A review of the Internet’s best Continuing Legal Education and seminar Web sites.
By Erik J. Heels
First published 2/2/1997; Martindale.com “Legal Links”; publisher: Martindale-Hubbell
It is becoming easier to find out about CLE events and seminars from the Web. Some organizations are even exploring conducting CLE online. This month, I review CLE and seminar providers on the Web. As you can see, there is a great deal to choose from, but the idea of using the Net for this sort of information is just starting to catch on. The most popular site on this list, PLI, is only linked to by 184 other Web sites, according to Alta Vista. Enjoy, and see you on the Net!
1. Practising Law Institute. An oldie but a goodie. Practising Law Institute (PLI) has been in business since 1933. At first glance, it appears that PLI is offering online CLE, but upon closer examination, the link about online CLE on PLI’s home page is, in fact, a banner advertisement for another vendor. I was confused because the banner ad is a nonstandard size and is not labeled as such. I expect others will be confused as well. At any rate, PLI’s Web site is solid, well-organized, and easy to navigate. (http://www.pli.edu/)
2. American Law Institute – American Bar Association Committee on Continuing Professional Education. Perhaps the most frustrating thing about the American Law Institute – American Bar Association (ALI-ABA) Web site is trying to figure out who/what ALI-ABA is. The American Law Institute? The American Bar Association? Something else? ALI-ABA appears to be a 50-year-old independent nonprofit organization that grew out of a joint ALI/ABA committee. ALI-ABA’s Web site contains a wealth of information about their products and services. Of particular interest is their state-by-state list of Mandatory CLE (MCLE) requirements. (http://www.ali-aba.org/)
3. Law Journal Seminars-Press. A member of The New York Law Publishing Company family of companies, whose sister companies include The National Law Journal and Law Journal EXTRA! What I love about this site is the slick and intuitive calendar interface to Law Journal Seminars-Press’s upcoming events. Click on a date on the calendar, and you’re taken to detailed information about the courses offered on that date. (http://www.legalseminars.com/)
4. FindLaw Continuing Legal Education. A recent entry into the CLE field, FindLaw will no doubt revolutionize online CLE as it revolutionized legal research on the Internet. FindLaw has devised programs which allow lawyers to work the Web for CLE credit. Its courses, such as “Finding California Law on the Internet,” are accredited in California, and CLE credit may also be available in other states. (http://www.findlaw.com/07cle/cle/)
5. ABA Center for Continuing Legal Education. This site highlights the CLE offerings from the American Bar Association. The presentation is a bit rough around the edges, and there’s a bit too much SHOUTING for my taste, but you can certainly find what you’re looking for. (http://www.abanet.org/cle/)
6. Glasser LegalWorks. In general, I’m not a big fan of frames-based home pages (especially when the frames cannot be turned off), but Glasser’s implementation is simple and intuitive. The founders of Glasser LegalWorks, Stephen A. Glasser and Lynn S. Glasser, are well-known leaders in the legal publishing field. (http://www.legalwks.com/)
7. National Practice Institute. Founded in 1976, NIP sponsors over 100 seminars each year. (http://www.npilaw.com/)
8. CLE Online. CLE Online is one of the first providers of online CLE courses. The site is chuck full of details and is presented very professionally. You can bet that CLE Online will continue to be a leader in this field. (http://www.cleonline.com/)
9. Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization. The Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization (TN CLE) was the first organization to propose and implement a standard for publishing accredited CLE course information on the Web, using public search engines (such as Alta Vista and InfoSeek) as the standard interface. The TN CLE solution has the potential to revolutionize the way lawyers search for CLE course information. (In the name of full disclosure, I should mention that I was involved in the development of this Web site.) (http://www.cletn.com/)
10. The Institute of Continuing Legal Education. Based in Michigan, The Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) recently acquired their own domain name. Their site is intuitive and easy to navigate, and includes free access to Michigan Supreme Court opinions. (http://www.icle.org/)