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My Logic-Drive Bar Association

December 11, 2006

Lawyers in my jurisdiction must take 45 hours of continuing legal education (CLEs) every three years in order to retain their license to practice. I maintain my license to keep my practice option open. I have written before about how much fun these CLEs can be.

I recently listened to a teleconference CLE and duly reported it. The Bar duly flagged it with a blue band on my personal CLE record at its website as a “potential duplicate.” I knew that wasn’t possible, because I had not listened to this presentation before. So I called the Bar.

First, understand that the Bar exists to help lawyers and to protect the public from them, so you kind of get an idea of its baseline logic.

The CLE Analyst (yes, it’s that big an association, in a nice skyscraper, all paid for by our prodigious public-protecting dues) told me, no problem, people don’t flag duplicate records, the computer does. The computer makes its “decision” based on keywords in the CLE title that a record is a duplicate. The Bar’s policy is to believe the lawyer (who submits an affidavit of attendance or listening), remove the haughty blue band from the record, and give the lawyer credit for the CLE activity. Good.

Now, we report the full title and date of each CLE. Of course the two events I reported had two different titles and dates. They had two unique “activity numbers.” But the computer “noticed” the keyword “professionalism” in both titles, and “thought” “Aha!” I asked the nice CLE Analyst whether “professionalism” was such a rare term as to be useful in flagging duplicate records. He couldn’t really answer that, but he assured me I had done the right thing in calling the Bar and getting it straightened out. The blue band vanished and the coveted credit was duly recorded.

Overriding human intelligence rescued me from a hostile computer with a small vocabulary. My logic-driven Bar Association will continue its expensive and vigilant service on my behalf. And my logic-driven Bar Association will continue to license me so that it can go about its business of protecting the public from me.

5 comments:

Zack said…
Well you are very effective, Auntie Lauren. This scares people.The female threatens me that if I don’t behave you will set the chickens on me.

8:25 AM  
Mrs. B said…
Your mama is a very effective disciplinarian. The chickens are quite cross today, too, and would probably gang up wolfishly. Have I told you how much they enjoy steak bones and scraps?But I will wave them off, Zack, for you are precious to me.

9:18 AM  
Victorbravo said…
I, for one, feel much safer now.
11:41 AM  
Ruben said…
I am glad someone is protecting the general public from you.
3:09 PM  
Mrs. B said…
Oh dear, Ruben, and you an expat and all…is my influence so extensive?
3:14 PM  
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