Articles Tagged with CLE

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PBI.pngIt is hard to believe that I’ve been teaching the “advertising/marketing” ethics hour for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute for more than a decade now. But what makes it particularly interesting is that my space (pun intended, if you get it) keeps changing with such rapid fire imprecision that it really never gets old. This year I return to the theme of social networking ethics. I could say I’m repeating my program from 2010, but very little is the same. I looked back into my PowerPoint slides to find my first discussion of advertising and social media taking place in 2003. This makes me sound and feel ancient.

As usual, I will be presenting this PBI program live in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia in April, August and December of 2014. My April programs take place on the 24th in Pittsburgh and 29th in Philadelphia–from 11:30 am-12:30 pm. For more information and registration, visit PBI.

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Thumbnail image for sctv-734261.jpgIt is rare that I make a trip to Chicago or Toronto without spending an evening at Second City. There is nothing more entertaining (to me) than great improvisational comedy. Growing up, I was a Second City TV groupie of sorts, now possessing the entire DVD collection of SCTV. I love the creativity, thinking on your feet and ability to laugh at oneself (and others). So it was easy to talk about Drexel University Law School‘s “Improv for Lawyers” class in an article written this week by Associated Press reporter Kathy Matheson.

Matheson was writing about the uniqueness of such a law school elective, taught by actress/comedian Sharon Geller, who has also provided improv training as a CLE to lawyers in various settings. While this all coincidentally took place in my home base of Philadelphia, it was my role in the American Bar Association–as a past chair of the Law Practice Management Section and a current member of the ABA’s Standing Committee on CLE that led her to ask about my experience and views on the subject. I was asked about the uniqueness of the program and the value to a new or seasoned attorney.

In many law firm retreats where I’ve participated in some manner–either in organization, as a speaker, or in conjunction with a business development project–an improv session taught by one of many skilled troupes in the United States (including Second City traveling casts) is used to develop skills including team building, public speaking, “thinking on your feet” and training for improved client and prospective client interactions. Improv has also been used by a number of law firms I work with for associate and partner professional development training programs in-house. Whether or not they qualify as “substantive legal training” as a CLE is a state-by-state matter–but that is a subject for another post. Whether or not it is CLE accredited, the program provides a useful training ground that incorporates numerous elements of law practice.

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Micah Buchdahl is honored to have been appointed by incoming ABA President Laurel Bellows to the Standing Committee on Continuing Legal Education. The committee is chaired by Vince Polley. The Director of the ABA Center for Professional Development is Jill Eckert McCall.

The ABA Center for Professional Development (formerly Center for CLE) is guided by this committee, working closely with experts from the ABA Sections and other entities and from the profession at large in developing programs and products. It serves as the central resource for the ABA and the profession for up-to-the-minute, quality CLE distributed through a variety of convenient formats.

Micah’s experience with educational programming inside and outside of the ABA makes him well suited to serve in this capacity. As a former section officer (a past chair of the Law Practice Management Section), he has been involved in decision-making discussions of the ABA’s CLE arm for many years. In LPM, he served as the education board chair (many years ago, where his ABA staff liaison on CLE was Ms. McCall). In LPM, he also helped create and develop the organization’s first standalone ABA Law Marketing Strategies Conference. He has been a faculty member, teaching ethics, for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute for over a decade, and frequently teaches CLEs internally at law firms, as well as through every “delivery mechanism” possible for CLE. For the ABA Center for Professional Development, he has been both a program chair and speaker. Of course, as an ABA member, he has also been a client–taking advantage of many of the member benefits regarding CLE programming. Outside of professional development programming in law firms, Micah does not participate in for-profit CLEs, limiting his teaching time to professional organizations such as the ABA, PBI and state bars.