Maryland Bar Bulletin
Publications : Bar Bulletin : June 2008

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Last month, MSBA sent an electronic CLE survey to its members, and placed it on its website, to determine the most popular CLE methods lawyers use today. At one time, lawyers attended CLE classes presented by MICPEL and MSBA’s substantive law Sections, and while this is still the mainstay of CLE today, lawyers are now taking advantage of technology to acquire CLE via audiocassettes, video and audio programs, self-study materials on the Internet, podcasting, webinars and teleconferencing. Thus, the survey results will offer MSBA a glimpse of today’s CLE landscape and a sense of direction for the future of CLE for Maryland lawyers.

All MSBA members are encouraged to complete the survey by simply going to MSBA’s website, www.msba.org, and clicking on “CLE Participation Survey”. The survey is available online through June 30.

“The purpose of the survey is to determine the ever-changing educational needs of our members,” declares Alison L. Asti, outgoing MSBA President, “so we can more effectively serve them in our fast-paced world.” The electronic survey has been available since May 16 and to date, the lawyer response rate is encouraging.

This educational tool will enable MSBA to evaluate legal education methods that attorneys use today as well as the level of lawyer participation for each method. In light of the increased use of specialized CLE technology today, the results of this poll will aid MSBA in planning future services for members. After basic information about the lawyer and his or her practice, the survey requested data on the type of CLE programs lawyers choose, the number of hours for each category and lawyer preferences in the future.

This voluntary poll hails from the CLE Subcommittee of MSBA’s Long Range Planning Committee and is part of the long range planning effort initiated by Asti and continuing under Katherine Kelly Howard’s year as President. “CLE is a core need of every practicing attorney,” stresses Howard. “Seeking input from our members on these kinds of issues is of paramount importance to MSBA. Our subcommittee will use the survey results to ascertain what continuing education resources are now being used and what our members expect from us in the future.”

“Our Committee has undertaken a number of projects,” explains the Honorable Lynne A. Battaglia, Chair of MSBA’s Long Range Planning Committee, “and one of them is the role and scope of educational opportunities for practicing lawyers in Maryland, including how to encourage the greater use of MICPEL courses. The online survey, drafted by Karen Federman Henry and her subcommittee, is geared to this end and hopefully appealed to lawyers because it was quick to complete. It will provide data from which we can glean just what is going on educationally with lawyers.”

“This information gathering effort will help us determine the types of CLE programs our MSBA members are now attending, what types of programs appeal to them and the types of programs that will interest them in the future,” explains Henry. “We recognize that the nature of CLE has changed over the years, so we want to see how lawyers are now fulfilling their CLE needs. Hopefully, the survey feedback will give us insight.”

This Subcommittee will compile the survey results and report them to MSBA’s Long Range Planning Committee.

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Publications : Bar Bulletin:June 2008

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