March 30, 2013

A Response to Jordan Furlong In a post at Law21, Jordan Furlong claims that no one wants to ask whether Mandatory Continuing Legal Education programs work, i.e, that they improve attorney competence. He suggests there is no evidence. There is. But MCLE organizations do need to pay more attention to the evidence. Evidence for the effectiveness of MCLE: New York Study of CPE for Accountants New York implemented mandatory CPE for accountants in the mid-90s and the state legislature required a study of effectiveness as part of that implementation. The study was run by Arden Grotelueschen, PhD, University of Illinois who was, at the time, the leading exert in the world on continuing adult professional education. They spent a half million dollars and concluded: Mandatory programs increase partcipation in continuing education, and Increased participation in continuing education correlates with increased knowledge. So, what those of us who have been involved in MCLE for decades have always assumed - that attending CLE programs would increase lawyer knowledge levels - turns out to be validated. Who wants to argue some state or province should repeat this study just to show the same in law? (As far as I can tell, the technical reports from this work aren't online anywhere, but I've got a scanned copy. Email me, dave.shearon at, and I'll send you the file.) Evidence for the effectiveness of MCLE: Lawyer Response Jordan also suggests asking lawyers about MCLE. Again, it's been done. Repeatedly. In multiple states. Over more than a decade. And the results...

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