Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A MCLE note for lawyers

The court system has released some relatively minor changes to the rules regarding mandatory continuing legal education (MCLE). The first is that "substance abuse" issues have been swapped out of Law Practice Management and into Ethics/Professionalism.

The changes more likely to require your attention are new sections concerning which programs qualify for credit. Any program featuring a disbarred attorney as an instructor is no longer eligible for credit. Additionally, to be eligible for credit, a program must feature the active participation of an attorney (in good standing) instructor.

This last one is the one most likely to have an impact, due to cross-registering programs that serve, for example, financial planners or CPAs but also offer attorney credit. The Jamestown Lawyer will wait patiently to see if there are any effects. On one hand, I'm concerned at "lawyer only" regulations because we stand a good chance of monopolizing ourselves out of business. The attorney no longer has an elevated standing in our society and protectionism isn't going to reverse that, no matter how much I wish it could. At the same time, the new rule is completely logical, as I've attended some programs that were basically marketing seminars for the sponsor without any real legal education content.


Post a Comment

<< Home