July 06, 2022

Drew Soshnick Talks to Indiana Lawyer About Distance Continuing Legal Education

In a recent article, the Indiana Lawyer reported that the Indiana Supreme Court permanently amended continuing legal education (CLE) rules to lift limits on distance education, vacating a pair of related orders entered by the high court early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Business litigation partner and Indiana State Bar Association (ISBA) CLE Committee chair Drew Soshnick weighed in on CLE opportunities offered in Indiana.

Soshnick shared that the ISBA has created a chart used by its sections and committees when formulating content and planning events, helping to determine what programming will best serve its members and in what format. Other bar associations in other states have asked the ISBA for its tool and have created similar models for designing their own programming, he said.

Soshnick shared that “there was major concern, internally expressed, that less in-person CLEs would mean less opportunities for people to connect with colleagues, to have that interaction that is important to the growth and collegiality of the bar in Indiana.” However, he explained that “oddly enough, as the pandemic has gone on, and as you’ve seen in other areas, there are lots of affinity groups or other groups putting together external opportunities to get together in person.”

“And ISBA is now, at this point, planning social gatherings around focus purposes rather than having the CLE serve that function,” Soshnick noted. “So, yes, there has been thoughtfulness put into that in some concern expressed and addressed, but it’s been a pivot, if you will, to other types of engagement to get lawyers throughout Indiana together in different settings, non-CLE-based settings. And it, in part, derives from the fact that we’ve seen people doing things successfully virtually and because the lawyers have had an increased demand as to wanting to have more opportunities to have CLE virtually.”

Soshnick credited Kristin Owens, who serves as the ISBA’s CLE director and the liaison to the CLE Committee, and the professional staff at the bar for creating the current system.

The full article is available for Indiana Lawyer subscribers.

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