I think this is something that is often forgotten, especially by those of us in the accreditation world. Continuing legal education does not have to be all about the credit. There are many types of programs that are incredibly valuable to the legal industry, but which will not qualify for MCLE credit.
For a long time, many in the legal field looked at what we do as strictly a profession, and refused to acknowledge that the law also has some components of a business. Now I think that more and more in the industry are recognizing that programming on topics related to the business of law are very valuable.
In most cases, however, they are still not considered MCLE and are not available for credit. That doesn’t mean that these topics aren’t both relevant and valuable to attorneys or that they aren’t very popular with attorney audiences.
My company offers many programs on business of law topics, on marketing and client development, on career development. However, we do not offer these programs for credit. While a few states may allow credit, I tend to be overly cautious and strict in my application there.
I would rather miss out on an opportunity to provide credit to some limited audience, than to have to tell even one attorney that they are not going to get the credit I told them they would. I also worry about sending mixed messages to attorneys who may not pay attention to the limited states in which credits of this type may be earned.
I’ve learned, again the hard way, that simply being clear that we are not offering credit for these programs saves in customer confusion, customer service issues, and unhappy accrediting agencies.