Take Advantage of the CLE Programs in Your Backyard
By Robert E. Harrington
The deeper my involvement with the Mecklenburg County Bar becomes, the more I appreciate the many quality programs that exist within our Bar. Very few local bars can boast of the types and variety of programs we offer. The MCB's Continuing Legal Education program is one of those outstanding programs. The quality of our CLEs is stellar. We offer a wide variety of CLE programs. The MCB provides more than 250 courses annually, resulting in 500 hours of CLE credit available every year here in Mecklenburg County. These programs are developed through the commitment of our CLE Committee, which is led by Chair Erika Erlenbach and Vice Chair Glenn Thompson. The CLE programs we offer include information on current legal trends, developing areas of law, legal basics and a wide variety of other topics that impact law practice in our region. Last year, courses included a USDC Western District bankruptcy seminar; a seminar on lawyers' impact on Mecklenburg County economic development (featuring Duke Energy's CEO, Jim Rogers); a program on North Carolina's concealed carry handgun law; and two new admittee professionalism programs - to name just a few.
Our Bar includes a number of experts in wide-ranging fields, many of whom are recognized nationally and internationally. The MCB does its best to bring quality CLE programs to our members, using these local Bar members, as well as experts from outside the county, as presenters. If you know of someone who you believe would make a great speaker or you know of a particular topic on which you think we should focus, please let us know.
The Bar is aware that there are many options for where and how you spend your CLE dollars, and we thank those who choose to spend their resources here with the MCB. With the exception of our mandatory dues, CLE revenue is the largest single funding source for the Bars activities.
Our CLE programs not only provide a great opportunity to earn your required CLE credit hours, but that also provide a terrific opportunity to meet and network with your colleagues. More than 4,000 program attendees earned CLE credit through the Bar last year. Each program offers a new chance for you to make a connection that may lead to a mentor, a friend, a referral or a client.
"The CLE Committee aims to facilitate networking opportunities for participants before, during breaks and after the program,"said CLE Committee Vice Chair Glenn Thompson. "When our participants take advantage of this time, they walk away not only with their CLE credit, but possibly new acquaintances, resources and career benefits."
Our Bar also offers CLE video replays which can be shown in your firm to provide a convenient way for a group to earn CLE credit without leaving their office. Only three participants are needed for a video replay to be scheduled. You may also access more than 75 hours of on-demand CLE programming from www.MeckBarCLE.org. The NC State Bar limits online CLE credits to four hours per person per year.
"Our Committee is very focused on providing Bar members with more CLE options focused on both the basics and the emerging practices within our profession,"said CLE Committee Chair Erika Erlenbach. "We will continue to increase the online and video replay CLE library as well as live webcasts, all in an effort to provide flexibility and accessibility to the Bar."
I want to thank, again, the many of you who earn CLE credits through the MCB. Please continue to support our local CLE programing. Your support allows us to fund many of the Bars other outstanding programs and services.
If you have not experienced an MCB CLE, I encourage you to review the CLE fliers in this newsletter and sign up for a course. I am certain you will be pleased with the quality, quantity and affordability of our programs.
Dont hesitate to contact me, the CLE Committee or the Bar staff with suggestions or concerns regarding MCB CLE programming. And, remember, the CLE Committee is always looking for course planners and presenters.