How do I become a continuing legal education or general CE provider?
September 19, 2013 10:31 PM   Subscribe

How does one go about becoming a continuing legal education (CLE) or CE provider in the US and Canada?

I have developed a number of educational materials and books. Recently, it has come to my attention that many of the people purchasing my materials are lawyers. Still others are members of professional organizations that require professional education. Some of my clients have suggested I get into providing CLE seminars or materials. Others have suggested I look at general continuing education for other professions.

I would like to start with whatever would provide the biggest bang for my buck. I suspect that might mean CLE, but I am open to ideas. Without going into specifics and revealing my identity, suffice it to say that I have arrange of books and educational materials for professional services providers. I have tried looking into CLE but I wasn't really sure how it worked - there are so may states and provinces. And I've looked into CE, but, again, I'm not sure where to start. I see some organizations are seeking partners, but I have no idea who's legitimate.

One person told me they didn't think people got paid for offering CLE. But perhaps it would be a way to sell my other materials, if that is the case.

If it matters, I am in Canada. (That means I would have to offer distance course for people in the US, because of visa requirements.)

posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats to Work & Money (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
In the US, as far as I know, for CLE, you have to apply to each state's credit-granting authority separately for each class. (Example)

Continuing medical education works differently (again, in the US) - there are groups that get certified to provide credit. This should help.

Continuing education for nurses is a looser affair - I don't know the details but the people I work with who deal with that seem to take the view that anything that provides CME credit will easily qualify to provide nursing CE.
posted by lakeroon at 2:13 AM on September 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

You need to get your materials approved by each state's accreditation authority, i.e., whatever agency keeps track of CLE requirements.

I've given CLE presentations in a number of contexts, and my impression is that if you're a lawyer, getting approval isn't too terribly difficult. If you're not a lawyer, I can really see this being an uphill slog though. Not just for snobbish reasons either: it's very, very easy to make a mistake which, while not substantively problematic, screams "I'm not a lawyer!" That'll raise questions about the rest of your material, and the person reviewing your application may or may not be arsed to look at it carefully enough to tell if it's legit.
posted by valkyryn at 3:06 AM on September 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

I work with this a little and one thing you'll probably need are credentialed reviewers to sign off on you courses. Do you think any of your clients would be open to working with youro If they think you provide quality work that helps their peers and employees and want a little expert work on LinkedIn they might be open to helping.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 5:03 AM on September 20, 2013

The guys behind Law and the Multiverse are MeFites, if I remember correctly, and they went from informal blog, to book, to CLE courses. I'm sure they'd talk to you about their experiences.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:17 AM on September 20, 2013

It looks like CLE offerings vary province to province. Contact the agency responsible for CLE in your province to start with and make a pitch to provide materials. Also contact a law school in your province; you may be able to develop a pitch there that will help persuade the governing agency to incorporate your seminars or materials into approved CLE stuff for their attorneys.
posted by mibo at 7:23 AM on September 20, 2013

It will vary state-by-state/province-by-province, but in BC at least it is not that hard to get accredited by the Law Society....if you have a look at their website there are all kinds of in-house "lunch and learn" type things qualifying, and even private companies who give educational talks while building their business with lawyers (like engineers and such) which are accredited.
posted by Pomo at 8:26 AM on September 20, 2013

The guys behind Law and the Multiverse are MeFites, if I remember correctly, and they went from informal blog, to book, to CLE courses. I'm sure they'd talk to you about their experiences.


posted by valkyryn at 11:50 AM on September 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

I thought you were one of those guys, valkyryn, but I didn't want to call you out in case I was wrong or in case you didn't want to be outed!
posted by Rock Steady at 1:29 PM on September 20, 2013

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