The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Thursday, April 14, 2005

The CLE Scam

I just spent two days at a legal seminar relating to the very specific area of law that I've been practicing for the past 18 years. Since I already know about as much as anyone else about this area of the law, I learned virtually nothing during the two days (I'm not bragging: this industry is only 18 years old and I've literally been in it since its inception; if I didn't know as much as anyone it would be very sad, indeed). I did get a chance to meet up with many of my old colleagues in the industry so in that respect it was worthwhile.

It was also worthwhile because I was able to earn 15 of the 24 Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits that I need over a two year period in order to maintain my license in good standing.

The whole CLE gig is a big scam. Basically, it works like this. There is a cottage industry called the CLE industry. They administer the CLE system and provide many courses for hefty fees. They lobby the various state legislatures and bar associations to implement these CLE credit requirements. They probably contribute significantly to the re-election campaigns of the legislators. The legislatures keep boosting the number of credits required every license period.

Everyone knows it's a scam. Most people sleep through the courses, play video games on their phones (my high score in bowling: 215) or correspond with others on their Blackberries. Nevertheless, the system rolls on and the cottage industry continues to rake in the money.


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