Minnesota lawyer Phil Grove has posted useful links and advice for getting free CLE for Minnesota lawyers, here: http://philgrove.blogspot.com/2009/10/getting-free-or-cheap-cles.html Many of the tips and strategies may apply in other jurisdiction as well.
"... If you are a Minnesota lawyer who does not have an employer willing to pay for your continuing education, you have probably wondered if there are free or low cost ways that you can accumulate some CLE credits. Most of the free CLEs are short, so you are talking about picking up one or two CLEs at a time. Which involves quite a bit of running around. But if you are unemployed or in a low income situation, it's a way to keep your license without making matters worse. Here are some that I have found. If you don't have time to read this whole post, you might skip to where I reveal the Best Tip Of All.READ FULL ARTICLE, FULL OF GREAT TIPS:
The CLE Board has a web site with a link to an article from Minnesota Lawyer that contains some good suggestions. For example, the article points out that the law schools have CLE programs that are free or low cost to any lawyers, not just for alumni. I recently went to a couple of very good short presentations at Hamline Law School. I have also been to presentations at Mitchell, the U of M, and St. Thomas, all very good. I would suggest checking out the web sites for each law school and see if you can sign up for an email list that will send you notifications of their CLE programs...."