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Who Doesn't Love Free CLEs?

For attorneys coast to coast, CLE can be a real pain to keep up with. In addition to having to devote several hours of actual time to the courses (meaning you can't bill for that time), often, you have to shell out hundreds of dollars to take the course you want or thousands to attend a special conference.

Fortunately, with the advent of streaming video, attorneys can now attend CLE courses on nearly any subject, from the comfort of their own office, or even their home, and some are even free. And for FindLaw's Customer Appreciation Week, you can sign up (for free) to receive a complementary online CLE course from West Legal EdCenter.

Below, you can check out some of our blogs about finding CLE opportunities.

CLE compliance reporting is right around the corner. If you're anything like most people, you've waited until the very last minute to make sure you have all your credits. And if you are in fact in that "most people" category, you probably don't have all the credits you need.

Lucky for you, thanks to the wonderful learning tool that is the internet, you can probably get a good chunk of the credits you need, if not all of them, while sitting on your couch, in your pajamas and eating cereal while clicking your mouse button every 6 to 10 minutes to confirm you are still alive and watching. Forget about that pricey CLE vacation. Sweetening this deal more than your sugar laced cereal is the fact that you can find quite a few free online CLEs.

Below, you'll find a few resources to score some last minute CLEs for free.

Are you interest in LGBTQ rights and the legal industry? Planning on being in or around New York City on November 7th? Then here's something you might want to check out.

Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute is hosting an election-eve event on LGBTQ rights and the law in New York, entitled OutLaw: Critical Dialogues on LGBTQ Representation and Corporate Leadership. (Disclosure: Thomson Reuters is FindLaw's parent company.) The day-long event will feature leaders from the legal and corporate worlds and "earnest dialogue around galvanizing business leaders toward more inclusive enterprise cultures and leadership opportunities."

It's that time of the year. Bar fees are coming due and, for many attorneys, continuing legal education deadlines are approaching. In just a few months, thousands of lawyers must verify their compliance with state CLE rules. While few lawyers love CLE, it's important to make sure you are meeting all of your obligations, or face an audit, suspension, or worse, in the future.

Here's how to make sure you're meeting your state's CLE requirements.

When you think natural disaster response, you don't necessarily think of lawyers. Clean water, medical aid, and even evacuations might seem like more pressing concerns following a major hurricane, wildfire, or earthquake.

But in the aftermath of many natural disasters, lawyers can be an essential resource, helping victims access housing, insurance relief and disaster assistance quickly. Taking disaster preparedness to heart, San Francisco Bay Area bar associations and pro bono organizations have joined together to create a corps of attorneys ready to provide assistance should disaster strike.

Ah, the professional convention. To some lawyers, they're a great way to network while catching up on the latest professional developments. To others, they're a short purgatory of endless meetings, roundtables and presentations.

Even if you're a conference-hater, these gatherings shouldn't be ignored. Conferences, conventions and other convocations of skilled professionals can be important sources of new information, new strategies, and even new clients.

How Do Solos and Small Firms Find Low-Cost CLEs?

I'm not sure about the rest of you, but in California, we're required to take 25 hours of continuing legal education (CLE) every three years. It seems like a long time, right? And yet, invariably, you approach two and a half years only to realize you've done none of the required hours.

This isn't a problem for everyone. Lawyers at BigLaw firms get free CLEs, usually at lunch, so they're getting hours on the regular. But solos and small firms don't have that luxury. What's a person to do about CLEs? Where do you find them? Sure, you could go to a $300 conference -- or not. How can you get CLE credits cheaply?

It's common to get summeritis, you know, when all you do is stare out of your window and wish you were on the beach? Well, you can actually go to the beach and get work done -- sort of. If you don't mind doing light reading, or watching a video on the beach, summer is the perfect time to catch up on CLE courses.

Just in time for summer, the American Bar Association has unveiled the ABA TECHSHOW Summer Series. Consisting of four webinars, the courses highlight information "from some of the best ABA TECHSHOW 2014 presentations" -- which is great if you were not able to make it out to Chicago this past March.

For more information on the courses and how to register, keep reading.

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Holder's Justice Reforms Realize Kennedy Commission's Vision

"The work of the Kennedy Commission that began 10 years ago is today an ongoing mission for the Criminal Justice Section and the ABA," American Bar Association President Lauren Bellows remarked on Saturday, while introducing Justice Anthony Kennedy. "That report has become a blueprint for the ABA's criminal justice agenda."

It may also have been a blueprint for Monday's announced initiative and changes in policies by Attorney General Eric Holder on behalf of the Obama administration.

Live Blog: Holder Speaks on Mandatory Minimums for Drug Offenders

Update 10 -- Final Update (10:55 a.m. PT): Attorney Gen. Eric Holder's speech to the ABA in sum: With budget cuts and an overpopulated, overburdened penal system, we can no longer afford to maintian the status quo.

Holder said the Obama administration will be exploring alternatives to incarceration to reform and curb mandatory minimum sentences. Those sentences often result in unfair penalties for nonviolent drug-related offenders, along with disparate sentences for minority offenders, Holder said.

Among the reforms mentioned: