Wednesday, July 20, 2022

A modest proposal to revamp continuing legal education credits #CLECreditsforBlogging

"I'm finishing all my CLE credits this week. It amazes me how if you keep up with law changes regularly how out-of-date these CLEs feel."

That's an excerpt of a recent conversation between my friend, Kate Bischoff, and me. Kate is 100 percent correct. I learn very little, if anything from the continuing education courses I take. I take them because the Ohio Supreme Court requires me to check a 24-credit box every two years, not because they offer me any educational value.

According to the Ohio Supreme Court's Commission on Continuing Legal Education, "The requirement for continuing legal education was established to ensure that, throughout their careers, attorneys admitted to practice in the State of Ohio remain current regarding the law and maintain the requisite knowledge and skill necessary to fulfill their professional responsibilities."

The reality, however, is that I meet these objectives each and every day by the act of posting on this blog. Social media is my continuing legal education, and yet I receive zero credits for it. 

Thus, here is my modest proposal for all continuing legal education governing bodies nationwide — allow bloggers to earn CLE credits through blogging.

I understand the radical nature of my proposal. After all, there is a cottage industry of bar associations and conference providers that charge lawyers thousands of dollars per year to sit in conference rooms and attend webinars to learn little if anything (other than how to look engaged while reviewing bills, completing a crossword puzzle, or literally doing anything other than paying attention to the person speaking).

When people ask me why I blog, I offer three main reasons — the networking, it's made me a subject-matter expert, and it's kept me hyper-current on all things labor and employment law. If the latter isn't "remaining current on the law and maintaining the required knowledge and skill necessary to fulfill my professional responsibilities," then I don't know what is. 

Who agrees with me that legal blogging should count for CLE credit? Let's start a movement. Share this post on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook with the hashtag #CLECreditsforBlogging. Write to your state and local bar association, and to your attorney accrediting organization. There is no reason not to offer CLE credits for attorney blogging other than to continue to finance the conference industry. 

For those of us who regularly blog, CLEs are irrelevant. If we want our credits actually to mean something, let's recognize blogging as a CLE-worthy activity and assign credits. The time is long past due.