The Importance of CLE
I am on my way to attend the Heckerling Institute put on by the University of Miami School of Law. I will be spending the week in Orlando ( I know, hate me if you must but that’s where they decided to put it) for the next five days learning about Estate Planning, and Trusts for sophisticated individuals. I am fascinated by what they will state given the current market situation. I am really excited to bring back what I learn to my clients and my practice.
In New York, lawyers are required to take 24 hours of Continuing Legal Education, (CLE) every two years. This was enacted so that the public could be sure that attorneys kept up to date on the practice of law. Prior to this regulation, there would be lawyers who would graduate law school and never take another continuing education course until they retired. I believe that is a disservice to my clients and in fact routinely have taken almost double my required hours. Why would I go to that trouble? Here are five reasons, in no particular order.
1. KEEP UP TO DATE ON THE LAW: The law is ever changing and evolving. There are new laws being passed by the State Legislature or Congress that effects your practice. CLE offers the best way to know what is happening and to be able to apply it to your practice.
2. EXPAND YOUR KNOWLEDGE: CLE offers an attoney to expand his or her knowledge not only in the practice area that he or she is specializing in, but in different areas that he or she may not have considered before. It is a great way to expand your niche.
3. PICK THE EXPERT’S BRAIN: People who teach CLE courses usually have developed a specialty that allows them to advise the rest of the bar. Use that opportunity to your advantage. If you have a difficult probate issue and are at a probate CLE, ask the question. Taking advantage of the opportunity presented to you is not overstepping, it is good business sense.
4. YOU CAN NEVER LEARN TOO MUCH: My father once told me when I was deciding about going to law school, the one thing that they can never take away from you is your education. Go to seminars. Learn what you can so you have knowledge. It can never be taken from you and you never know when you’ll need it!
5. NETWORKING, NETWORKING, NETWORKING. When you go to CLE courses, take the advantage of meeting people. You never know where a referral may come from. You never know what benefit you will gain from that new connection. Every time you go to a CLE you represent yourself and your practice.
This is why I feel CLE is so important. I will continue to attend CLE events and make sure I gain the benefits available to me.
Engel Law Offices
7222 E. Genesee Street
Fayetteville, NY 13066