Access Online MCLE available for Philippine lawyers

BACOLOD. Atty. Peaches Martinez-Aranas, founder of Access. (Contributed photo)

PHILIPPINE lawyers now have the option to take their required Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) seminars online, as an alternative to the usual, classroom-based 36-hour sessions required by the Supreme Court (SC) since 2001.

“For the first time since the inception of MCLE, lawyers are now offered the convenience of fulfilling their MCLE requirements online,” said Atty. Peaches Martinez-Aranas, founder of Access, a company that enables lawyers to avail of this breakthrough online option.

MCLE is a requirement that members of the Philippine Bar must take every three years.

She adds that lawyers typically comply with their MCLE requirements over four days, spread over two weekends. Those in the provinces, or living abroad, even have to travel to Manila, consuming precious working hours. With the MCLE option provided by Access, the first-ever accredited provider of online MCLE, in partnership with Adamson University’s College of Law, lawyers are given more flexibility to select courses and learn from legal luminaries on relevant subjects.

Beginning April 30, 2020, Atty. Martinez-Aranas points out that early registration for Access Online MCLE is being accepted.

Last February 4, 2020, the SC in an 11-page En Banc resolution in A.M. No. 19-10-16-SC, approved MCLE online for the first time in its 20-year history. This landmark resolution will allow lawyers to comply with their MCLE anytime and from anywhere, without having to be limited by the choice of speakers on actual seminars.

At present, MCLE seminars run from P12 to P16,000, this is in addition to costs of transportation, accommodations, and other costs. This is on top of losing precious billable hours.

Access provides Philippine lawyers in provinces and abroad the opportunity to learn from legal and technical experts without needing to fly to Manila. Online courses are designed to be substantive, engaging, informative, and highly visual using gamification.

With a mission to shift the MCLE paradigm, the Access team of experts in law, MCLE program design and delivery, and e-learning, combined with Israeli software systems architecture, got down to work. It took over a year to develop and present their proof of concept and robust authentication system to the MCLE Office and Governing Board, the Supreme Court's Subcommittee on Maintenance of Membership in the Philippine Bar, until being invited to present to the Supreme Court en banc.

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