My friends tell me that I get excited about the strangest things...Maybe they are right!
I just returned from the 46th Annual Meeting of the Association for Continuing Legal Education held in the vibrant atmosphere of Times Square. What a great group of people! 265 individuals involved in CLE came from the four corners of the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and more for the purpose of exchanging ideas on how to improve Continuing Legal Education.
The energy was contagious and I came away with really cool programming ideas. In designing courses, Content is King! But, it doesn't stop there. Have you ever attended a CLE program that sounded interesting but turned into one giant snooze fest? You know what I am talking about – a really smart person stands up in front of the room reading words off of a power point in a monotone voice. BORING at best. Not a good experience.
My philosophy is that you are ENTITLED to a stimulating educational experience. That is why I was so excited to be exposed to different styles of programming. Those who have attended my course "Take Charge of Your Life – Personal and Professional" can attest that I don't rely on a standard lecture format. Instead, attendees participate, interact with each other and leave with a mini plan of action designed to improve their practices.
By the way, are you sick of power point? Some love it and some hate it. One point that has stuck with me is that if the lecturer says the same thing that is on the power point, either the lecturer should leave the stage or the projector should be turned off. The audience doesn't need both! How true!
The Sharper Lawyer faculty will be encouraged to utilize techniques to stimulate your thinking and keep your interest. We will look at role playing, stop action videotape segments and IGNITE. I was introduced to the IGNITE format at the ACLEA conference and it works like this: Speakers are given five minutes to speak on a subject accompanied by 20 slides. Each slide is displayed for 15 seconds, and slides are automatically advanced. It is awesome because you hear approximately 10 speakers in an hour and you are getting their ABSOLUTE BEST MATERIAL! (The technique was met with great acclaim at the recent ABA convention. Reportedly, the time frame was adjusted so that each speaker had six minutes to speak — since the presenters were attorneys and attorneys relate so well to six minute increments.) Take a look at http://igniteshow.com/ for more information. The tagline of IGNITE is "Enlighten us, but make it quick". You will be amazed as to the amount of valuable information that can be conveyed in a short period of time.
In closing for today, I want to remind those New Jersey Attorneys assigned to Compliance Group 2 (those born between July 1 and December 31) that you must earn 12 credits by December 31, 2010.