Gene Cavin was hired in 1963 to develop a program for the continuing education of Texas lawyers.

 “Education is to law practice as fertilizer is to agriculture.” —Lee Turner

A lawyer’s legal education cannot end with passing the bar examination. It must continue for as long as he or she practices, and there is no exemption from the need to learn about changes in the law and to incorporate those changes into an ongoing practice.

Today we are overwhelmed by the offerings from dozens of continuing legal education providers. The State Bar of Texas, the largest provider in our state, plans and presents courses to live audiences, and video recordings of these presentations are available to those who choose to watch them in the convenience of their hotel rooms, homes, and offices. Additionally, programs are presented in vacation destinations and even on cruise ships. It wasn’t always this way.

Before we partake of the smorgasbord of CLE offerings, let’s press the rewind button to 1961. Houston Endowment Inc. and the MD Anderson Foundation had donated $10,000 to the State Bar to create a fund to support the publishing of legal books for Texas lawyers. Under the leadership and cajoling of then-State Bar President Paul Carrington Sr., 39 lawyers from both sides of the docket wrote articles for the first publication titled, Personal Injury Litigation in Texas. As indicated in the editor’s preface, the State Bar of Texas was in the forefront of providing service to its members. This undertaking is considered unique in the annals of “How To Do It” practice manuals now available in the profession.

To read the entire article by James E. Brill, go to the Texas Bar Journal.