Examining the Relationship Between Learning, Continuing Legal Education, and the Improvement of the Practice of the Law

Examining the Relationship Between Learning, Continuing Legal Education, and the Improvement of the Practice of the Law

Holly B. Fisher (Kansas State University, USA) and W. Franklin Spikes (Kansas State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1808-2.ch005
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Abstract

This is a case study about the Kansas Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Commission and its Education Initiative. As the regulator of CLE in the State of Kansas, the Commission ensures that quality course offerings are available for attorneys who are licensed within the state for use in meeting their annual mandatory continuing legal education (MCLE) requirements. The Commission's Education Initiative was focused on discovering current best practices in program development, delivery, and evaluation with the goal of improving the MCLE experience for Kansas attorneys and thus improving the practice of law. Findings from this effort point to innovative efforts currently underway, or aspired to, by providers to evaluate how MCLE disseminates new legal knowledge, increases attorney-to-attorney connections, encourages ethical behavior, and, ultimately, improves the practice of law.
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Introduction And Organization Background

This chapter presents a case study of the Education Initiative, a program initiated by the Kansas Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Commission to develop an understanding of the current best practices of mandatory CLE (MCLE) providers and to explore opportunities to improve these learning programs and their impact on the practice of the law within the state. Mandated, regulated requirements for minimum CLE hours to maintain a license to practice law have only been in existence in any state for the last forty years and in Kansas for the last thirty years. Before explaining the details of this case, a brief history of the evolution of mandatory continuing legal education in the United States is provided in this section. In addition, background on the role of the Kansas CLE Commission, other players in the MCLE space, and current MCLE practices within the state are described. These topics provide important context for understand factors that influenced decisions in this case. Readers already familiar with this information may skip to the second section that details the case.

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