As a legal professional, your education does not stop after you leave the classroom. If anything, it only intensifies. You learn every single day on the job, and each client, each proceeding, each outcome teaches you something new. And, of course, you need to complete continuing legal education credits to satisfy state requirements. CLE is a must, but it can be expensive. Can be are the keywords: some of the best CLE providers in the field offer low-cost or even free learning opportunities.
Free CLE for Paralegals and Attorneys
CLE is essential as it allows you to not only earn credits but also stay up to date with changes in the legal system and in methods of practicing. From ethics and professionalism to practicing in the digital age, CLE covers it all. Your employer may pay for your continuing legal education, but if you are footing the bill, looking into free CLE for paralegals and attorneys. Top resources include:
American Bar Association
ABA membership dues start at just $75 per year (this applies to paralegals as well as those who were admitted to the bar within 0 – 4 years). The highest rate is $450 (for those who were originally admitted 20+ years ago). There are also special rates for sole practitioners, small firms, nonprofit attorneys, etc. But these fees pay for themselves in no time. Among the perks of membership is access to the ABA’s extensive CLE programs and webinars. These are free for members. Given that a CLE course can cost $200, $300, or more, your annual membership gives you a return on investment, so to speak, after just one course.
The Florida Bar
This is another excellent source of free CLE for paralegals and attorneys. Through LegalFuel: The Practice Resource Center of the Florida Bar, you can access over a hundred hours of CLE opportunities. Webinars, podcasts, and other formats are available on-demand.
Looking for free CLE for paralegals and attorneys? Yes… that’s why you’re here! And that’s why you need to check 4FreeCLE. This is a terrific site for professionals; there is a frequently-updated list of free CLE opportunities covering everything from ethics and litigation to trends in eDiscovery. (Note: when you look for courses, make sure they will be accepted in the state in which you practice.)
Legal Support/CLE Vendors
Not surprisingly, industrious vendors recognized the need and demand for high quality CLE options, and they’re delivering. Try:
- LexisNexis. This is a great source of education relating to budgeting, compliance, and data management.
- FastCase. Here, you will find free live training webinars pertaining to the ins and outs of legal research.
- One Legal. OneLega’s free webinars are centered around eService and eFiling rules and procedures.
Law Firms and Dispute Resolution Firms
Many law and dispute resolution firms also provide free CLE for paralegals and attorneys. Breakthrough Mediation, for example, is offering an online seminar without charge. Titled, “What Is the Other Side Thinking During Mediation?”, you will learn more about why parties view the process differently, the role of emotion in decision making, and how to troubleshoot common issues with the mediation process. Upon completion, you will earn one credit hour of CLE.
To learn more about this free, informative seminar and to register, visit Breakthrough Mediation today.