Online learning for lawyers comes of age

CLE courses online

This spring over 500 BC lawyers and support staff from 65 communities across the province took courses from the comfort and convenience of their own office, or from home - by choosing the new real-time web-conferencing option offered by the CLE Society of BC. These online courses included an in-depth look at the new efiling systems at the Land Title Branch, the Corporate Registry and the Manufactured Home Registry, as well as "year in review" sessions on various areas of law.

CLE delivers web-conferencing courses through video and synchronized PowerPoint slides at the desktop and through audio via a telephone conference connection. It is easy, and it saves on travel time. If you are intrigued by online CLE, you are not alone - even before the first courses were available, six in 10 BC lawyers said they planned to try one. Watch for the upcoming offerings in CLE's fall calendar, expected to mail and be available online ( in late June.

Another initiative just ahead is Anytime Online, a service that allows lawyers to select individual sessions from recent CLE courses for purchase and on-screen viewing. With flexibility to choose course modules, lawyers can access the updates they need, when they need them. Each module is 25 to 30 minutes long and includes the video portion of the course, along with speakers notes on PowerPoint, which can be synchronized with the presentation, viewed separately or downloaded for later reading. Watch for details from CLE at the end of June.

Practice manuals on the web

Also making an online debut this summer are six of CLE's most popular manuals: the BC Real Estate Practice Manual, BC Family Practice Manual, Family Law Sourcebook for British Columbia, BC Company Law Practice Manual, BC Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Practice Manual and BC Probate and Estate Administration Practice Manual.

The online versions will offer several advantages for the busy lawyer, including speed of access and searchability. The manuals will feature links from commentary to full-text cases and legislation as well as downloadable forms and precedents. CLE will announce details soon.

Thanks to the Law Foundation of BC for its generous funding towards both of these online initiatives.