12 December 2006 by Published in: General musings 11 comments

Like most states, Ohio has continuing education requirements as a condition of maintaining one’s license to practice law. We are required to complete 24 hours of continuing education every two years. The first half of the alphabet reports in odd-numbered years, and the second half of the alphabet reports in even-numbered years. As a “W”, this is my year to report. I have to satisfy the obligation by December 31. For the most part, we get to pick our own programs. The only absolute requirement is 1 hour of legal ethics, 1 hour of professionalism, and a completely and totally wasted half hour of how to recognize substance abusers every two years. Beyond that, we are free to select what we attend.

Like most people, I’m a terrible procrastinator. Every minute spent in CLE is a minute of unproductive time. I’m busy enough that it’s typically hard to work these programs into my schedule. There’s also the fact that most of these programs–not all, but most–are about as interesting as watching paint dry. Occasionally, you find an interesting one, but most are sheer misery. The vast majority of them end up being a serious waste of time. It is, therefore, no mystery why I tend to procrastinate in spite of my avowed intention to get it over with earlier each biennium.

In October, I realized that I had completed exactly 2.75 hours of my requirement, and that I had another 21.25 hours to complete by December 31. I’ve chipped away at it some–as I write this, I have 11.75 hours completed. That means that I have another 12.25 hours to go before the bi-annual misery is over.

I found a program that will provide me with 14.25 credit hours over two days (we’re allowed to carry forward as many as 12 credits, so the extra two hours will carry forward toward my 2008 requirement). Those two days are tomorrow and Thursday. It’s 9-5 each day. The topic is “Solo and Small Law Office Technology”. Normally, that would be reasonably interesting, as I’m something of a propeller head. It includes such scintillating topics as “the paperless office” and how to make maximum use of your scanner.

However, the consulting firm that puts the thing on is the very same consulting firm that my partners hired to do the technology when they established the law firm in May of this year. That means that I’m already using much of what they will be preaching over the course of the next two days. It means that I’m headed to the world of mind-numbing boredom for the next two days. The big challenge, I fear, will be staying awake.

I will have my laptop with me, and the Ohio State Bar Association has wireless. At least I can check e-mail and stay in touch with my world, and I might also find a way to get a little bit of work finished during the particularly dull moments. However, I can think of hundreds–no, thousands–of other things I’d rather do, or places I’d rather be.

The only consolation is that once I finish up on Thursday afternoon, I will have fully satisfied my bi-annual obligation. Wish me luck, folks. It’s going to be miserable.

Scridb filter


  1. Steve Basic
    Wed 13th Dec 2006 at 1:57 am


    Good luck. Sorta reminds me of the meetings I had to attend when I worked for the Medical Society. Many a time I wished I was “watching paint dry”, then having to sit through those sessions. I often joke when folks say there is no real cure for insomnia. Attend one of those meetings if any have that dreadful affliction. You’ll be out like a light in 2 minutes. 🙂

    Regards from the Garden State,


  2. MarylandReb
    Wed 13th Dec 2006 at 7:59 am

    Could be worse…..you could be attending a civil war conference about the “Lost Cause” and how these “Noble Knights” fought a war that wasn’t about slavery.

  3. Roy
    Wed 13th Dec 2006 at 9:06 am

    Been there. Done that!

  4. Wed 13th Dec 2006 at 9:38 am


    No doubt, bro.


  5. Randy Sauls
    Wed 13th Dec 2006 at 10:49 am


    Unfortunately, I’m in the same boat here in NC. I’m short a few hours on CLE myself, and time is running out. We do have the ability to do up to 4 hours of CLE via the internet now so that helps some, but it’s still not the most pleasant way to spend one’s time. Hang in there and so will I; misery loves company.


  6. John Stephenson
    Wed 13th Dec 2006 at 10:56 am

    Something else to add to the list of Phil Sheridan and the present state of the government that Eric and I agree on. You could change “lawyer” to “teacher” and “Ohio” to “Tennessee” and need to change very little else. I’ve been to so many umpire’s meetings, referee’s meetings. First Sergeant’s meetings, teacher’s “in service” meetings, church board meetings, faculty meetings [Got one this afternoon] I can hardly stand it. If I ever develop a drinking problem, I’m just going to be a plain old drunk. I ain’t going to no Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. ;-})

  7. Wed 13th Dec 2006 at 11:09 am

    As an insurance broker here in PA, I have the same thing – 24 CE hours required every two years. Really, when you think about it, all these requirements for various professions are to keep the boneheads out of the business. Prior to CE, any knucklehead could pass the insurance exam and get a license – giving rise to the scams perpetrated by AL Williams (thank goodness he’s rotting in jail now) and the present scams by Primerica and similar companies. Once the CE requirements came in, the part-timers found they couldn’t keep up.
    And it does keep the ethics and other changes in your mind, at least every couple years. Luckily, too, we’re able to fulfill the requirements completely online. So, no more classes or wasted time traveling, etc. You pay about $100 online, take the test, and you’re done.

    I still hate it.



  8. Wed 13th Dec 2006 at 11:18 am

    Eric et al.:

    I’m grading final exams. Beat that 😉

    Oh, I had two more plagiarism cases this semester. It never seems to end.


  9. Wed 13th Dec 2006 at 11:48 pm


    At least you get paid for grading finals. I don’t get paid for spending two days in the this program. It’s a double whammy–not only don’t I get paid for the time, I have to pay several hundred dollars for the privilege.

    That’s just not right.


  10. Sam Elliott
    Thu 14th Dec 2006 at 8:34 pm

    We have to do 15 hours EVERY year here in Tennessee. My way of dealing with it is to get ahead and stay ahead. Plus, we get a little bit of time for pro bono work.

    Sam Elliott

    ps. congrats on your new book.

  11. Thu 14th Dec 2006 at 10:13 pm



    Yikes…that’s a lot. We don’t get credits for pro bono, but you can get triple hours for teaching.


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