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Free CLE Resources

by Joe Kaczrowski | Mar 17, 2015
Maybe it's been two and a half years and it's that time again, or maybe you're just striking out on your own, whatever the reason it's good to know there are a number of free continuing education resources out there.

By no means is this intended to be a comprehensive list, but here are a few of the options available in Minnesota:

The MSBA has thirty-seven sections that host hundreds of CLEs each year, many of which are offered for free to new lawyers, law students, and section members.  These CLEs also offer remote participation via Adobe Connect (also free).

If you want to get more involved with the MSBA and give back to the community, the Mock Trial program is always looking for more volunteers to judge competitions.  Mock Trial Judge Training is available for CLE credit too.

If you're a new admittee check out Minnesota CLE's New Lawyer Initiative, which offers free enrollment in the New Lawyer Experience.  Minnesota CLE also offers new lawyers a free program called How to Start and Build a Successful Law Practice.

District bar associations and county law libraries are other good options.  Some host regular CLEs while others are more infrequent.  Dakota County, for example, hosts two CLEs each month, one in Apple Valley and one in Hastings, while the 8th District Bar Association is hosting an ethics CLE on the civil right to counsel before its spring meeting April 9 in Waconia.

If you're a member of HCBA, then you can choose from over eighty CLEs hosted by HCBA sections and committees for free as well.

Are you an ABA member? The ABA offers members eighteen free CLE credits each year.  The ABA also offers a monthly free webinar on topics relating to career development (not CLE credit).

A number of commercial vendors offer free continuing education events as well.  For example, Shepherd Data has a monthly e-Discovery series.

The Federal Bar Association hosts occasional CLE/training sections in conjunction with its Pro Se Project. 

Another good source of free CLE programming are the four (soon to be three) area law schools.  Topics vary, as does length (number of credits).  William Mitchell has a couple coming up in the next month.  St. Thomas also has a series in April called Perspectives: World War II and the Law, which is free and some segments offer CLE credit.