Stanley D. Chess
, president and chief executive officer of Legal America Inc., wants to offer continuing legal education to anyone who wants it when they want it.
LawTV.com, which Chess' company will launch Nov. 1, offers online audio and video lectures from attorneys and law professors from across the country at a relatively inexpensive price for anyone willing to get onto the Internet.Although other companies offer CLE courses online, Chess
is the first legal education provider specifically designed for the Internet.
The company plans to go online with about 50 lectures ready for use, most of them by Steven Finz, a former San Diego law professor, bar review lecturer and New York torts attorney, Chess
said.More will be added as they become available.Among the topics expected will be bankruptcy, civil procedure and arbitrating securities cases.
It makes sense for us to go up now and add every day, he
said. We want to get the kinks ironed out now and get it up and running.
We will be the preferential means of the continuing legal education program, said Chess
from Ms New York office.The whole idea is if you have got a problem, we be likely to have the solution.
We will be principally a continuing legal education provider, he
said.We will have lecturers from all over the United States, starting with [ Harvard law professor ] Arthur Miller..
Most of the courses offered online will be geared toward CLE credit, Chess
said.However, so far only Finz's courses have the approval of a state bar association to fulfill the mandatory requirement.
When we have enough [ courses ], we will apply for CLE credit.I do not anticipate a problem there, Chess said.
The former chairman and CEO of West Bar Review, Chess
started LawTV.com earlier this year after leaving the New York company in July.Chess
said the company will offer programs geared toward the general population of lawyers as well as those in specific states - ones that are based on law in one jurisdiction, he
LawTV will offer two formats, audio and video, depending on the user's interest, Chess
said.The more popular programs are offered in the video format.If the user chooses a program that has only an audio feed, such as Finz's lectures, the subscriber will be shown a photo [ and ] biography of the lecturer, a synopsis of the lecture and in instances where materials accompany the lecture, he
will be able to view the materials, he
However, the video quality be not on a par with television broadcasting yet, Chess
acknowledged.The programs will also have pauses due to variations in transmission speeds.
No question, it is not TV quality and will not be for some time ; my guess is two years, he
said.That is a concern.it be not as good as watching television but it will be.there be no question that it is one of the weaknesses of computers as opposed to television..
] would be hard-pressed to explain why you would not want to just buy the audio tape and listen to it in the car.'.
said that once a subscriber pays for the class, he
can access it for free any time.The user will be provided with a password that will enable him to open the program.Users will not be able to download anything from the site, but downloading capability may be available in the future, Chess
According to Chess
, LawTV.com will offer most courses for between $ 10 and $ 20 per hour, although Finz's lectures will go for around $ 30 per hour.He
asked that we not undercut his
own tape sales, so we be selling them for the same price he
sells [ his
tapes ], Chess said.
I do not think any provider has delivered a continuing legal education program at $ 10 per hour, he
said.we be not trying to compete with [ the traditional ] continuing legal education [ providers ].It serves a purpose.we be trying to put it into a different format..