In an effort to determine what California lawyers
think about the State Bars continuing education program, a commission studying MCLE
will conduct a telephone poll within the next two months.
The board of governors last month approved the expenditure of $40,000
to poll about 600 lawyers.
The issue that concerns the commission the most is what our
members think of the quality of the program, said David Heilbron, a former State Bar
president who now chairs the study group. Heilbron said despite the groups best
efforts, which included a series of sparsely attended meetings throughout the state, they
still dont know what lawyers think about MCLE.
I think it would be presumptuous to tell our members what they
think without asking them, he said. He added that hes not worried about the
results. Its a mistake to be afraid of information, he said.
Because the bars MCLE requirements affect every active lawyer
in California, Heilbron said it is important that decisions about the program be
well-informed. The cost of the survey averages out to 33 cents per member.
The commission will seek views about whether courses are practical,
the quality of teaching, and cost and availability, among other things. A poll of 600
provides a statistically meaningful sample.
Heilbron said he anticipates asking lawyers about a dozen questions
on the survey.
The bars MCLE requirements have been a target of criticism by
some members, who find them onerous and unnecessary. But Heilbron said he anticipates
receiving constructive comments. The value of education is recognized, he
said. How best to achieve it is the question.
He said pollsters will ask for suggestions about improving the