This post is the second in a series that will continue over the next couple weeks in which I’ll be taking a look at how technology is impacting the law and the way legal professionals practice.

As an attorney, one of the things that’s constantly on my mind is keeping up with changes to the law that will affect the practice areas I’m involved in. And while I’m an avid reader of legal news and legal blogs, just surfing the web isn’t going to give me all the information I need. Then there’s also that requirement enforced by the state bar that I take a certain number Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits every couple of years.

But getting CLE credit can be kind of a pain. There’s the taking the time out of your day to go to the class–which means you lose time from your regular work and time that could have been spent with clients. Then there’s the cost: aside from the fact that the courses themselves cost money, these courses aren’t always going to be in your town, so there’s the cost of transportation (and maybe lodging if it’s a multi-day course). And all these problems are in addition to trying to fit the CLE courses into your already busy schedule.

The perfect solution to this problem is Virtual LegalTech. With VLT, you don’t have to leave your office (or home) to go to a CLE presentation. You can view the presentation anytime you wish, and you can hit pause and play at anytime during the presentation. It’s CLE at your own speed on your own schedule.

In addition to getting those required CLE credits out of the way, CLE courses were great places to network. But VLT wants to assure you that by gaining the convenience of online CLE, you won’t be losing the benefits of networking with other attorneys. From the VLT frequently asked questions page:

When you sign up, you’ll receive a virtual briefcase, ready to fill with downloadable business cards from vendors and fellow attendees, product brochures, presentation materials, white papers and more.

And in response to the question “Can I really network at an online meeting?” VLT says:

Most definitely. VLT harnesses the latest social-networking technologies with an interactive platform. Chat with colleagues during discussions and presentations, or in the networking lounge. Talk in real time with vendors in the Exhibit Hall. Search for attendees or vendors that share your interests, then send an instant message or leave your electronic business card. Follow blogs from vendors and attendees, or create your own blog.

All together, it’s not a bad deal. And I forgot to mention the best part: it’s free for qualified registrants. I’m not sure what a qualified registrant is, but if you’re a person who needs CLE, you’re probably qualified to register. Being active on the internet has many benefits to attorneys, and free virtual CLE is just one of them. Stay tuned this week and next for more ideas and tips on how attorneys can benefit from technology, and how technology is shaping the law.

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Andy Gillin received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California at Berkeley and his law degree from the University of Chicago. He is the managing partner of GJEL Accident Attorneys and has written and lectured in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury law for numerous organizations. Since 1972 he has been helping seriously injured victims throughout northern California fight & win their personal injury cases. Andy is one of the top awarded & recognized wrongful death lawyers in northern California.