The Continuing Legal Education industry is rapidly changing with the near-disappearance of In-Person Seminars, the rise of technology, and tighter program budgets. There's been a 10% decrease on live programs in the past year alone, due to the fact that lawyers are learning differently; they're becoming more technological savvy and budget conscious.
But make no mistake, law programs are here to stay...with certain conditions:
- Recurring events result in higher success: attorneys will return to the same program when they find it helpful and they will be skeptical when a new one-time event is introduced.
- Local bars have a higher chance to stay because everyone is well-networked and personally invested. Fostering relationships is important to people, make sure your CLE programs encourage people to build their network, whether online or in-person.
- Great speakers draw live audiences (and online audiences too). Find a speaker others see as a thought-leader and create a big buzz around their knowledge and reputation.
- Keep your attorney's needs and struggles in mind by offering an online option; specially if they don't have the budget to travel or if the topic is around technology.
How attorney's are learning differently:
- It used to be the attorney's duty to stay on top of the law by reading a periodic law digest, attending lectures, and seeking out traditional forms of learning to master their specialization. This type of learning is known as "Mastery Mode" and it is becoming less frequent amongst the new generation of lawyers.
- The "Just In Time" model applies to the newer generation of lawyers who look up and master a topic only when the need arises. The commitment to learning and reading every day is replaced by a topic driven search. It's a powerful approach because the content is more "fresh" and "up to date" when the attorney decides its the right time to learn it.
Where will CLE be in ten years?
- In-person programs are not going to become extinct in the future. However, in-person programs will not be the primary form of learning cle in 10 years as we begin to accommodate the younger generation of lawyers.
- Attorney's will learn to adapt to technology but they will continue to (physically) attend conferences in order to develop new relationships.
- As attention spans get shorter so will most CLE programs.
- The future of CLE will see an increase in Social Media interaction.
- Online programs will become a standard part of an attorney's training: video trainings will be used to train lawyers who are not coming in with enough experience.
As you start adapting your CLE programming to reflect the changes above, consider catching up on these Top 5 Legal Marketing Trends.