Vol. 83, No. 8, August 2010
by George C. Brown,
State Bar executive director
Names are funny things. With a common name like mine, you can bet that I face a lot of confusion. There are anywhere from six to eight of me in Madison any given year. When I bought my house, I had to sign an affidavit that I was not “that” George Brown, or that other George Brown either. When I was in high school, I dated a woman named Sue Smith; not one of the five Sue Smiths in my class, mind you, but one of several from the class below me. Talk about confusion.
That same confusion of identity has plagued State Bar CLE for decades. We regularly receive phone calls from members searching for the complete information on a seminar they think they took with us, only to learn after an often lengthy discussion that the seminar was presented by a different provider. When the BBE Form 1 goes out, the number of these calls increases dramatically.
Our research shows that most of you, when asked to define State Bar CLE, think of it only as seminars. In fact, it is so much more, including the well-respected practice books, the “brown books” developed by the Books Division of State Bar CLE. It is also Books UnBound, the codebooks, and the Law Office Videotape series that is purchased by attorneys across the country.
Even though the State Bar’s continuing legal education department has had the title “State Bar CLE” for many years, some lawyers still refer to the program as ATS-CLE (for advanced training seminars – a term used before the implementation of mandatory CLE in 1978) or even CLEW (pronounced “clue”) (used for the U.W. Law School’s program offerings).
So, there is a great deal of confusion in the marketplace over what State Bar CLE is and from whom members are getting their knowledge and information. It was time to find a name that best describes the complete line of offerings, one that can be used not only in Wisconsin for Wisconsin lawyers but also for the products that we sell nationwide to lawyers and legal personnel who are not State Bar members or Wisconsin residents. We needed a name that represented the high quality of seminar and book offerings and the promise to you that what you are getting are the best possible offerings to improve your practice and the service you provide your clients, whoever and wherever they might be.
Thus, PINNACLE™ was born. State Bar CLE is now PINNACLE. It is the same high quality you expect, delivered to you in a manner that best suits your needs. With the PINNACLE name to guide you, you’ll be sure you’re choosing an official State Bar of Wisconsin educational offering.
PINNACLE: Reaching New Heights in Your Practice.