Maryland Bar Bulletin
Publications : Bar Bulletin : September 2010

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Next month, online CLE programs and publications will be available at MSBA. The Association will be offering a new electronic member-friendly CLE service designed to meet the CLE needs of all Maryland lawyers. Members will be able to conveniently peruse MSBA’s extensive online catalog of MSBA CLE publications and its comprehensive online listing of substantive law CLE programs. In addition, lawyers may easily purchase these publications, books and materials, register for CLE programs and download programming electronically.

In the last six months MSBA’s CLE Department has made great strides, organizing a new structure to successfully carry on the Association’s tradition of strong CLE substantive law programs and valued books and publications. Staffed by Program Attorney Andrea Terry and CLE Publications Manager Joanne Daniels, the CLE Department is working with MSBA’s 27 Sections to offer timely electronic and live substantive CLE programs plus new and updated MSBA/MICPEL publications. In October, MSBA will unveil its new electronic CLE service so attorneys may conduct all of their CLE transactions online.

"ATTORNEYS
will be able to do everything online with respect to our publications, and as members of MSBA, they also get a great price break."

JOANNE DANIELS
MSBA CLE Publications Manager

MSBA’s CLE service will now be channeled through InReach, a sophisticated national provider that hosts CLE program and publication catalogs for almost 50 state and local bar associations. “InReach (formerly Legal Span) is one of the premier online CLE delivery platforms in the country,” reports Terry. Access to InReach’s extensive shared CLE content selections significantly broadens the quantity of CLE programs available to Maryland attorneys.

“Expanding our online offerings is a significant, logical and necessary step of rebuilding the CLE function of the MSBA,” states Paul V. Carlin, MSBA’s Executive Director. “The CLE Taskforce was immensely impressed by InReach’s experience and capabilities.”

Additionally, InReach has created a special MSBA-branded catalog so the Association’s website will host a special CLE link that is easy to navigate. Members will directly access the Association’s two online catalogs – one featuring CLE programs and one listing MSBA CLE publications at www.msba.org.

Lawyers will be able to conveniently browse both of these user-friendly catalogs, searchable by the area of law, faculty, author and title, and easily find the CLE content they seek. They may quickly access the calendar of upcoming programs, register for live programs online, purchase their publications online and essentially conduct all of their CLE transactions from their desks. InReach also has a built-in marketing component to complement MSBA’s CLE marketing efforts.

Programs

To date, most of the Association’s live CLE programs have attracted sellout crowds and the valuable content presented at these live sessions, along with the accompanying materials, will also be available to members electronically. By clicking on MSBA’s CLE/program link, www.msba.org, members may soon view the Association’s complete list of 40 or more programs, including those presented in the last six months, new ones scheduled for upcoming months and, courtesy of InReach, programs produced by other bars because they are not state-specific but rather address federal law and Supreme Court decisions.

“Eventually, we will be webcasting our live programs so attorneys can have ‘live streaming’ directly to their desktops,” reports Terry. Webcasting is very popular with today’s lawyers and it will enable MSBA “to provide high-quality, efficient electronic CLE programs to reach markets previously untapped, like pockets of the Eastern Shore and Western Maryland.”

Moreover, webcasting through InReach makes “programming quickly accessible and easily accredited,” she adds. “InReach builds into its client catalogs all of the requirements that must be met for online programming to qualify for CLE credit,” explains Terry. “MSBA sends them our CLE programming and materials and InReach ensures that it is CLE-compliant then adds the listing to its polished professional, user-friendly catalog.”

While Maryland is still a voluntary CLE state, “accreditation is very important to Maryland attorneys also admitted in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Delaware, New York and other states,” Terry reports. “As an industry standard, accreditation by surrounding states means MSBA has met high standards for quality regarding its CLE faculty, materials and participant evaluations so it is important for credibility in the CLE legal market.”

Publications

MSBA’s CLE publications are as popular as ever and sales have been robust in the last six months. “A large number of lawyers have contacted us for these popular books and publications. Lawyers really want these books,” declares Daniels, “and in a few weeks they will be able to conveniently buy them online.” The Association’s extensive library of publications will be found in a detailed, organized catalog by clicking on MSBA’s CLE/publication link, www.msba.org.

Over 95 percent of all MICPEL publications are still available to Maryland lawyers, and now they will be found online. Attorneys can instantly access MSBA CLE titles, prices and descriptions. They will be able to see the status of each individual publication as well as its table of contents.

“The most frequently-asked questions attorneys have regarding CLE publications will also be posted online,” reports Daniels. “Attorneys will be able to do everything online with respect to our publications, and as members of MSBA, they also get a great price break.” New publication titles and updates are continually being added to this electronic catalog, and Daniels anticipates the addition of five to six more by the end of the year.

Major ones in the pipeline include Maryland Civil Pattern Jury Instructions, 6th Edition, Maryland Criminal Pattern Jury Instructions, 2nd Edition, and Allan Gibber is busy working on the 2010 Supplement to Gibber on Estate Administration, 5th Edition. MSBA members will receive first notice of the availability of all new releases via MSBA’s website and electronic publications.

Conclusion

MSBA’s CLE service is a work in progress, as the Association continually updates its two catalogs, adding the newest CLE publications and programs for MSBA members to access online. All MSBA members are encouraged to take advantage of the Association’s fully-automated CLE service as it caters to all of their CLE needs. They will have CLE content right at their fingertips with this new member-friendly, convenient MSBA member service.


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Publications : Bar Bulletin: September 2010

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