School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Andrea Beam


Professional Development, Continuing Education, Online Learning, Adult Learning, CLE


Adult and Continuing Education | Education


The purpose of this qualitative holistic single case study was to describe how practicing attorneys in North Carolina experience continuing legal education (CLE) courses delivered online. The theories guiding the study are Knowles’ adult learning theory and Siemens’ connectivist theory, as they address how adults learn and how the use of technology connects learning. The central research question is as follows: How do practicing attorneys in North Carolina experience online CLE courses? This question leads to three sub-questions: What meaning do practicing attorneys ascribe to CLE? What benefits and concerns do attorneys identify with CLE delivered online? How do attorneys connect CLE content to their legal practice? The literature review presents what is known about the guiding theories, professional development, CLE, and online learning for adults. The gap in the literature is a lack of information regarding the experience with professional development delivered online for attorneys. Results of the study show that the attorney experience with online CLE is ineffective, with little transfer to the practice of law.