The pioneer and principal proponent of offering online Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) program in the country is at it again. This time, ACCESS is calling on other MCLE centers to elevate the way online courses are delivered especially in the next normal.
“We hope other providers will make an effort to deliver the online MCLE courses using the gold standard,” says ACCESS MCLE Co-Founder Atty. Ma. Louella M. Aranas.
Atty. Aranas notes that there are several aspects of online program provision that need more attention—the technical details, the selection of lecturers and topics, and the gamification of the courses, among others. In her words: “All aspects need to be excellent.”
Setting the bar higher
A frontrunning pioneer in offering online MCLE in the country, ACCESS has always made sure to elevate the industry standard. Following the Supreme Court’s approval of the Rules and Regulations in conducting online MCLE (effective February 5, 2020), ACCESS has so far been the only provider to invest in shooting online program videos professionally. In so doing, they make it a point to ensure superior audio and visual quality by working inside a studio, operating with the technical expertise provided by sound engineers and video editors.
At the same time, ACCESS MCLE is the only one in the country to truly facilitate interactive courses, in comparison its competitors who still maintain the use of simple videos in mp4 format.
“Being interactive is not only an effective mode of facilitating MCLE courses online. It is also a simple way to make sure the lawyers their selves are attending the online sessions, not their legal secretaries or paralegals,” says Atty. Aranas. She also recalls that, in the year 2019, it took ACCESS a while to convince the Supreme Court about ways to verify the identity of lawyers attending the online MCLE programs; she also recalls the time it took to convince stakeholders about the safety of the online platform.
ACCESS as proponent to online MCLE
A little known fact: prior to the pandemic, ACCESS did most of the push to make MCLE available online to members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. The team patiently endured a year making presentations and attending meetings with the MCLE Office, the Office of Supreme Court Justice Marvic Leonen, and the Supreme Court en banc under Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta to persuade them to consider adopting the idea.
“We made several iterations on the proof of concept, ensuring that the requirements of Bar Matter 850 are complied with while maintaining the highest quality of online training delivery,” recalls Atty. Aranas. Thus, ACCESS is leading the charge and keeping its commitment to prove the effectiveness, safety, and reliability of online MCLE by setting the best example.
“ACCESS is leveling up the playing field among lawyers from across the country. The team is adopting the best practices in content production, design, and overall online delivery of courses. We aim to make fellow lawyers realize that MCLE is worthwhile and necessary. It is never a waste of time and money,” Atty. Aranas continues.
Aside from curating the best topics, tapping today’s legal luminaries, and offering convenience through offering continuing education online, ACCESS continues to introduce new and exciting innovations to their delivery of online MCLE to Filipino lawyers.
Under ACCESS, MCLE learners can opt to learn through an online on-demand (asynchronous) or online class (synchronous) setup. It has recently introduced a new version of the synchronous program—the Flexi-Synch, which makes MCLE courses available all year round. If a learner misses a lesson, that exact lesson will be offered on the same day and time on the following month.
“We set the difference in providing online MCLE to Filipino lawyers, wherever they may be, whenever. But we are at the same time carrying on that commitment to excellence when face-to-face sessions return as an option for learning. We will continue to be exemplary. That is because we at ACCESS believe that the legal industry deserve only the best,” Atty. Aranas concluded.