Continuing Legal Education is much like the laws of the state: Come rain, snow or coronavirus, the requirements still remain.
With federal, state and even town limits on social gatherings as well as hotels, event centers, restaurants and more, obvious challenges exist for in-person CLEs for the immediate future.
Many CLE programs have been rescheduled, or postponed, while others have turned to technology to allow them to continue.
Colorado Supreme Court Attorney Regulation Counsel Jessica Yates said there were instances of both canceling CLE programs and moving to a web-based form of a program, such as webcasting. Several events, such as big conferences with multiple speakers over a day with networking opportunities, are being cancelled or postponed.
For the CBA CLE’s big summer programs there is an uncertain future. Many of the big summer events are attended for a sense of community, with chances to meet and network, as much as they do for the content of the event, Vince O’Brien of the CBA CLE said.
Each of these events are involved with hotels, which is a primary focus is at the moment. Currently, the organization is looking at options for rescheduling or at alternative formats.
“We’re rescheduling up until July — well, we’re trying to reschedule. It’s actually proving really difficult and challenging to reschedule right now with the hotel industry,” O’Brien said.
O’Brien described the operation and situations of events like the Rocky Mountain IP Conference as a roller coaster due to the complexity of how hotels are having to operate during this time.
The organization is hopeful that some later events, such as those in August, will hopefully remain open and on schedule, he said.
Yates felt the biggest challenge facing the CLE program currently was helping sponsors with changes to their programming. A number of CLE programs scheduled for this month or next have been postponed, and require changes to paperwork and internal approval to stay consistent with CLE requirements.