CLE: the importance of getting out of the office

Seminars and conferences featuring highly experienced lawyers who are good presenters are the best way to learn a significant amount in a relatively short period of time.  Attending seminars and conferences is a little like getting an annual checkup:  they are a way to self-assess and improve one’s competence.

Teleconferences can be good as can online video presentations.  But going to seminars and conferences is, I think, a more active type of learning which includes the benefit of meeting and talking to other lawyers who practice in the same area of law. 

In my experience the best opportunity for learning has been the National Conference on Professional Responsibility.  Meeting with lawyers from around the country, attending panels of experts on a variety of topics over a period of two and a half days has been fascinating and inspiring.

While there is an increasing number of in-office CLE opportunities that can be valuable, cost-effective and convenient, in my view by themselves in-office CLE is not sufficient.  It is important to get out of the office, meet other lawyers and participate in a collective effort in person to teach and to learn.