Just because you have left the classroom behind, does not mean that your education is over. Far from! Whether you are embarking on your first days on the job or you are a veteran with decades of experience, continuing legal education is essential. Not only does the law change and evolve, so too do best practices. For example, there are more CLE options around challenging racial and poverty discrimination in the legal system today, and it is critical that we are educated on the disparities many people face when it comes to bail, jury selection, conviction, and sentencing.
Your education is ongoing; it never stops! Does this have to be a significant financial burden? No. There are a variety of cheap Florida CLE options available to lawyers and paralegals.
Accessing Cheap Florida CLE Options
There is a rich variety of low-cost and even free options when it comes to continuing legal education:
- The American Bar Association. ABA provides its members with free, unlimited access to over 600 CLE on-demand programs and webinars. The CLE offerings are widely-accredited and can help you meet professional development goals while staying abreast of key issues. The variety is exceptional, covering everything from commercial litigation funding to practicing ethically in the digital age.
- The Florida Bar. Professionals must earn 33 CLE credit hours every three years with certain requirements for different areas (e.g. 5 hours in courses related to mental health awareness, substance abuse, ethics, professionalism, or bias elimination). Legal Fuel: The Practice Resource Center of the Florida Bar offers free CLEs to help you meet these requirements.
- The Florida Bar also has a Young Lawyers Division with free CLE, as well as the Senior Lawyers Committee with ample options. Check out these invaluable resources.
- Practicing Law Institute. PLI offers accredited CLE options for groups and individual practitioners. These courses cost around $300 – $400 each. Alternatively, you can become a PLI member (either your firm or yourself as a solo practitioner); paying an annual flat-fee gives you complimentary access to these resources. As well, PLI’s accreditation team will handle all of your compliance applications and create a compliance profile that allows you to track CLE progress and stay on top of deadlines.
- NALS, NALA, and NFPA. NALS is the Association for Legal Professionals, NALA is the Paralegal Association, and NFPA is the National Federal of Paralegal Associations. Each provides continuing education options at significantly discounted rates for members. Further, each points paralegals towards other cheap Florida CLE opportunities.
- LexisNexis. LexisNexis University delivers courses that can earn you CLE credits. They’re relatively low cost (around $200 – $250), and they cover a broad range of topics. There are also free CLE options for paralegal students and practicing professionals.
- Independent Providers. You can find high quality training and education programs for legal professionals from legal research teams, industry groups, law firms, and dispute resolution firms.
Your education never stops, and there are ample opportunities to grow and develop in your field. Learn how to earn Florida continuing legal education credit with a free online seminar from Breakthrough Mediation.