(Note: This blog was updated November 6, 2019).
If you're scrambling to finish up your continuing legal education credits or just want to make sure you're on top of the latest legal developments, here's one thing to keep in mind: you don't have to shell out a lot of cash, or trudge over to a conference center, in order to get CLE credits.
In fact, there are several high-quality CLE programs out there which will help you continue your legal education without having to leave your office -- or your couch. And because they're on-demand, you can complete them on your own schedule. Here are a few.
The Practising Law Institute
The Practising Law Institute has a ton of programs around everything from antitrust law to legal ethics to pro bono practice. (Yes, they spell practising with an s, and no, they're not some strange British or Australian outfit.) Many of PLI's programs can be streamed online, on-demand, and completely for free.
PLI's website, for example, lists over 400 on-demand CLE programs for credit in California. Most of these offerings aren't for free -- but some are. If you start early enough, you can get your on-demand credits (or all of your credits, depending on your state) done for free.
The American Bar Association
The ABA also offers a "free" CLE programs for members. ABA membership costs $250 per year, as of this writing, but other benefits come with membership. If you are unable or unwilling to spend that, there may still be free options for you, although it will require a bit more searching.
In addition to these, you can often find extra CLE sources on your state bar's website. Some volunteer organizations will also have free, on-demand CLE, but you'll have to dig for those a bit more. Ditto for your law school, which may offer live webcasts of CLE events, or even some on-demand free CLE. And if you come across a program that is interesting but not free, remember, some CLE is worth paying for.