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Home » For Lawyers » Links & Resources » Alaska Bar Rag (Quarterly Newspaper) » Featured Bar Rag Articles--2000 to 2007 » 01-01 January/February 2001 Featured Articles » Bar initiates online CLE

Bar initiates online CLE

The Alaska State Bar Association has contracted with Taecan.com, an industry leader in online CLE, to be its partner in making the Alaska Bar Association Continuing Legal Education (CLE) courses available to all Alaska attorneys over the internet. The Alaska Bar CLE content will be added to the expanding Taecan.com CLE online library and will be accessible to Alaska attorneys wherever they may be.

The Alaska Bar/Taecan.com program is designated as a pilot project for the first three months, and during this time Alaska attorneys may take the first two Alaska Bar Online CLE courses—Risk Management and Ethics—without charge. Thereafter, assuming the program is accomplishing its goals, the term of the Alaska Bar-Taecan.com agreement converts to three years, more content will be added, and there will be a charge to take the courses.

The organizations said partnership will greatly assist Alaska attorneys in meeting Voluntary CLE requirements established in 1999 by the Alaska Supreme Court. The Alaska Bar-Taecan.com Online CLE Program is designed to assist Alaska lawyers in meeting annual VCLE deadlines by making the Alaska Bar's courses available over the internet, and thus accessible to attorneys 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

"By partnering with Taecan.com for this pilot project, the Alaska Bar Association is providing its member lawyers with a convenient, cost-effective way to satisfy their CLE requirements and meet the new deadlines. It will particularly benefit the many attorneys who practice in outlying areas—they can satisfy their CLE requirements without traveling. We are committed to serving our members, wherever they may be," said Barbara Armstrong, CLE Director.

"Taecan.com is extremely pleased to be part of the Alaska Bar's innovative Voluntary Continuing Legal Education Project. We are confident that by working together we can show Alaska's attorneys that online CLE is not only a great way to meet their CLE requirements, but an excellent reference tool as well," said Patrick Vane, Taecan.com CEO.

Effective September 2, 1999, the Alaska Supreme Court approved the Voluntary Continuing Legal Education Rule (VCLE) which suggested minimum recommended hours of approved Continuing Legal Education (CLE) for all active Alaska Bar members. Members are encouraged to complete at least 12 hours of CLE per calendar year, including one hour of ethics coursework.

Alaska is the first state to adopt a voluntary CLE rule that includes incentives for compliance, which include:

  • a reduction in Bar dues (determined annually by the Board of Governors);
  • inclusion in a published listing of Alaska Bar members who have completed the minimum recommended hours of approved CLE;
  • eligibility to participate in the Bar's Lawyer Referral Service;
  • non-compliance may be taken into account in any Bar disciplinary matter involving Alaska Rule of Professional Conduct 1.1 dealing with competency.

Taecan.com is a Seattle-based Internet company that offers an alternative to seminar style "fixed time and place" CLE seminars. The company, founded by an attorney and educator, said it has aggregated the largest online library of approved CLE titles in the world by partnering with bar organizations and other course providers to deploy their content over the Internet.

The company has similar contracts with bar organizations that include the State Bar of California, the Florida Bar, the New York City Bar, the Ohio Bar, the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the Orange County Bar Association, and the Houston Bar. The company takes its name from "taecan," the Old English word for "to teach."

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