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June 8th, 2017

These 5 Tips Will Help Get You the Most From Your CLE Requirements

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If you’re an attorney, you’re probably dreading your upcoming CLE deadline. But what if you could complete your MCLE requirement and actually enhance your practice at the same time? You might not realize it, but you have a lot of discretion in how to approach your state’s legal education requirement. Here are five factors to consider when choosing your CLE programs.

1. Determine Your Credit Type. The first thing to assess is the type of credit you need. Once you determine which part of your requirement you need to complete, you can decide the best way to fulfill it. For example, have you fulfilled all your general credits but just need ethics? If so, consider choosing an ethics program that fits your individual practice. For example, if you’re a solo practitioner, choose an ethics program tailored to solo or small firms. If you’re an in-house counsel, consider an ethics program that is tailored to your daily practice.

Alternatively, look for ethics programs geared towards your practice area like Ethics for the Entertainment Law Practitioner or Ethics for Environmental Lawyers. Lastly, consider an ethics program in evolving and sometimes murky areas of the law like Social Media Ethics for Attorneys. With more and more ethics programs out there, you’re bound to find something that addresses your needs.

2. Narrow by Practice Area. Narrowing down CLE programs by practice area is one of the easiest ways to determine the best CLE program to watch. When focusing on a practice area, you have a few options:

  • Choose a program specific to your practice area. This option keeps you apprised of what’s going on in your area of the law. Learn about recent legal developments, how to address common challenges or obstacles attorneys face in your practice, and get into the weeds of more advanced legal concepts.
  • Explore a new practice area. Looking for something new? Get a change of pace and consider watching something completely out of your element. Who knows, you may like something so much that you choose to expand your practice. Or maybe your newfound knowledge will lead to your next career move!
  • Consider how your practice area intersects with others. In this global market, worlds often collide and it’s important to understand various perspectives when representing your client. For example, are you a corporate or real estate transactional lawyer? Then learn more about Environmental Issues in Corporate Transactions or Environmental Real Estate Transactions. Or maybe you’re an M&A attorney looking to explore Intellectual Property Considerations in M&A Transactions. Whatever your area, finding other areas of law that intersect with yours can only help your practice.

3. Identify a Program’s Scope. Are you a litigation attorney or real estate attorney whose practice is very regionally based? Or maybe a criminal attorney practicing in local courts? If so, look for local and state-specific programming. You’d be surprised at what you can find. For example, these programs are specifically tailored to attorneys from California, Illinois, Texas, New York, New Jersey, and Virginia.

If your practice is centered around federal law rather than state, there are even more options for you. Alternatively, if your practice is internationally focused, look for programs with an international scope like International Commercial Arbitration, FCPA Enforcement Trends & Predictions, or UAS Export Control Regulation: A Practical Guide.

4. Price Your Options. Are you looking for the most cost-effective approach to fulfilling your CLE requirement? In many cases, purchasing individual programs can be more expensive in the long run than other options. For example, many providers allow attorneys to save money through a CLE subscription which gives you the option of choosing any CLE program you want, usually at a discounted cost.

If you don’t want to sort through thousands of CLE programs, CLE providers generally provide a way to cut to the chase by purchasing a compliance bundle. Compliance bundles are a set of high quality programs specifically designed to meet your state’s specific MCLE requirements. Many times, you can also choose bundles by practice area!

5. Refine Your Skills. Are you a seasoned trial court litigator looking to learn more about best practices in mediation or arbitration? Do you want to improve your negotiation strategy or up your legal writing game? Choose your programs based on what your work entails, and what skills you’d like to further develop or newly acquire.

 

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Angelica Cesario

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August 12th, 2013

NSA Wiretapping May Cost Us More Than We Think …

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As an attorney working in a continuing education (CE) company, the recent Edward Snowden controversy has all the makings of an epic online continuing education program.

In a mere three months, the Snowden leak has prompted investigations into the USIS for oversights in its security clearance checks, manifested strained relations between the U.S. and Russia, as well as prompted a heated debate into whether the wiretapping programs are violating our Fourth Amendment rights.  This, of course, doesn’t even scratch the proverbial digital surface.

As an attorney, I jumped at the opportunity to design programs clarifying the arising legal issues. As a U.S. citizen, I used my programming powers to educate myself about how this affects my constitutional rights. And, as an active participant in the tech space, I researched how the revelations about the NSA will impact our industry.

And impact it does.

On August 9, 2013, major players in the technology space met with President Obama and civil and digital rights advocates to discuss arising data privacy concerns. Although this meeting was shrouded with mystery (a private meeting, not on the president’s public schedule, that went unannounced by the White House), the agenda seemed to consist of a discussion on “trade, deficit reduction and American competitiveness.”

So what does that actually mean? What are they discussing?

My guess is it is directly related to the overwhelming threat that technology companies are facing nationwide in the face of NSA surveillance programs such as PRISM.  According to a report by the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF), the “the recent revelations … will likely have an immediate and lasting impact on the competitiveness of the U.S. cloud computing industry if foreign customers decide the risks of storing data with a U.S. company outweigh the benefits.”  The ITIF report goes on to explain that the industry may very well lose “$22 to $35 billion over the next three years as a result of the recent revelations about the NSA’s electronic surveillance programs.”

There is a silver lining, however.  Despite other countries’ continued efforts to invest in the cloud computing industry, the ITIF report states the U.S. still has quite the cloud computing lead “not just domestically, but also abroad where it dominates every segment of the market.”

So, please Mr. President, Google, Apple and Civil Liberties Union, et al. – meet on, my friends.  We may have a buffer, albeit a small one, to figure out how to keep our market hold on the cloud computing industry in a post-Snowden era.  And while you’re at it – check out our latest CLE programs on Data Security & Privacy Issues in Cloud Computing.

With faculty who will be at the forefront of this evolving issue – these programs are a resource even the President will not want to miss out on.

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Sigalle Barness

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June 12th, 2013

5 Social Media Benefits & Tips for Attorneys

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Social Media consists of endless opportunities … if you know how to use it.  With millions of users in each social network, there are amazing benefits at an attorneys fingertips and more than enough helpful tips to make the most of those benefits.  Here are a few to always keep in mind:

  1. Networking.  Every industry stresses the importance of networking and communicating with others in your field, attorneys are no different.  While emails, seminars and even cocktails hours introduce you to others outside your circle, social media (especially Linkedin and Twitter) makes the “unreachable” all of a sudden, reachable. The “unreachable” can be anyone from the federal judge you’re vying to clerk for, or the partner in an elite city firm who actively tweets mind boggling, albeit sarcastic, legal insight.  Show an interest in what is relevant or important to another, and they will likely show and interest in you.
  2. Marketing. With websites like JD Supra (a paid service that distributes legal content) attorneys are able to distribute content outside their normal boundaries.  JD Supra can be connected to Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin and serves as an informational source to an network of over 100,000 attorneys. It enables you to share your own expertise in written or video form, serving as a great platform to promote expertise and educate others.
  3. Twitter Search. Twitter search allows a user to not only find out what’s relevant in the #legal world, but also allows you to find out who is relevant in the legal world.  By searching key words, events or cases one can easily discover legal conversations and news that might not otherwise be found through a simple Google search.  Twitter search is available to everyone and poses as a great starting point for articles, videos and overall connections.
  4. Relevance.  As mentioned in above, Twitter search helps you find out what and who is relevant.  This concept also applies to your social media and what you post on different mediums.  Tweets, blog posts, Facebook and Linkedin updates need to be timely, consistent and relevant.  Combined with a knowledge of whatever the subject may be, relevance to current events or issues will help with marketing tremendously.
  5. Education. As obvious as it sounds, social networks are the base for breaking news and what seems to be an unlimited source of educational information.  With ed-tech apps, instantaneous updates and millions of diverse people posting these updates, social media as proven itself to be an unlimited educational source.  Next time you’re in a heated discussion over the new tax law, or current politics, think of where your founding arguments come from.  More often than not, it stems from the internet and a post you saw on a colleagues Linkedin.  Always remember your source.
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Stephanie Paeprer

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May 17th, 2013

Springtime at FurtherEd

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Mark Twain said, “It’s Spring Fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!”

In many respects, professionals are akin to plants. For those plants that survive the winter to be born again come spring, winter is a time to conserve energy, and focus on preserving the roots. Much like plants, professionals enter a mode of winter hibernation: We spend the summer expanding our knowledge; overcoming hurdles; and, focusing on growing. Then, when that first cold front hits, we hibernate, focusing our minds and energy on getting through the winter’s case load, relying on the skills and tactics we’ve spent the year developing.

Come Spring, our mimicry of plant cycles progresses. As the ground warms and the sun is set higher in the sky, the plants get an itch: in time, the first buds will break the soil, allowing for the first fruits and flowers to set. At FurtherEd, we view the springtime as the perfect time and opportunity for professionals, like plants, to spread their leaves, soak up the knowledge and grow to newer and greater heights than any spring before.

To assist in this quest, we’re assembling some exciting content that is sure to help generate the energy needed to tackle the growth season, head on.

For new seeds (newly admitted attorneys), we’ve put together some phenomenal Bridge the Gap courses that will ditch the dated style of slow, meaningless legal indoctrination. Instead we’re providing spring growers with exciting, forward thinking educational content sure to a boost in the race to expand and conquer! Attorneys in attendance in the coming months will learn: how to start a firm with no money down; how to focus that firm’s energy on targeting the burgeoning, American Start-Up culture; and, to master new means of exploiting old skills to take on new, demanding, dynamic practice related tasks and clients.

For our perennials (veteran attorneys), the potential is limitless! 2012 was a year characterized by rapid evolution in a variety of fields. Our Spring goal: to provide you the advice, direction and skills necessary to be among the leaders in these developing areas. Partnering with the top attorneys in their fields, we’ll bring you all you need to know about pharmaceuticals, healthcare, business planning, and software licensing. Plus… what’s more topical to the Spring season than a course on Bike Law (get your helmets on!)?

As you can see, we’re excited. The grass is growing, the cherry blossoms are in bloom and professionals of all types are exiting their caves, ready to learn, grow and excel in 2013.

As Christopher Morley so eloquently stated, “April prepares her green traffic light and the world thinks Go!”  As your mind reopens, ready to consume all the new knowledge of the coming harvest, we hope you’ll GO with FurtherEd, so we can GROW together.

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David Cykiert

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