Should Mandatory CLE Require Technology in Particular?

Some states in the US, notably now including North Carolina and Florida, require that part of one’s mandatory continuing legal education include education on techology. Florida’s rule requires three hours over three years – so an hour a year, but if one took a three-hour course (which might be a more useful format than three one-hour sessions), one could fulfill the duty. At least in NC, their annual requirement is 12 hours, same as in Ontario.

This is all in the context of the ABA’s Professional Conduct rules – adopted in many states – that expressly requires competence in matters of technology.

Is this a good idea? Should Canadian law societies get this specific with their CLE rules? Ontario and others require professionalism and ethics to make up 3 hours a year of CLE. How about adding technology – which includes the use of social media, security and the like.

Otherwise will the technology-shy keep avoiding their date with digits, at the risk of professional liability (or misconduct)? Or would tech-savvy people have to waste their time “studying” things they already know? So: free choice, in the context of the rules of professional conduct (which in Canada sometimes hint at knowing technology), or directed choice?

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