Learning in unprecedented times: Keeping up with the evolution with PLI


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538 points

Change continues in the legal profession. Even during an unprecedented pandemic, attorneys are expected to keep pace with the evolving legal landscape as they deepen their practices, define and present their professional goals to clients. This is the place Law Institute (PLI) Comes in. For more than eighty years, PLI has provided training and resources for attorneys at all stages of their careers. Craig Miller, interim president of PLI, offers an inside look at how the organization that created CLE has been responding in practice to unprecedented times.

How did PLI originate?

Imagine yourself a young lawyer in 1933. It is the height of the Great Depression. The FDR has just been sworn in as president and is making the first hundred days of New Deal legislation enacted. Huge changes in the legal and regulatory landscape are underway, affecting banking, securities, agriculture, energy and more. This will entail challenges before the court. Abroad, the newly appointed German chancellor is Adolf Hitler.

This is an enormous rate of change and lawyers have to keep up. Our founder, Harold P. Seligson, saw the need for people in the profession to continue learning long after receiving a Jordanian dinar. This is a need that we still meet to this day.

We do this by delivering more than 10,000 hours of Accredited from continuing legal education and other programs In various formats; By publishing more than 100 titles every year through our website PLI Press Publishing section and through other initiatives such as our website Briefings for an hour And our podcast Free And the Insurance Law.

How has PLI adapted to serve customers during the COVID-19 pandemic?

For an eight year organization, PLI has always been very progressive when it comes to serving our customers. Long before the pandemic spread, we saw that people needed more flexibility to attend our programs online and in their own schedules, so we’ve been producing live broadcasts and on-demand programs online for years now. These capabilities keep our CLE programs running smoothly while everyone else is away. On the publishing side, because we knew that clients were unable to access the books in their offices, we expanded access to PLI PLUS so that they could use these online publications.

Having timely information for our clients – and the legal market as a whole – is always central to our mission. Once the pandemic emerged, our team worked tirelessly to provide key content related to COVID-19 and make it easily discoverable On our site. I am also proud to note that PLI has published the first in-depth book on the legal issues of the pandemic.

These days, attorneys who simply need to earn CLE credits have many options. What makes PLI different?

We are a membership-based non-profit organization, so our business model is unique. Because we have such a strong reputation, we are fortunate to attract excellent volunteer faculty from prominent law firms, corporate legal departments, law schools, benches, government, and more. They share our goal of strengthening the profession and the rule of law.

Free service At the core of our mission we strongly believe in supporting practitioners who work to ensure access to justice. Not only do our members benefit from the wide range of programs we offer, but they also help support training that other attorneys and nonprofit groups use to effectively advocate for professional clients such as disabled veterans, victims of natural disasters, and indigents.

Our members are a community – they come to us for more than just CLE credits, and we take our responsibility to them very seriously.

How can small law firms and individual practitioners benefit from your offerings?

Our Membership form It is designed for businesses of any size, location or practice area. Premium Members Get unlimited access to our CLE programs and learning resources for a yearly fee. Our team deals with all credit and compliance matters in advance and helps you monitor CLE balances and deadlines with our renowned services. My Credit Tracker. For Sole Practitioners, we also offer Individual Memberships, which bear all of the above for a reasonable fixed annual fee.

Many companies of all sizes are also taking advantage of More additions Online research database, which provides unlimited access to our full range of letters, course handbooks, legal forms, program texts, journals, and answer books.

Additionally, 501 (c) (3) organizations that meet the criteria can earn Pro Bono Premium MembershipScholarship applications are available to others seeking training.

Finally – what is the funny spelling of the word “exercise”?

It’s not the style now, but spelling was much more common in the 1930s! I see it as a nod to the long and proud history of our organization – we always strive to innovate and grow, but we remain true to our roots and mission.


The Institute for the Practice of Law is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to keeping attorneys and other professionals on the cutting edge of knowledge and experience. PLI is accredited by SUNY Governors and was established in 1933 by Harold P. Seligson. The organization provides the highest quality accredited and continuing legal and professional education programs in a variety of formats offered by more than 4,000 volunteer faculty including prominent lawyers, judges, investment bankers, accountants, corporate advisors, and US and international government regulators. PLI publishes a comprehensive library of letters, course manuals, answer books, and journals also available through the PLI PLUS online platform. The core of PLI’s mission is its commitment to a free community. Watch the upcoming PLI live webcast Here.


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