The acceptance of online completions of programs for MCLE credit has grown throughout my tenure in the industry. When I began here at West LegalEdcenter in 2001 (has it really been 10 years?!):
- 40 states had mandatory requirements - now there are 45
- 27 states allowed attorneys to take online courses - now all 45 allow
- 15 states allowed attorneys to take all of their credits online - this has grown to 27
Big changes in acceptance mean a significant growth in the number of credits taken. Dan Levering, director of the Pennsylvania MCLEprogram, stated at the last provider conference that about 8% of the total credits taken by Pennsylvania-licensed attorneys are done though distance learning. This is up significantly from the first pilot years when attorneys could only take three credits online. West LegalEdcenter has also seen this considerable growth since those first years, with continued double-digit growth in completions year over year.
We also continue to see a spike as the end of the compliance period draws near. Despite the wealth of content now available continually throughout the year, there will always be some attorneys who complete the last credits online in the days before the credits are required to be finished.
Yesterday we had about four times our regular daily average of completions. Today by 10:00 am we'd already had about half again as many. And it always amazes me how many folks will complete their last credit between 11:00pm and midnight tonight.