Continuing Legal Education (CLE) is frequently a double-edged sword for attorneys. Some states require lawyers to take a certain number of CLE courses to keep their licensing current. In other cases, we need CLE if we want to focus on a particular concentration or to remain current. Even so, going back to school—even a little bit—doesn’t appeal to most of us. We’ve done the school thing, thank you very much. Now we’d rather practice law than study it.
That said, if you view CLE as an investment rather than a chore, you can leverage your courses strategically to create increased revenue for your law firm. Let’s explore a few ways that your continued education can put more money in your pocket.
Obtaining Specialized Board Certification
Taking CLE courses toward board certification as a legal specialist in a certain area of practice can give you greater credibility and authority, enabling you to charge more for your services. The American Bar Association says less than 3 percent of attorneys bother to get certified by any state or national licensing board. By extension, if you get board certified, you’re automatically placing yourself in a bracket above 97 percent of other lawyers.
Changing Your Area of Practice
Board certification aside, let’s suppose you’re a defense attorney, but some market research reveals you could generate more revenue in your local area by switching to estate planning law. You’re going to need some additional education to find your way around that area of the law. In this case, CLE becomes a sound business investment because it helps you clarify your area of practice around the demand.
Becoming a Teacher
Thinking of teaching law? According to PayScale, the average annual salary of a law professor is $136,211—but some of the more prestigious schools listed on Glassdoor pay as high as $250,000. Even becoming an adjunct professor can provide a nice supplement to your income as you build your firm. If you have the passion for teaching, CLE can help you qualify.
Relocating to Another State
If you’re licensed in one state and move to another, you may need to take some additional courses to qualify for licensing in your new state. If you relocate to launch your firm in a more lucrative market, CLE becomes an integral part of your business strategy.
Forming Joint Venture Partnerships
Sometimes CLE courses have other benefits besides the information itself. By connecting with other attorneys taking these courses, you may be able to network and form valuable alliances and referral agreements that can lead to more clients for both of your law firms.
If you have to meet a mandatory CLE requirement, don’t waste time and energy by taking courses you’ll never need. By choosing purposefully as part of a larger plan, you can turn your CLE into a strategic revenue builder for your business. For more revenue increasing tips and strategies, give us a call at (888) 207-2869.