Tuesday, May 14, 2019

It’s not ALL about the CLE credits!

It’s CLE season, and half of us need to report to the judiciary our last two years’ credits by June 30.  So needless to say, there is a hustle and bustle here at the VBA in the spring.  But CLE’s are not about just checking boxes or hitting play on a DVD to hit the 20-hour mark.  There is so much more to a CLE offering, and the VBA prides itself on providing the whole package!

Take, for example, last Friday, which was Family Law Day. The full-day CLE covered representing people with disabilities, current case law, relocation issues and mediation.  But the event was so much more.  Much of the case law presentation erupted into full conversations among the attendees concerning the standards, their own similar cases and finer points of how the decisions could be applied.  In the mediation sessions, attendees broke into smaller groups to discuss whether their practices fall mainly into which of three categories: 1) taking full responsibility, 2) being open to learning or 3) having fun and what are the pulls from category to category.  Attendees shared personal stories, bonded and two even found out they were in the same law school class!

The food was plentiful and the conversations at lunch ran the gamut of current and past case law, bar exams, mentors and practice issues.  Many side-bars were had in the hall throughout the day.  While the event was recorded, the digital library will neither be as long, nor capture the comradery that wove through each segment.  We can, of course, share the pictures below, so you’ll be sure not to miss the next one!

Sure, CLEs are about learning, and we always strive to get the brightest and best of our colleagues to share their wisdom with attendees.  We can’t thank our members enough for volunteering to present at our programs throughout the year.  But CLE’s are also about having fun, networking, sharing stories, helping each other figure out complex cases, catching up, finding referrals, eating and being present in Vermont’s uniquely fabulous community of lawyers.

We know it is hard to find time out of our busy schedules to attend live CLEs.  Hearing the positive stories from our events convinces us that live CLEs are good for us, so we will just have to make the time. Just as we find time for family, meditation, wellness activities, the outdoors, exercise and all those things that are good for us, why not combine our required learning with a bit of fun?  Hope to see you all soon!

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