Ky. Law Update Program of the Ky. Bar Association is again a success, and remains a great service for Ky. Bar Members. KBA Staffers deserve a pat on the back.

By Stan Billingsley, Senior Editor, LawReader.com.
 
  Have you every stopped to think about all the work that goes into the execution of  the Kentucky Bar Association’s Kentucky Law Update (KLU) program each year? 
 

    LawReader interviewed John D. Meyers, Director for CLE for the Kentucky Bar Association to learn about the work, time and expense of the Kentucky Law Update program for 2006.  He was kind enough to share a great deal of interesting information which we are glad to pass on to you along with our statistics and observations. 
 

We can only guess at the number of days KBA staff members and presenters were away from home, the thousands of miles they collectively traveled, the hundreds of telephone calls they made, the arranging of baby sitters, and the number of fast food meals consumed. 
 

    The end result is another successful completion of a CLE education program that is second to none in the U.S. It may look easy to the casual observer, but behind the curtain the KBA wizards were pulling a lot of levers and pushing a lot of buttons to make this thing work at the level or professionalism that you expect. 
 

  This year the KBA provided free CLE classes in Ashland, Louisville, Lexington, Covington, Prestonsburg, Bowling Green, Somerset, Owensboro, & Paducah to members of the Kentucky Bar. A satellite program was beamed into Harlan.
 

  Kentucky is the only state that provides all required annual CLE classes without charge to members. By our calculation (not including staff salaries) the cost of the program came to $51.18 per each attendee.  The commercial value of this program, if the KBA were to charge the FMV, would likely be $300 to $400 per attendee.
 

   One of the ways the costs of this program are managed by to leasing space to the vendors at the various seminar sties.  The vendors (LawReader included) set up their booths at the various sites to market their wares to bar members in attendance.
 These vendors appreciate your patronage which helps them justify the expense of their lease, and which indirectly reduces the cost to you. So next year please take time to visit as many vendors booths as possible.
 

  The Kentucky Law Update series is the evolution of the District bar programs that are mandated by SCR 3.651 (adopted eff. 9-15-90). That Rule requires that the KBA CLE Commission conduct a 12.5 credit CLE seminar in each Supreme Court District during each educational year. Due to the geographic characteristics of several districts, the current schedule includes 9 live programs and one live satellite feed (Harlan).
 
   Each January, a committee of the CLE Commission meets with the staff to review comments from the last year’s programs, proposed topics from KBA sections and any other relevant input to plan the coming year’s program agendas.
 

   Once the program is set, the KBA staff contacts the program sponsors to assemble the course materials in a timely manner. Once received by the KBA, the staff formats and proofs the submissions, with each receiving a minimum of 4 reviews. After these steps, each section of the book goes to the CLE Director for the final proof and revision, if necessary. While this is in process, the CLE staff is bidding out the book.
 

This year the total print run of the course materials book was 4300 books at a total cost of slightly over $32,000. (This was a savings, over the previous year’s costs, by nearly $25,000.)
 

   It is said that tobacco is a 13 month crop, meaning that you must start next years crop before you finish this years. The KLU is like a crop of tobacco.  By now, contracts for locations for next year have been negotiated, signed and all dates are firmed up for the 2007 KLU program.
 
The next step in the process is the scheduling of speakers for all locations. This past year several programs were presented by the same speakers at all locations, but many others required a different presenter at each site.
 

 The KLU required a total of 100 different speakers this year, all volunteers. The KBA owes a huge debt of gratitude to the many individuals who so generously donate their time to this project. It is not unusual for a speaker to have a last-minute conflict that prevents their participation and requires the KBA staff to locate a replacement speaker.  So if the KBA calls on you, in the future, please consider accepting their invitation.
 
   Primarily responsibility for the programs are John Meyers and Shannon Roberts, along with Dianna Moore, who has 20 years experience in planning events for the KBA.
 

Once on the site, the KBA crew varies in size from 4 staff, plus 2 audio-visual technicians at the smaller events to the entire CLE Department staff of 9 people plus 4 audio-visual technicians at the major events.
 

   The estimate of KBA staff hours spent working the events is over 1700 hours this past year (nearly 2400 hours if Audio Visual crew time is included).
 
   Last year (2005) the total cost of the KLU programs was slightly over $225,000 (not including any staff salaries).   This year (2006), due to savings in printing costs and other line items, the total cost of the program was anticipated to be closer to $190,000.  This number would have been far greater without the many volunteers who annually pitch in.
 

The 2006 program was attended by 4,396 people, the highest total yet.
 

The Louisville program had the largest attendance and set a single-event record of 1,617 attendees.
 

KBA members have reported 36,836 CLE credits  earned from this year’s KLU’s (vs 33,603 last year).
 
   The KLU programs are unique in the CLE world as we are aware of no other state that offers a program, entailing no out-of-pocket fee to the attendee, that allows the member to obtain their ENTIRE annual CLE requirement.?
 

   The KBA CLE workers must negotiate contracts with the various meeting sites.  Their work requires a great deal of input from bar members, and they are always looking for sites that are adequate to the needs of the bar.   The various convention centers charge fees for virtually everything.  You may have noticed that over the last few years there is no longer complimentary coffee provided.  Some convention centers charge up to $5,000 to provide coffee for the attendees at one site. These convention centers forbid the KBA from bringing in their own donuts and coffee.  Fortunately some convention centers provide coffee bars where attendees can purchase their own caffeine. 
 
  So next year when you attend the KLU, you might take a little time to express your appreciation to KBA staffers, John Meyers,  Shannon Roberts, Dianna Moore, Beth Barnes, Lori Alvey, Clifford Timberlake, Leona Stratton, Stephanie Presley and Jane Herrick.  The audio-visual support is provided by Mike Walsh of OnQ Productions .
 

There were about 100  presenters who agreed to research, write and present their programs to you, often traveling hundreds of miles to do so.  The next time you attend a CLE it would be nice if you were to express your appreciation to these pro bono speakers.
  If you would like to personally express your appreciation to the KBA CLE staff, you can e-mail the director at:   jmeyers@kybar.org
 

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