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Continuing Legal Education

Continuing Legal Education

Resources for Continuing Legal Education

Mandatory continuing legal education, or MCLE, is a necessary part of any lawyer's career for those practicing in one of the 40 states that require it. For others, CLE can simply be a wise career investment. The requirements for the number and type of MCLE credits differ by state.

A number of the 40 MCLE states require lawyers to take courses in subjects such as ethics and avoidance of malpractice. For example; California lawyers must achieve either one hour of prevention, detection and treatment of substance abuse, or one hour of bias elimination.

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MCLE courses must be approved and accredited by the administration board in the state where you practice. These administrators are usually associated with your state bar association. Check with your state MCLE board or commission for further information.

There are over 1 million licensed lawyers in the U.S. according to the American Bar Association. Laws and regulations vary widely from state to state and the highly competitive nature of the legal world makes it imperative that lawyers remain informed and up to date on any changes. In order to maintain the quality and standards of legal aid across the nation, lawyers are often required to participate in continuing legal education throughout the duration of their careers.

Some good resources for lawyers who are looking into continuing legal education programs:

The joint site for the American Law Institute and the American Bar Association (ALI-ABA) provides a comprehensive listing of state MCLE requirements. ALI-ABA (www.ali-aba.org) also offers their own accredited multimedia, in-house, print and online continuing education programs, plus general information for lawyers.

The American Bar Association (ABA) provides its own accredited CLE programs; you can order traditional print, audio and DVDs or take advantage of technology and download satellite seminars, Web casts and video conferences. There are also a number of free programs available at www.abanet.org.

The Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) is a non profit continuing legal education organization based in Michigan. Sponsored by a number of legal associations including the Michigan State Bar and the University of Michigan , the ICLE lists all the MCLE requirements and MCLE administrators for all the states at www.icle.org.