The Commission recently changed the definition of Ethics/Professionalism for purposes of CLE, included credit for coaching, and announced it will be investigating mentoring. From the announcement "Commission Action August, 2009":
Definition of Ethics:
... This section describes the types of sessions in courses that can receive Ethics/Professionalism (Dual) credits. Dual credits are those that can count either toward the three-hour E/P requirement or toward the 12-hour general requirement. They do NOT count twice. Under this definition, most types of E/P credit will be dual. ...
1. Dual credit will be granted to programs or topics within programs to the extent that the subject matter is the Rules of Professional Conduct or ethical considerations applicable to attorneys.
2. Dual credit will also be granted to programs or topics:
b) designed to help lawyers re-connect with, strengthen, and apply their values, strengths of character, and sense of purpose toward achieving outstanding professionalism,
c) designed to protect lawyers or help them recover from the deleterious effects on professionalism of stress, substance abuse, and poor staff, financial, or time management, or
d) designed to support the development of organizational cultures within firms, law departments, and legal agencies that recognize, support, and encourage outstanding professionalism.
And the coaching provision . . .
Credit for Coaching:
The Commission adopted the following new Regulation 5J:
The Commission, after consideration as a body and not through staff, will give dual credit for “Courses” consisting of individual coaching sessions on topics described in 5H.2 above if:
1) The coaching sessions must be submitted in advance as a complete offering involving
a set number and length of sessions, defined topics, content to be covered, readings or other material to be assigned, the qualifications and experience of the coach, a general description of actions expected of participating attorneys, and price.
2) Courses will be accredited under this section only for the time included in the approved coaching sessions. Time invested by the attorney outside such sessions to complete readings or assignments will not receive credit.
3) The Coach agrees to report and pay for attendance for the attorney upon completion of the sessions including adequate performance by the attorney on assignments made by the Coach as part of the program.
4) Accreditation of a “Course” under this section will be for one calendar year only (or the portion of a year remaining at the time of approval). Courses must be re-submitted annually.
The Commission is also looking at mentoring.
TCCLES believes good mentoring can:
- help beginning lawyers understand, value and achieve the best of what it means to be a lawyer,
- assist beginning lawyers in transitioning from law school to practice, and
- create relationships that can support beginning lawyers as they seek to perform at the highest levels of professionalism even after formal mentoring ends.
TCCLES, therefore, seeks opportunities to dialog about these beliefs and the evidence behind them with the bar associations and CLE providers of Tennessee and to work with the associations and providers to discover how the Rule for Mandatory Continuing Legal Education and the Commission’s Regulations can best enable and encourage high quality mentoring.
Hat tip: J. Kim Wright.