Question of the Week

What was the most memorable CLE you've taken?

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Continuing Legal Education classes can be dry as chalk dust, but with a little bit of innovation, they can be entertaining and informative.

The Brooklyn Eagle recently reported that 30 members of the Kings County Criminal Bar Association descended on Yankee Stadium to attend a CLE before the Yankees took on the rival Boston Red Sox.

Attendees met several hours before game time to enjoy hot dogs, drinks, pretzels—and their new Yankees caps. They later listened to Justice Matthew D’Emic, administrative judge of the Kings County Supreme Court, Criminal Term, talk about diversity, inclusion and elimination of bias for an hour.

“He’s not even a big baseball fan, he’s just here to talk about diversity,” Michael Cibella, association president, told the Eagle.

While CLE classes are necessary, the challenge is in how to make them enjoyable. In a 2016 ABA Journal story, Stephanie Ball, formerly the director of attorney development and recruiting at Best Best & Krieger in Los Angeles, suggests handing out prizes and having a presentation that features a different take on the subject as two ways to ensure success.

Another tip is to think differently.

“It has to be something more than just pounding rules and regulations. It’s got to be imaginative and creative. The invitation should be innovative because if you don’t have a hook, they won’t come and find out how great your program is,” says Ball, now the director of continuing legal education at National Arbitration and Mediation in New York.

This week, we’d like to ask you: What’s the best CLE you’ve ever taken? What made you remember it? Was it the subject matter or perhaps the way the instructor presented the course?

Answer in the comments. (And if this article has reminded you that you need to catch up on your hours, the ABA offers a number of CLE options, many of them free to members.)

Read the answers to last week’s question: How do you deal with procrastination?

Featured answer:

Posted by The Saint: “The thing you’re most dreading doing should be the first thing you do when you get in. That call to opposing counsel? Do it first. That brief you haven’t read but must respond to? Read it, and make an outline as you drink your morning coffee. The reason to do it that way is, if you don’t do it, that task is going to cast a cloud over your entire day. You’ll dread it every time you think about it, and you’ll think about it often. And, like most things we don’t want to do, 90% of the time you’ll find out, when you’re done, that it wasn’t that big a deal anyway and you can’t believe you were so psyched out about doing it. AND now you’ll have the rest of the day to work, dread-free, because you slew that dragon right off the bat.”

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