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Board Resolution ~ 08/08/2009(3)

Creating an NACDL Continuing Legal Education Institute

Resolution of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Creating an NACDL Continuing Legal Education Institute  

Boston, Massachusetts
August 8, 2009

BE IT RESOLVED; that the NACDL Board of Directors approves the attached proposal for the creation of an NACDL Continuing Legal Education Institute.

APPROVED this 8th day of August, 2009
Boston, Massachusetts

NACDL CLE Institute
August 8, 2009


NACDL's responsibility to provide quality programming has grown significantly over the years. What began as a modest means of attracting new members to the organization is now a major source of revenue that supports myriad membership services and criminal justice reform initiatives. Originally, NACDL held 3-4 programs over the period of a year. In 2010, NACDL will plan, promote and present 4 quarterly programs, 6 stand-alone, single-theme programs, 10 in-house CLE productions, as well as occasional involvement in outside seminars. What once was 4, is now 20+, and the number of people involved in planning these events has increased dramatically. This growth is a direct result of NACDL’s implementation of its long range strategic plan as envisioned by the Task Force on Financial Resources, the Long Range Planning Committee, and the Executive Committee Retreats of the past three years.

The creation of a CLE Institute will increase communication and coordination among those charged with the planning of programs while reducing the extensive burden on volunteers by reducing their commitment over a calendar year. This proposal recognizes that NACDL’s CLE programming has now reached the magnitude where far greater advance planning and creativity is essential to the success of the overall business plan. Under the proposed structure, the appointment terms are longer, but the level of individual responsibility and time commitment for each person is significantly reduced. An extended term is suggested to preserve the continuity of quality programming, and the addition of Institute Advisory Group will help maintain and improve the overall quality of speakers and materials presented at programs.

Effective planning and execution by those leaders who are involved in faculty recruitment and curriculum development depends upon a keen understanding of the requirements of a successful CLE enterprise. The addition of an Advisory Group will provide opportunities for those with the greatest expertise in the full range of emerging criminal justice issues to help shape NACDL’s CLE course content. This, in turn, will enable NACDL to sustain the highest overall quality of faculty, subject matter, and materials—a goal which must be achieved if NACDL is to preserve its reputation as the definitive source of CLE programming for the criminal defense bar.

Ultimately, the Institute will centralize the coordination of all CLE programming, ensuring that marketing opportunities are maximized and expenses minimized, thereby ensuring the fiscal performance of NACDL's CLE program.

Mission Statement  

The mission of the NACDL CLE Institute is to develop and execute NACDL’s CLE curriculum in a manner that maintains the integrity of its programs and status as the premiere CLE provider for the criminal defense bar. The Institute will ensure the viability, efficiency, continuity, quality, and profitability of NACDL seminars by overseeing, planning, and implementing cutting-edge programming to foster excellence and high ethical standards in criminal defense practice.


The CLE Institute shall be comprised of the staff member with ultimate responsibility for implementation of NACDL’s education program, as well as such other staff members as the Executive Director shall from time to time designate, and an Advisory Board, comprised of NACDL members.

The Advisory Board shall include a Chair of the CLE Institute, at least one Seminar Vice Chair per quarterly seminar, at least one Vice Chair for each stand-alone program, no less than 6 additional Advisors from specific practice specialty areas, and the NACDL President-Elect, who shall serve as an ex officio advisor during his or her term as President-Elect.

Responsibilities of the CLE Institute  

  1. Implement and enforce institutional policies/guidelines to improve the efficiency, planning, marketability, and profitability of programs.
  2. Develop innovative, progressive, timely, and focused programs which address the needs of the membership and have wide-ranging national appeal.
  3. Recruit the highest quality speakers for faculties giving consideration to historic evaluation ratings, preferences of attendees, and speaker history.
  4. Seek to maintain the quality of faculty by taking into consideration faculty diversity, speaker prominence, relevance of the topics, marketing power of the speaker and the presentation of new presenters.
  5. Produce quality programming with due consideration for post-meeting resale.
  6. Expand NACDL’s product catalog of recorded programs and identify multiple means for content delivery.
  7. Produce the highest quality experience for attendees in the most economic way, by minimizing expense without sacrificing quality.
  8. Evaluate and recommend appropriate CLE pricing policies to the Executive Director.
  9. Support efforts to provide scholarship assistance to members with limited resources are able to attend and/or purchase NACDL CLE seminars and products.
  10. Engage in on-going review, analysis, and evaluation of program content, faculty and market trends.


The Chair shall be appointed by the President to a four year term. The initial Chair will be appointed in consultation with the officers. Each succeeding President retains the power to appoint, re-appoint, or remove the Chair. The Chair shall be eligible for reappointment at the conclusion of the current term. At any time at which a President shall be required to appoint a new Chair, the appointing President shall consult with the out-going chair, other officers, and the Executive Director, and should make every effort to select the new chair from among the current or recent Vice Chairs.

Each Quarterly Vice Chair shall be appointed by the President, after receiving the recommendation of the Chair, and with input from staff, for a three year term. Vice Chairs are committed to producing one quarterly seminar per year for three years. This format provides a greater interval between obligations, thus reducing the stress and demands inherent under the current system, where one or two chairs must plan four programs within one year. Rotation of responsibility will foster enhanced CLE creativity while maintaining continuity, as well as provide an opportunity for new appointees to observe the planning process with experienced Vice Chairs before producing a program themselves. Vice Chairs shall be eligible for reappointment.

Each Stand-Alone Vice Chair shall be appointed by the President, after receiving the recommendation of the Chair, with input from staff, for an indefinitely renewable one year term.

Each Advisor, except the President-Elect, who shall serve as an ex officio Advisor during his or her term as President-Elect, shall be appointed by the President, after receiving the recommendation of the Chair and with input from staff, for a three year term. Advisors shall be eligible for reappointment and all appointments following the initial appointment shall be for a three year term. When the Advisory Board is initially appointed, appointees shall be designated for one, two and three year terms, to ensure that term expiration shall be staggered.

The sole appointment authority of the Vice Chairs and Advisors remains with the President. That power, coupled with the use of staggered terms for the advisors, as well as the authority to fill all future vacancies occurring through term expiration or resignation, will preserve the capacity of all future presidents to place quality persons in the advisory and planning positions.

The Chair, Vice Chairs, and Advisors may be replaced at the discretion of the President, after consultation with the other officers. Vice-Chairs and Advisors may be replaced by the Chair, subject to the approval of the President. Staff members may be replaced at the discretion of the Executive Director.


All members of the Advisory Board of the CLE Institute shall be fully conversant with the policies and procedures applicable to NACDL’s CLE program. This shall include both internal policies and procedures and external requirements imposed by the various jurisdictions as a pre-condition for CLE certification.

1) Chair  

The Chair works directly with the staff CLE Director to facilitate communication and coordination among various CLE planners including Vice Chairs, Advisors and staff. The Chair manages the long-range CLE planning process to improve cross-pollination and avoid cross-contamination of NACDL’s programs. The Chair ensures the on-time completion of programs and assists all Vice-Chairs and staff in program implementation. The Chair recommends to the President qualified individuals for appointment to serve as Vice Chairs and Advisors and evaluates their performance.

2) Quarterly Seminar Vice Chairs  

Vice Chairs are responsible for the development of one quarterly seminar and one in-house program per year. This responsibility includes determining the theme and curriculum for each program and identifying appropriate faculty. In discharging this responsibility, the Vice Chairs shall seek input and advice from other Vice-Chairs, Advisors, and members of substantive committees within NACDL. Each quarterly meeting is planned by a separate Vice Chair(s) thus minimizing the workload and burden on the appointees.

3) Stand-Alone Vice Chairs  

The Stand-Alone Vice Chairs are responsible for the development of a specific annual seminar on a designated topic. This responsibility includes determining the curriculum for the program and identifying appropriate faculty. In discharging this responsibility the Vice Chairs shall seek input and advice from other Vice-Chairs, Advisors, and members of substantive committees within NACDL.

4) Advisors  

Advisors should be members of an NACDL committee or task force, write for The Champion, or should be recognized as a specialist in a particular aspect of practice. Their role is to provide insight and assistance in their respective policy/specialty areas and engage in an on-going process of identifying creative and innovative CLE programming and procuring outstanding faculty for both in-house and external NACDL programming.

5) Staff  

Staff members serving on the CLE Institute shall provide support and guidance to the Chair, Vice Chairs and Advisors. In addition, they will work with NACDL’s senior policy staff, and the volunteer members of the Advisory Board, to identify and coordinate the production of a minimum of (4) in-house programs per year based upon topical issues. 

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