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Presenting a CLE

The CT Bar Institute, Inc., expresses its gratitude to all CLE faculty for their willingness to lend their expertise for the educational benefit of their colleagues in the legal profession. Their sustained support and goodwill ensures that the CBA's Continuing Legal Education Program retains its reputation as a high-quality CLE provider for members of the Bench and Bar in Connecticut.

If you are interested in developing a seminar, please contact your section or committee chair or Suzanne Hard, Education Manager, at or (860)612-2033.

Program Design Strategies

Follow these steps to create a winning CLE or Educational program:

Step 1: Brainstorm Topics.

Look for opportunities in the marketplace based on:

- Your own experience and that of your peers (What do you need? What do you want to learn more about?)

- Articles and current events

- Client stories

- Prior CBA Programs. We have lots of great programs run previously that are “on the shelf” and waiting to be reborn with your creative energy.

Step 2: Evaluate your Topic.

In this step you see if your ideas are actually an opportunity for a program. Consider:

- Has it been done before? If so, when and by whom? (This does not mean you should not do it).

- Who will come? And why? Think about what is in it for them. This is your Target Audience. You must be as specific as possible. If you need help on this we can provide resources on how to identify a target market.

- What competition is there for the topic and/or target market’s attention?

o Other Bar Associations

o Other Trade Associations

o Other educational resources

- How much are others charging for similar programs?

- Who might you get for speakers?

o 1 to 3 speakers are optimal (avoid more than 3).

- Is there a potential for sponsors? Who might they be? (Remember, please talk with CBA Staff before approaching Sponsors).

Step 3: Articulate your Learning Outcomes.

This is driven by Step 1 and 2.  A Learning Outcome is:

- A statement that specifies what learners will know or be able to do as a result of a learning activity.  Outcomes are usually expressed as knowledge, skills, or attitudes

- Something tangible and actionable that the attendees can do or act on as a result of attending the program.

- General awareness, or just “knowing more” isn’t a learning outcome.

As a rule: More people come to programs where there are learning outcomes. They don’t go to general awareness programs.

Step 4: Plan your Program

With your Learning Outcomes defined, you are ready to plan your program. This includes:

- Marketing Plan: (Title, 3 sentence description, 3 bullets)

- Logistics Plan: (Half-Day, Full- Day, when, where and how)

- Budget

Step 5: Finalize Your Program

Submit by email to Elizabeth Ferguson at
-speaker bios, head shots and release forms (seminar video is usually recorded) 45 days prior to the event
-written materials for the seminar 30 days prior to the event. 

Materials must be included for a seminar to merit CLE credit. Each speaker is encouraged to submit   materials. Course materials should constitute a comprehensive and professional treatment of the seminar subject matter.  Materials may include a detailed outline of the seminar, sample pleadings, sample forms, cases, FAQs, and Powerpoint slides.  The materials will be distributed electronically to registrants 2 days before the seminar. 

Step 6: The Day of the Seminar

On the day of the Seminar, please plan to arrive at least 30 minutes prior the start time.  The program chairs or moderators should introduce the program and the speakers, and facilitate the question-and-answer period.  Note that the program will be recorded.  Please remind speakers to repeat audience questions for the recording.

Thank you for reviewing the steps for a successful CLE seminar. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Suzanne Hard at (860)612-2033 or Elizabeth Ferguson at (860)612-2028. The CBA’s professional staff looks forward to the opportunity to work with you on a program.

Ready to proceed?  Please complete our CLE Planning Form, which we will use to publicize and promote your seminar.  Your seminar will be posted on the CBA Web site, and included in the weekly CBA e-newsletter, the Weekly Docket and the calendar page of Connecticut Lawyer magazine. Targeted email marketing will also be used to support your program.