January 13, 2017
Contact: Sarah I. Coole or firstname.lastname@example.org
ATLANTA –The State Bar of Georgia has assumed administrative duties for the Institute of Continuing Legal Education in Georgia (ICLE), the not-for-profit educational service for the state's licensed attorneys.
The transition follows action by the ICLE Board of Trustees to end the administrative relationship between ICLE and the University of Georgia, effective Dec. 31, 2016. For more than three decades, the university had handled employee salaries and benefits for the institute, with ICLE providing reimbursement of payroll and program planning costs.
"The transfer of ICLE's administrative functions to the State Bar is a win-win situation for the continuing legal education program and for Bar members," said State Bar President Patrick T. O'Connor. "By realizing economies of scale, we will be able to continue to hold down seminar costs while delivering the same great product that ICLE has produced in the past. The fact that we are a unified bar provides us with the resources and expertise to bring ICLE under the auspices of the State Bar."
ICLE was established in 1965 as a fully self-supporting consortium of the State Bar and the law schools at the University of Georgia, Emory University, Mercer University, Georgia State University and Atlanta's John Marshall Law School. Georgia is one of 46 states that require mandatory continuing legal education for attorneys admitted to practice in their jurisdictions.
Georgia Bar members are required to attend a minimum of 12 hours of education sessions each year, with at least one hour in ethics, one hour in professionalism and, for trial lawyers, three hours in litigation.
ICLE's revenue is derived from tuition charges and the sale of publications. ICLE receives no revenue from State Bar dues and exists solely to serve the educational needs of practicing lawyers. Income from registration fees are allocated toward CLE credit reporting, marketing and brochures, books and publications, food and beverage, professional speaker expense reimbursement and ICLE overhead. Any surplus funds are used entirely for the improvement of continuing legal education products and services.
During fiscal year 2016, the institute offered 226 live CLE seminars covering dozens of practice areas, with approximately 83 percent of those taking place at the Bar Center headquarters in Atlanta. When possible, CLE sessions are simulcast to the Coastal Georgia Office in Savannah and/or the South Georgia Office in Tifton through videoconferencing.
In addition to the majority of CLE courses offered at one or more of the State Bar's offices, other sessions are scheduled in conjunction with the Bar's Annual Meeting or other meetings at various locations. The institute served a total of 29,023 Bar members in FY 2016, with 18,864 attending live seminars, 8,646 participating online and 1,513 utilizing rented DVDs.
"As do many others, I believe we have the finest state-level continuing legal education system in the nation," O'Connor said. "With much gratitude to all of the law schools in Georgia for their support and guidance over the years, I see a very positive outlook for both ICLE and the State Bar as we make this transition."
The State Bar of Georgia, with offices in Atlanta, Savannah and Tifton, was established in 1964 by Georgia's Supreme Court as the successor to the voluntary Georgia Bar Association, founded in 1884. All lawyers licensed to practice in Georgia belong to the State Bar. Its more than 48,000 members work together to strengthen the constitutional promise of justice for all, promote principles of duty and public service among Georgia's lawyers, and administer a strict code of legal ethics.