CLE courses reviewed for tech components CLE courses reviewed for tech components Many members may find they have already met any new CLE technology standard August 1, 2016 Regular News If the Supreme Court adopts the Bar’s request to include a technology component in the mandatory continuing education requirements for Florida lawyers, many members may find they have already met the new standard. Terry Hill, director of the Bar’s Programs Division, told the Bar’s CLE Committee at the Annual Convention in Orlando that the Supreme Court is now considering the Bar’s petition to raise the mandatory CLE standard from 30 to 33 credits per three-year reporting period, with the added three credits earmarked for technology education. The court has taken up the rule change request without oral argument, and Hill is hopeful the new technology component will be approved sometime this fall. In the meantime, Hill said, the Bar is reevaluating its current CLE course catalog to determine if any of those programs have technology components that would qualify under the proposed rule. If they do, Florida lawyers who have already taken those programs will automatically be given credit toward meeting any new CLE technology standard. The Board of Governors sent the three-hour increase in the Bar’s CLE requirement, plus a new mandate to take technology-related CLE courses, to the court a year ago at the recommendation of the Technology Committee of the Vision 2016 commission as a way to improve the technological competence of Florida lawyers. In bringing the recommendation to the board, John Stewart, chair of Vision 2016’s Technology Committee, said that after two years of study, his committee concluded that lawyers cannot practice law competently if they don’t have a basic level of technological competence in their practice area. Hill said the Bar is only reevaluating its own courses, unless an outside provider specifically asks that its courses be reevaluated. The Bar makes CLE available online, on demand, with 24/7 access and provides enough free CLE per year so that any member can fulfill his or her 10 hours per year requirement with complimentary CLE. It has been 31 years since the board first voted to recommend mandatory CLE for Bar members, and in that time the 30-hour-per-three-year standard has not changed.