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Back Story: CLE to Go

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BY M. SCOTT MCKENNA, ESQ., NEVADA LAWYER EDITORIAL BOARD For this month’s Back Story article, the State Bar of Nevada generously invited me to experience their “CLEtoGo” facility, to report upon that experience and review what is currently the most popular course offered through CLEtoGo: “Ethical Communication (Seven Keys).” As a Nevada attorney who was previously unaware of the existence of CLEtoGo, but who always has an Apple iPhone or iPod within arm’s reach, I felt that my report and review on these topics might be useful to other attorneys in this state. In short, CLEtoGo allows users to earn Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits by downloading CLE programs to a portable audio player. Representatives of the state bar explained to me that CLEtoGo will work with ANY digital audio player – commonly referred to as an MP3 player. (Please note, however, that certain portions of my review are necessarily specific to hardware products made by Apple Inc., as those are the products I happen to personally own and use.) To access CLEtoGo, first navigate to the main bar website at From there, click on either “Audio CLE” or “Online CLE,” and CLEtoGo will appear as one of the selectable tabs at the top of the screen. Alternatively, one may choose to navigate directly to CLEtoGo by entering the following URL: Having arrived at CLEtoGo, the user (as of the date of publication of this article) may choose from any of 38 separate CLE courses spread throughout 20 different areas of legal practice. For each course, the website allows the user to select “More Information” or “Buy Now.” Once the user decides to purchase a CLEtoGo course, the website offers a standard shopping cart and secure-checkout system with which most people will be familiar. At the point of payment, the user is prompted to either sign in (if they have used the system before), or register to use the system. After the user has registered and/or signed in, and paid for one or more CLEtoGo courses, those courses may be accessed by clicking on the “My Account” tab on the top of the page. From My Account, one of the choices offered is “Download Now,” which allows the user to either open the MP3 file directly with their default audio player (iTunes, in my case) or download the MP3 file. At this point, I chose to download the MP3 file for “Ethical Communication (Seven Keys)” to my computer. I then dragged the icon for the MP3 file from my downloads folder to my desktop and used my default audio player to play the file. Using medium-speed DSL Internet access, I found that downloading the two-hour course took approximately eight minutes. The subsequent transfer from my default audio player to my MP3 player was virtually instantaneous once I connected the MP3 player to my computer. Then I was ready to listen! (Please note that most or all of the CLEtoGo courses are accompanied by written materials in .PDF format, which the user may access by clicking on “Program Materials.”) With specific regard to the course “Ethical Communication (Seven Keys),” by Dr. Gordon Zimmerman, I found the course to be informative, succinct and to provide excellent, real-world examples of what is and is not ethical communication on the part of an attorney. Rather than focusing specifically upon the Nevada Rules of Professional Conduct, the course instead devotes itself to attitudes and strategies that are designed to lead to communication “habits” that are likely to be in compliance with those rules. In my opinion, the course was particularly interesting because “communication,” while obviously an underlying cornerstone of the legal profession, may for that very reason be overlooked with respect to ethical concerns. I felt that Zimmerman also did an excellent job of using thought-provoking exercises to illustrate the benefits and pitfalls associated with different types of communication. If I have one complaint about the course – and it is minor – it is that the course was an audio recording of a CLE program which was held before an audience, and at times it was virtually impossible to hear the various questions and comments that were being presented to Zimmerman. However, in most instances the question could be inferred from the context of the answer. All in all, I was pleased to discover CLEtoGo, how it works and the portable flexibility it provides for busy attorneys. I found the process to be highly intuitive and would definitely use CLEtoGo again. I would also recommend it for persons whose schedules would benefit from the ability to obtain CLE credit by way of the use of an MP3 player. M. SCoTT MCKENNA is a senior principal deputy legislative counsel with the legal division of the Legislative Counsel Bureau. He graduated from the Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College in 1995, holding a certificate of specialization in environmental law.
The State Bar of Nevada is bringing the classroom to you! With online CLE, you can:
• Fulfill your CLE credits on your own time • Have CLE courses delivered directly to your home or office computer • Reduce travelling expenses
For more information, visit
Multiple payment methods accepted, including credit card and e-check.
Nevada Lawyer april 2010

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