Inside Track: Think institutes: State Bar introduces new and enhanced format for CLE programming in 2011:

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  • Think institutes: State Bar introduces new and enhanced format for CLE programming in 2011

    Starting this spring, State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE will produce several multi-day CLE institutes in order to deliver more in-depth programming to members in designated practice areas. The institutes replace the annual convention format to enrich the learning and networking opportunities of attorneys in the same or related practice areas.


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    Think institutes: State Bar 
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    Attorneys network at a recent annual convention. The new institutes, which replace the convention, provide numerous opportunities for lawyers to meet their peers in the same or related practice areas.

    Marquette University Law School Eckstein Hall

    Christina Steinbrecker (left) of Fastcase demonstrates the many benefits of its free, comprehensive online law library while at the 2010 annual convention. Attorneys attending the new institutes can expect similar learning opportunities.

    Feb. 2, 2011 – Starting this spring, State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE will produce several multi-day CLE institutes in order to deliver more in-depth programming to members in designated practice areas. The institutes replace the annual convention format to enrich the learning and networking opportunities of attorneys in the same or related practice areas.

    PINNACLE, formerly known as State Bar CLE, will host the Litigation, Dispute Resolution and Appellate Practice Institute: From Claims through Appeals, May 5-6, at the Frontier Airlines Center in Milwaukee. The Real Estate and Business Law Institute will take place June 9-10 at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, and the Solo and Small Firm Conference will take place Oct. 27-29, also at the Kalahari Resort.

    The State Bar’s annual meeting, including the swearing in of new leadership and recognition of members for their service, will take place during the Real Estate and Business Law Institute in June. Annual meeting events will begin on the evening of June 8.

    The traditional annual convention format with varied programming across many practice areas will no longer exist. The format change responds to a steady decline in attendance and a call by members for more in-depth programming.

    Ultimate Pass holders now may attend all three institutes free of charge. In addition, PINNACLE will video record selected presentations at each institute and offer them via webcast at no additional cost to all registrants. That means attendees can choose which presentations to attend live, and watch others later for additional CLE credits.

    May institute

    The Litigation, Dispute Resolution and Appellate Practice Institute – sponsored by the Litigation, Alternative Dispute Resolution, and Appellate Practice sections – will feature special presentations from Patience Roggensack, Wisconsin Supreme Court justice, and Egil “Bud” Krogh, former White House deputy counsel during the Nixon Presidency.

    Krogh, who will speak during a May 5 luncheon, is also former co-director of the Special Investigations Unit familiarly known as the “White House Plumbers.

    Justice Roggensack, along with Wisconsin Appeals Court Judge Joan Kessler, will discuss petitions for review and petitions for leave to appeal nonfinal orders. Krogh will reflect on his experiences to address decision-making and personal and professional integrity.

    The institute also features educational opportunities in more than 30 breakout sessions and plenary programs in which attorneys and judges will provide substantive information and practical advice. A complimentary reception will give attendees an opportunity to socialize and network. Vendors will be on hand throughout the event to discuss their services and products.

    Special guest Steve Hughes, a marketing professional whose seminars have been featured on NPR, BBC Radio and CBS, will discuss the art and science of changing minds at a morning plenary session, and will lead a break-out session on marketing.

    Other speakers will present on topics ranging from the use of technology at trial and techniques for the mediator, to legislative changes impacting civil litigation practice.

    Custom-tailored events

    PINNACLE is working with sections, divisions, and committees to custom-tailor institutes that fit the needs of certain practice or interest groups for a better overall experience. The practice-focused format of the new institutes gives planners more flexibility to meet attendees’ needs.

    These events will allow members to socialize and network with other members in the same or similar practice areas, satisfy continuing legal education requirements, and learn valuable information directed at the particular area of practice. Vendor and expo halls will allow lawyers to explore the products and services that will help them in their practice.

    “Our goal is to create ‘must-attend’ events,” said PINNACLE Director Bill Connors. “PINNACLE is working with section and other bar groups to ensure the institutes deliver an experience so relevant that lawyers cannot afford to miss it. The institutes emphasize PINNACLE’s commitment to provide high-quality professional development opportunities and practice resources for our members.”

    Nerino Petro, practice management advisor for the State Bar’s Law Office Management Assistance Program, has played a role in planning for the annual award-winning Wisconsin Solo and Small Firm Conference in the past. He says smaller conferences allow for more flexibility, at least from the perspective of attracting vendors specific to a certain area of practice.

    PINNACLE encourages members and State Bar groups to suggest ideas for future institutes that will provide in-depth programming in two to three related practice areas.

    Registration info

    Members interested in attending the Litigation, Dispute Resolution and Appellate Practice Institute, May 5-6 in Milwaukee, can register by March 31 to get a reduced rate of $295. After March 31, registration costs $345.

    Members can earn up to 14.5 CLE credits for the event, and PINNACLE has applied to offer 5.5 ethics credits. Registration and other information for the June institute and the Solo and Small Firm Conference will be available soon.