CLE

CLE Webinars vs. On Demand CLE

Online CLE Program

Most states allow attorneys to earn continuing legal education (CLE) credits online. Online CLE is a great way to position your law firm or business as a subject matter expert to attorneys.

As a provider, you can offer online CLE programs in two different formats: 1. live webinars or 2. on demand videos. Both formats can be effective in delivering high quality CLE content. But which format is right for your programs? Let’s take a closer look at both.

CLE Webinars

Webinars are live CLE events that attorneys can watch online. You can schedule them in advance for a particular date and time. Participants can sign up to be notified when the webinar is about to start.

Live webinars are a great marketing tool. You can share the upcoming event through your email list and social media channels.

CLE webinars create an urgency for the audience to watch at a particular time. Most live webinars are only offered once, so the attorney must be present at that time to view the content. Unfortunately, many attorneys won’t be able to attend as they will get busy with other things.

Live webinars can help create an engaging CLE program. The presenter can take questions and interact with the audience.

But, live engagement comes at a cost. Webinars are usually limited to 1-hour. It’s difficult to get attorneys to attend a live web event for longer than that.

There are several good webinar platforms. Two of our favorites are Zoom Webinars and GoToWebinar.

But, these popular platforms are not specifically built for the requirements of CLE. This means that you might need to verify attendance and manually issue certificates of completion.

CLE Webinars Summary

Pros

  • Create urgency for your audience to tune in
  • Ability to interact with audience

Cons

  • Restricted time may reduce the number of attendees
  • Difficult to get attendees for webinars longer than 1 hour

On Demand CLE

On demand CLE is a CLE program that attorneys can watch at anytime. Think of it as Netflix for CLE.

Attorneys typically sign in to a platform to watch an on demand program. The platform tracks their viewing progress. Tracking viewing allows the CLE provider to certify completion of the CLE program.

Like webinars, on demand CLE is a great marketing tool. You can post a link to the on demand event through your email list, website, and social media. On demand courses don’t have a predetermined time. You can continue to promote the event as long as the CLE credits are approved.

You can post any recorded video that is approved for on demand CLE credit in your state. This could be a recording of a live in-person CLE, or even a recording of a webinar. Putting on any CLE program take a lot of time and effort. By recording your CLE programs you have the option to offer them on demand. If you’re not already recording your CLE events, read our guide on How to Record Your CLE Programs.

You should publish on demand CLE courses through a dedicated software platform. General video platforms like YouTube don’t allow you to confirm that the attorney has watched the course. This can create a compliance problem depending on your state’s MCLE rules.

CLE Hero, is an on demand CLE software platform. Our platform hosts your video, manages viewer tracking, and automatically issues certificates of completion.

On Demand CLE Summary

Pros

  • Attorneys can watch anytime
  • Can offer longer, in depth content that attorneys can watch over time
  • A platform like CLE Hero can automatically track viewing and issue certificates

Cons

  • Difficult to track and issue certificates without the right platform

The Best of Both Worlds

The good news is that you don’t have to chose between webinars and on demand CLE. You can use them together.

You can conduct a webinar and get the benefits of urgency of the event and audience interaction. All major webinar platforms allow you to record the webinar.

When your webinar is over, you can post the recorded video to an on demand CLE platform like CLE Hero. This allows you to repurpose your existing CLE content to a wider audience. It also gives busy attorneys a chance to watch your program, even if they couldn’t make your live event.

Both webinars and on demand platforms offer a great way to engage with attorneys. Decide which formats work best to maximize the reach of your programs.

How to Record Your CLE Programs

Record CLE

If you’re not already recording your CLE programs, now is the time to start. Recording gives you the option to share your Continuing Legal Education course with a wider audience, including those who couldn’t attend the in-person event or webinar. And your content is likely valuable for a larger audience than just those in the room on the day of the program.

Putting on CLE programs takes a lot of time and effort. You’ve already gone through the hard part of arranging the speaker, gathering materials, applying for credit, booking a venue, collecting attendance records, and issuing certificates.

By recording the program, you’re saving all of your hard work. This gives you a great option to share the program with a larger audience in the future. Once you have your course recorded, you can decide how you want to share it. For example, you could create an on demand CLE from your recorded webinar.

Fortunately, recording presentations on a computer has never been easier.

There are many ways to record programs. Here are some of the easiest and best ways we’ve found to create a basic recording of the presenter’s screen (likely PowerPoint slides) and voice.

Record using a video conference line

Using a video conference line is a quick and easy way to record a program. We recommend Zoom for video conferencing. Zoom makes it easy to start a call, share the screen, and record.

All you need to do is download the free Zoom app on the presenter’s computer beforehand and click record when the course starts. If you have multiple presenters, we recommend having them share a computer that is connected to the conference line.

When recording over video conference, you can chose to have remote audience members on the line, or you can just record the video call without others on it. You can use recorded video conferences even if the live event is 100% in person.

Most video conferencing platforms allow you to record your presentation just like Zoom. Other popular options are GoToMeeting, WebEx, and join.me.

Record on your Mac (free)

If the presenter is using a Mac, you can capture their screen and audio using Apple’s built-in QuickTime application.

  1. ClickShift-Command (⌘)-5. A menu will appear at the bottom.
  2. Under options select the correct microphone source.
  3. Click “Record the Entire Screen” button.

You can read the full QuickTime recording instructions on Apple’s Website.

Record on your PC (free)

If the presenter is using Windows, you can record the Window’s Game DVR option. It’s a little more complicated than using a Mac. We recommend following these detailed settings and instructions.

Premium recording options (paid)

Screenflow (Mac only)

For an upgraded recording option on the Mac, we recommend ScreenFlow. ScreenFlow is easy to use while offering professional recording and editing options.

Screencastify (Mac and Windows)

Mac and Windows users looking for a simple recording option, should look at a great Chrome extension called Screencastify. The extension makes it dead simple to record your desktop, webcam, and audio. When your program is over, you can download your recording to your computer or save to Google Drive.

Screencastify offers a free trial that is limited to 10-minutes of recording time. Don’t forget to upgrade to the unlimited $24 per year paid plan before your program starts.

Camtasia (Mac and Windows)

A great professional option for Mac and Windows is Camtasia. Camtasia is expensive (currently $249), but offers many great features if you’re looking to create more professional recordings.

You can download free trials of each of these paid options to see what works best for you.