but I will continue to dream about a uniform CLE scheme...

Ruta Stropus
National Training Manager
Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP

Tags:  CLE  credits  regulatory system 

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ACLEA Montreal – A Look in the Rear View Mirror

Posted By Jeanne Heaton, President, ACLEA, Tuesday, August 8, 2017

We had a great conference in Montreal (special shout out to our planning committee-chaired by Laura Selby!!).

Before you get too engrossed in your exciting home office work, what did you get from the conference that changed you – either personally or professionally?

On the ACLEA evaluation form (which I hope you all have completed, https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/96DQBWD ) it asks you to identify your top 2 – 3 take-aways. Conventional wisdom says that if you come away with two to three new ideas and implement them, it was a successful conference for you.

I usually try to write down these take-aways as I fly home from a conference. So, for the first of what I plan on being a monthly blog post as your new ACLEA president, I will share my top take-aways with you.

1. Take More Risks – Chris Bentley shared that the greatest risk we face isn’t trying and failing, but not trying at all. That inspires me both personally and professionally. As CLE providers serving a rapidly-changing legal profession we need to take risks in how we provide CLE and we need to take risks to educate our lawyers about embracing the changes in the profession. They don’t always like that message, but we have a responsibility to share it. Chris said we live in the age of the consumer, not the provider, and lawyers (and CLE providers) need to recognize that mind-set change.

2. Kahoot! – MCLE Committee co-chairs Erica Larios and Andrew Ottiger had a fun segment as part of their meeting – an audience poll using the free Kahoot! platform that was fun and easy to use. Check it out. I’m going to try it for some of our CLE programs.

3. SELF Journal – In his Paperless Reduction session, Paul Unger gave a thumbs up to the SELF Journal – an old fashioned paper option to help get organized and time block important tasks. I’m planning to check it out.

4. Build Your Personal Brand - Jen Dalton’s session challenged us to reflect on who we are and what “brand” we want to be identified with. She gave concrete advice on taking steps to achieve that branding through social media and other means. Her materials provide some thought-provoking, self-examination exercises, so take a look. She advised me, as a Baby Boomer, to choose one social media platform and work to master it before adding others. So watch out – LinkedIn here I come!

I’d love to hear your top take-aways!

Tags:  53rd Annual Meeting  ACLEA  ACLEA President  ACLEAMTL  CLE 

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Special Recognition Awards Handed Out at the Mid-Year Meeting in Nashville

Posted By Alexandra Wong, Law Society of Ontario, Monday, March 13, 2017

At the Mid-Year meeting in Nashville, ACLEA recognized the contributions of two well-known, highly respected members, Pat Nester and Larry Center.

 

Pat was presented with the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award and Larry was presented with the President’s Award to recognize their contributions to CLE and the association over the years.

 

When asked to describe Pat and his contributions to the CLE profession, Larry provided me with the following,

 

“Pat has been a friend and mentor to so many of us within the CLE profession for more than 30 years.  He is respected, admired and, dare I say it, beloved, by dozens of us who have been fortunate enough to come under his influence.  He has both a pioneer and an innovator in continuing legal education. His leadership style is unmatched. His thoughtfulness is remarkable. His insight and wisdom have driven our profession. His passion and compassion continue to be the foundation of his decisions. We are all so lucky to have had Pat in our lives.”

 

Pat provided me with the following when asked the same question:

 

“Larry was probably the most frequent speaker at ACLEA programs over the last twenty years and deservedly so. His frequent focus was on the personal traits that CLE professionals need to lead and succeed. I think all of us experienced CLE folks think of Larry as the moral leader of ACLEA with the courage to see the underlying problems that we confront and to ask how we can change ourselves to deal with them. When you think about it, that’s what good education is all about, and Larry gave us--and me--a great model to emulate. Plus, putting aside CLE and ACLEA, Larry is just an excellent human being, and we are all privileged to know him.”

 

Thank you Pat and Larry for all that you've done and continue to do for CLE and ACLEA. 

Tags:  ACLEA  Awards  CLE  Mid-Year Meeting  Nashville 

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State Bar of California Proposal for MCLE Providers to Report Attendance

Posted By June Hahm, Crowell & Moring LLP, Friday, February 3, 2017

The State Bar of California proposed a requirement for California MCLE providers to report attendance of all its CLE offerings to the Bar. The proposal which was presented during the August MCLE Provider Meetings was developed in response to issues that the Bar discovered during past MCLE audits. Issues included failure to properly record actual time of online course completion, and miscalculation of hours.

 

The Bar’s initial concept was to build a database that providers would access to input all relevant CLE course and attendance information for each course. Many providers, especially nonprofit providers, were concerned when told that the costs of setting up this type of reporting system would be passed on to providers through attendance reporting fees.

 

 

 

Below are links to the video recordings of the MCLE Provider Meetings.

MCLE Provider Meeting (August 23, 2016)

MCLE Provider Meeting (August 30, 2016)

Tags:  CLE  MCLE  State Bar California 

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Is the Future of Marketing Already Here?

Posted By Carmen Hill, Director of Marketing, Connective DX, Thursday, November 17, 2016

ACLEA’s 52nd annual conference in Seattle featured a series of TED-style talks focused on the future and what different aspects of the legal profession and continuing legal education might be like in 2025. This post is based on one of those talks, The Future of Marketing, presented by Carmen Hill.

Is the Future of Marketing Already Here?

By Carmen Hill

 

It’s hard to believe, but by the time 2025 rolls around, it will have been 50 years since the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right of lawyers to advertise their services in the case of Bates vs. State Bar of Arizona. During that time we’ve seen changes that would have seemed like science fiction: the internet, smartphones, social media, marketing automation… the list goes on and on.

 

Meanwhile, legal marketing evolved (devolved?) into the over-the-top genre of late-night TV and billboard ads that inspired the hit Netflix series Better Call Saul. And it’s safe to say change is only going to accelerate between now and 2025.

Meet the Class of 2025

In 2025, there will be almost 10 more years of new, young lawyers in the field, and many older lawyers will have retired by then. Generation Z is the cohort of six to 18-year-olds that makes up 25% of the U.S. population. In just a few years they’ll account for 40% of all consumers.

 

It almost goes without saying that this will be a generation of digital natives. Lawyers who graduate in 2025 have never experienced life without the internet or Google. They’ve been able to tap an iPhone screen since they were in second grade, and swipe right for “yes” or left for “no” since they were old enough to go on their first date.

 

Meanwhile, millennials, or Generation Y,  are already the largest generation in the U.S. workforce. By 2025 they’ll make up nearly half of it. You may already be sick of hearing about millennials, but ignore them at your peril. More than 70% of millennials are involved in researching or making decisions about what products and services their companies buy (The Next Generation of B2B). And they are far more likely to use digital channels like search engines and social media to make those decisions.

The Future Is Already Here

It’s not just the future of marketing that will be digital; it’s the present. Today, you’re not only competing with other law firms for attention you’re competing with everything else on the internet. The days when you could buy an ad and expect millions of people to see it are long gone. Because at the same time marketers look to technology for new ways to reach consumers, those same consumers are finding new ways to filter them out.

 

First we had the mute button. Then we had TiVo and DVRs. Now, a lot of people—especially younger people—are getting rid of their TV altogether and watching online. Oh, and if you want to reach people online? That’s getting harder too.

 
  • There’s a less than one percent chance that someone will click on your banner ad (Think with Google).

  • And 41% of millennials will never see your ad to start with, because they’re using ad blocking software (Page Fair).

The Generation Gap

Jill Switzer, who writes for Above the Law, says both oldster and youngster lawyers are battling for the same slice of the shrinking pie. One of the “youngsters” is Bryan Wilson, from Fort Worth, Texas: The Texas Law Hawk. He graduated from Texas Tech law school a few years ago, and was voted “Most likely to do a TV commercial.” But he put a millennial twist on that notion: rather than pay big bucks for TV advertising, he made funny videos with his friends and posted them on YouTube.


This Fourth of July-themed ad is one of several that Bryan Wilson has produced. This one alone has had nearly 200,000 views on YouTube.

 

Wilson spent just $500 on his first ad and not a whole lot more than that on the others. But his phone is ringing off the hook. In this recent interview with D Magazine he said his biggest problem right now is that he has too many clients.

 

Others are disrupting not only legal marketing, but also legal services. Joshua Browder, a 19-year-old Stanford University student, launched a chat bot app called DoNotPay (Business Insider). It helps people who can’t afford a lawyer to fight simple legal battles like parking tickets for free. His “robot lawyer” has already beat more than 150-thousand tickets. Joshua Browder isn’t paying for advertising… he’s getting it all for free in the form of media coverage.

So, what’s next?

The Guardian writes that over the next 10 years most marketing will become like Amazon Recommends on steroids. If it creeps you out to have a pair of shoes you saw on Zappos follow you around the internet, just wait till your refrigerator tells you it’s time to stock up on ketchup—or even places the order for you on Amazon. Technology, combined with both big data and small data, will make it possible for marketers to be even more targeted, personalized and automated than we already are.

 

What if lawyer ads appeared on your car dashboard when you have an accident or get pulled over? This is not all that far-fetched. Several years ago Mercedes unveiled its concept of an augmented reality dashboard at the Consumer Electronics Show. And some predict that within only a few years, 90% of cars will be connected to the internet (CNN).

 

Wi-Fi-enabled cars could offer some intriguing opportunities for audience targeting: For example, parents and kids on the way to school or people commuting to work. What if you’re not even driving your car? How does a driverless car talk its way out of a ticket? This is what’s coming, sooner than you think.

Digital Trends You Should Not Ignore

It’s impossible to say for sure what marketing will look like in 2025, but many of the same trends are affecting every business. As we’re already seeing, communication will become increasingly fragmented, broken into smaller bits on mobile devices and social media. Generation Z will be filtering what they choose to see and hear with split-second speed and precision. And it will all be happening all the time.

 

While you’re waiting to see what comes next, there are a few future-friendly things that simply cannot wait.

  1. Make sure your website loads fast. You’ve only got a couple of seconds to show someone why they should stick around.

  2. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly with a responsive design that is easy for visitors to use on any device. If you don’t, site visitors will punish you by leaving, and Google will punish you with a bad search ranking.

  3. Invest in high-quality, valuable content that meets the needs of your prospective clients. Because if you don’t, your competitors else will.

Technology Is Just an Enabler

Regardless of where technology goes, the future of marketing still comes down to people. Nearly 40% of people still choose a lawyer the way they did a century ago: through someone they know (Moses & Rooth). No billboard, TV ad or even viral YouTube video holds a candle to the recommendations of trusted friends, family and colleagues. In short, understand the clients you’re trying to reach. Be helpful. Be interesting. And focus on providing the kind of experiences that clients love, even before they become a client.

 

Tags:  CLE  Marketing  Seattle  Technology 

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Compulsory Technology Programming as part of MCLE

Posted By Heather Elwell, Monday, October 24, 2016

Hello ACLEA!

 

Our CLE colleagues in Florida look to be the first jurisdiction required to navigate compulsory tech programming as part of mandatory CLE.  As described in the article below, Florida attorneys must complete 33 hours of CLE over a three-year period, of which three (3) hours must be an approved technology program. 

 

As an ACLEA member for the past 5 years,  I have been impressed by the significant effort that ACLEA has made to emphasize the importance of technology in our programs and publications for attorneys, as well as in running our own organizations effectively.  The Seattle conference, for example, included a plenary on The Future of Productivity, a deep drive on Reimagining Learning with Microsoft OneNote and Sway, and the famous tech tips and tricks session which focused on the iPad for CLE Professionals.  The upcoming Nashville conference will also walk the technology line with session on Redefining Technology Competence in a 21st Century Law Practice, Website and Search Engine Optimization, and PDF, Word, and Automation – How to Build an Effective Electronic Forms Strategy.

 

With regulators now joining the movement to incorporate technology into CLE,  we can expect technology and innovation to continue to be in the forefront of ACLEA programing.  Please share your experiences below.

 

https://bol.bna.com/florida-is-first-state-to-require-technology-cles/

Tags:  CLE  Florida  Nashville  Seattle  Technology 

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Can it be? Fun CLE?

Posted By Anna Wrisky, Friday, September 16, 2016
Updated: Monday, October 24, 2016
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What can CLE providers do to make their seminars more entertaining and enjoyable for their attendees?

Check out this article, listing a few ideas for how to make seminars fun, posted in the ABA Journal.

http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/cle_much_shelist_best_krieger

Tags:  attendees  CLE  fun  seminar 

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Connecticut Judges Approve MCLE to State’s Lawyers

Posted By Alexandra Wong, Law Society of Ontario, Monday, June 27, 2016

As of January 1, lawyers licensed in Connecticut will have to complete 12 hours of CLE annually. For more information, see the article that was posted in the Connecticut Law Tribune.

 

Tags:  CLE  Connecticut  MCLE 

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