Take Time Out for CLE and Grow Your Legal Career Network

Changing regulations and other trends in the legal field are making it even more important for legal professionals to participate in continuing legal education (CLE) programs. While earning CLE credits is necessary to meet annual bar license requirements, lawyers and paralegals also should consider such courses as an opportunity to receive legal career advice, expand their knowledge of legal practice management and delve deeper into a specific area of law.

Four Reasons to Make Time for Continuing Legal Education

Here are four reasons why legal professionals should make time for CLE programs:

1. Remain current with the latest trends in the legal profession. To fulfill your CLE requirements (depending on the state where you practice law), you often have the choice between distance-learning, which could include live webinars and teleconferences, and in-person events. 
2. Stay current with technological advancements. With technology changing as often as rules and regulations, lawyers need to adjust to an incredibly digitized world. CLE programs focused on cloud computing, predictive coding and e-discovery, for example, are on the rise and can help you better serve your clients and manage your practice.
3. Learn tips for legal practice management. By attending CLE programs dedicated to legal practice management, you can learn strategies for improving your firm's efficiencies and boosting your legal team's productivity. If you're considering hanging a shingle, you could also take CLE courses on managing a small firm or even becoming a solo practitioner.
4. Develop your legal career. One of the advantages of in-person meetings versus distance-learning events as you fulfill your CLE requirements is the opportunity to network. Besides making new contacts, you can receive valuable career advice that could help you become a leader in your law firm or legal department. Visit the American Bar Association website, or your local bar chapter's website, for a calendar of in-person CLE events to help chart your professional development. Other associations with valuable educational resources include:

Association of Corporate Counsel

Association of Legal Administrators

Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists