Lawline.com Shakes Up the CLE Industry Putting Learning Before Earning
The cost of online CLE is no longer a race to the bottom. It’s already there. In May, 2012, Lawline.com opened up its entire database of quality offerings for all to view, free of charge. Lawyers only pay if they want to earn credit for viewing the course.
Lawyers and non-lawyers alike can watch courses ranging from Winning Your Case: Legal Writing and Trial Preparation to Ethical Pitfalls in Social Networking, which are among the almost 1,000 free offerings.
We are in the middle of an e-learning revolution,” says Lawline.com’s CEO David Schnurman. “With our new platform, Lawline.com will be at the forefront of it.
Imagine that, an organization more interested in helping attorneys to learn rather than simply earn credit.
Of course, Lawline.com is not doing this out of purely altruistic motives. They’re a business after all. The company predicts that over 25 million courses will be viewed through 2014. That’s a 25 fold increase from the 1 million certificates issued over the past 12 or so years combined. I’d wager that a good number of attorneys viewing the courses will go ahead and pay for the credits when their reporting cycle is up. Still, this model puts learning before earning (credits).
A stand-out feature, as Bob Ambrogi details at Law Sites is SmartNotes:
“As you watch a presentation, the SmartNotes box appears to the right of the video. As the speaker progresses through key points (shown for each program as a “playlist”), you can add notes to the point currently being discussed. As you add notes, SmartNotes creates an outline, organizing your notes under the key topics. At any time, you can click a note to go back to the point in the presentation where you wrote it. Notes can also be emailed and printed.”
Additionally, by removing the paywall, presenters can now add links to their presentations in their bios and marketing materials. Win-win.
The shakeup has begun. Hey CLE regulators, your turn – to get into the 21st century, defang the still debated “mandatory” element, and be more concerned with educating lawyers rather than punishing them.