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California Lawyers Association

In-Person CLE Program Planning Process and Timeline

A. Program Planning Process

All Sections and CYLA shall provide program submissions for full-day and multi-day in-person CLE events no later than November 15 (for conferences to take place during the following calendar year) to the Association. In other words, by November 15, each Section will need to have submitted requests for any full- or multi-day in-person CLE events that the Section wishes to conduct the following year.

A full-day in-person program is defined as a program that lasts more than four hours. This November 15th deadline does not apply to in-person programs that are four hours or less such as half-day programs or brown bag luncheons as long as those programs meet the following criteria:

  1. 6 weeks notice is required to set up registration and publish on the website. This allows you 4 weeks to market the program.
  2. The program offers online registration only.
  3. No hard copy brochure or registration form is produced
  4. All of the program details will be submitted in the proposed template or another agreed to format so the program can be published on the website.
  5. Staff may not be available to handle MCLE sign-in. Our office will provide MCLE logbooks.

The Association will conduct a training session for the Education Chairs of each Section at least two months before the November 15 deadline so that each Section can begin to think about ideas early on and will be fully prepared to provide the submission by November 15th. The Association encourages each Section to focus on this deadline many months in advance, in order to be fully prepared to timely submit its program(s) to the Association. This deadline procedure accrues many benefits for each Section, including the following:

  • The Section will be able to employ long-range advance marketing, which is crucial to the success of the programs. (This has become increasingly important in light of the competition for CLE “dollars,” which has escalated in recent years.)
  • The Section will be able to take advantage of “group marketing” in the monthly Sections and CYLA e-news, resulting in greater exposure for individual Sections.
  • There will be better opportunity for good rates at desirable hotel locations.
  • Program Chairs will have adequate advance lead time for effective program planning.
  • Advance planning allows Sections and CYLA to provide better staff support.

Each Section’s program submission needs to contain the following: (1) a specific date range, (2) the proposed city in which the program will occur, and (3) the length of the program (3 days, 1 full day etc.). (4) General topic or title of the program.

The Association will provide each Section with the calendar of Section CLE for the following year no later than December 31 each year, so that each Section can begin to plan and market events for the upcoming year.

If a Section develops additional ideas within a given year that it wishes to pursue during that year, it can take advantage of the successful webinar program. Webinars require very little advance planning. In addition, webinar programs are recorded and automatically posted on the State Bar website so that they are available to Bar members (both in California and across the country) long after the actual webinar takes place.

In an extraordinary circumstance, if a Section develops an additional idea that needs to be an in-person program, the Section shall submit the idea and the Association will do its best to accommodate the request, depending on the resources available at the time.

B. Program Timeline

AS SOON AS POSSIBLE (IDEALLY 9 -12 MONTHS BEFORE THE PROGRAM)

  • Identify who will serve on the planning committee
  • Begin identifying program topics and potential speakers and inviting speakers
  • Make initial decisions that affect the budget (e.g. # of speakers, networking reception, programming or networking lunch, kind of venue (e.g. hotel, law school)
  • Submit venue search to the Association based on preferred venue criteria; revise and repeat as necessary (each one can take up to a month)
  • in coordination with Association staff create an initial budget including projections for attendance and registration fees

6 MONTHS BEFORE THE PROGRAM

  • Develop a marketing plan including timeline for implementation
  • Develop a sponsorship plan including list of target sponsors and timeline for contacting them
  • Finalize special events (reception, alumni dinner)
  • Prepare advertisement for Section’s Journal

4 MONTHS BEFORE THE PROGRAM

  • All speakers and topics confirmed (1)
  • Submit speakers, topics, descriptions, and sponsor info to Association staff for preparation of brochure

3 MONTHS BEFORE THE PROGRAM

  • Submit save the date announcement for Section’s e-newsletter
  • Reminder email to speakers re deadlines
  • Send RFPs for program materials, AV, etc. (staff)

2 MONTHS BEFORE THE PROGRAM

  • Edit and finalize brochure: Program Title, Description, Speaker, Time, Co‐sponsorship, Planning Committee & Sponsors
  • Confirm total number of MCLE hours; including any legal specialization, ethics, elimination of bias or competency issues
  • Confirm budget projections; adjust program as necessary
  • Association staff will create website page
  • Association staff will send the first e-Blast to Section members
  • Draft and submit program announcement for Section’s e-newsletter

6 WEEKS BEFORE THE PROGRAM

  • Association Staff will send out speaker packet via email
  • Finalized brochure sent to entire Section listserv
  • Confirm AV, Internet, and power strip needs with Association Staff
  • Work with Association staff on menus

1 MONTH BEFORE THE PROGRAM

  • Program/meeting specs to hotel (staff)
  • Plan/finalize special needs of VIPs/Speakers (staff)
  • Prepare MCLE certificates and speaker evaluation forms (staff)

3 WEEKS BEFORE THE PROGRAM

  • Program materials due to be included on the USB drives
  • Final food and beverage guarantees to hotel (staff)

2-3 DAYS BEFORE THE PROGRAM

Final Confirmation letters with program materials should be sent

2 WEEKS AFTER THE PROGRAM

  • Thank you letter to speakers

1 MONTH AFTER THE PROGRAM

  • Deadline for speaker expense forms
  • Process expenditures, prepare final budget and send to program chair and Section chair (staff)

Footnotes

1. This timeline assumes we will not be mailing a printed brochure. Add two months, if a brochure is needed.

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