Last week, I got six hours of CLE for $77. That’s about $13 per hour. I think that’s the cheapest price I’ve ever paid for CLE (except, of course, for the free stuff sponsored by a bank or insurance company).
Typically, CLE hours cost $50 or more each. A $13 deal is a bargain. I was proud of my bargain hunting.
But was I being penny-wise and pound-foolish?
What’s the True Cost of a CLE?
Yep, I did something dumb. It’s kind of like eating a crappy meal because of the amazing deal I got on Groupon. Seems like a great idea until you actually think about it (and let’s just say CiCi’s Pizza is best avoided even if they’re giving it away).
I spent six hours watching boring videos in order to get my six hours of credit.
What did it cost me? A great deal more than $13 per hour.
The real cost of attending a CLE is your time, not the fee you pay to the provider.
I’ll never recover those six hours. I won’t have the opportunity to use those six hours to pump my brain full of valuable content. I wasted the hours on filler content rolled out to fill the brains of overly frugal lawyers like me.
What could I have learned during those hours instead?
- I could have been watching and listening to an amazing trial lawyer demonstrating tactics and techniques.
- I could have been sitting at a live CLE whispering to a new friend/referral source.
- I could have been asking questions of a speaker who knew what I need to do to advance my client’s cause.
Yep, I saved a few bucks, and I blew it. I’d have been better off spending much more per hour and using my time to expand my brain, enhance my capabilities, and bring something new to the table for my clients.