The legal landscape is always changing. In order to keep attorney skills and knowledge relevant, many states in the U.S. require a minimum amount of continuing legal education (CLE) to maintain bar status. There are many CLE courses available, but how do you know which courses are right for you?

Here are some tips to keep in mind when selecting continuing legal education courses:

Conferences

A great way to find new CLEs is by attending legal conferences. There are numerous CLEs offered at conferences and usually you can pick and choose which ones at the conference you would like to attend for credit. Is the course subject matter clearly explained in the program? Do the course objectives fit into your scope? In addition to earning necessary credits, CLEs at legal conferences are a great opportunity to network as well.

Word of mouth

It’s a great idea to reach out to your network and colleagues for recommendations when it comes to selecting a CLE course. Utilize social media tools like LinkedIn Groups, Twitter and Facebook to get ideas from other attorneys. You’ll be able to hear firsthand what a course entails and if it would be worthwhile.

Keep your own interests in mind

Everyone is different! One course that others may find beneficial and interesting may not be your cup of tea. Think of your own practice. What aspects of your day-to-day would you like more guidance in? Are you in the target audience for the course? Does the leader of the course share any of your legal background or hold an expertise that interests you? You will enjoy a course more if you can realistically apply what you learn to your practice.

Cancellation policy

If your schedule is tentative, a cancellation policy is something you might want to look into. Is there a cancellation policy clearly stated in the literature for the course? If you do need to cancel, do you get a full or partial refund for the course fee?

Before enrolling in a course, make sure you do your research! CLE courses are a major investment of time and money so you want to make sure you are being extra thoughtful when selecting the right course for you. Keep these tips in mind when selecting your next CLE.