As the end of the year nears and the holidays catch your attention, don't forget to get your CLE hours for the year. West offers over 2,000 audio CLE programs in its West LegalEdcenter, and now you can take those courses on your iPhone with the new West CLE Mobile app.
To get started, download the free West CLE Mobile app to your iPhone, and then create a West LegalEdcenter account, if you don't already have one.
The app allows you to download one free CLE, a one hour program called Ethics in Client Development. You can also go to the LegalEdcenter and search for or browse the 2,000+ programs offered by West. The programs that you can use with the iPhone app — which in my unscientific review appeared to be most of them — say "Mobile Compatible" next to them. (I wish that West would let you browse, search for and purchase CLE programs from within the app itself instead of having to use a web browser, and hopefully this is something that can be added in a future version.)
The prices vary, but most of the one hour courses appear to cost $135.00. Once you have purchased a program, it will show up as being available for download on your iPhone. Downloading a program, which includes the audio and the materials, takes just a minute or two. Once you have a program downloaded to your iPhone, you can play the program at any time before it expires.
Once you choose to start playing a program, the audio will play over your iPhone speaker, or use your headphones for a little more privacy. A progress bars shows you how much you have to go, and if you miss something there is a button that lets you rewind 30 seconds. You can also use the slider at the bottom to jump to a particular spot in the program, but you cannot advance past your last verified position. Verified position? What that means is that at various points during the program, you will hear a bell ring. When that happens, you need to tap the Now Playing button at the bottom of the screen and then tap the Verify button to demonstrate that you are still awake and listening to the CLE.
By tapping on the Program Materials button in the middle of the screen, you can see all of the materials for the CLE, including documents and PowerPoint slides. I found it very easy to manually scroll through the slides while the speaker was speaking. You can rotate the screen if you would rather view the slides or documents in landscape mode.
One nice feature is that you can stop the program at any time and then resume it later. This makes it easy to fit in the CLE during whatever time you have available.
When you are finished with your program, the app allows you to rate the program and then you press one button to Submit for Credit. West then e-mails you a link to obtain a Certificate of Completion, which you can provide to your bar to recognize your CLE credit.
Here is a video from West showing off the features of the West CLE Mobile app. Feel free to silence the audio as you watch this; it consists of nothing more than stock background music:
Thanks to the West CLE Mobile app, you can now slip your iPhone in your pocket, put on some headphones, and get CLE credit while you are doing other things in your house, pausing from time to time to look at the new slides. I encourage all attorneys to check out this app because the app itself is free and it includes a free download of the Ethics in Client Development program, so even if you never use the app again, you have the opportunity to easily get a free CLE hour. But after using this app once for free, I'm sure that I will be paying for content in the future because West CLE Mobile on the iPhone is such a convenient way to get CLE credit.