Being asked to present a continuing legal education seminar is a great way to establish credibility. During your session, most of the audience will be polite and listen attentively to your presentation. They won’t interrupt. Some will even take careful notes as you offer your timeless wisdom, but not all of them.
CLEs sometimes play host to strange audiences, especially as reporting deadlines loom. You may have lawyers in attendance who are not all that interested in what you have to say; they just need the mandatory credits and don’t care how they get them.
I have participated in and attended dozens of CLE’s. Here are some of my favorite types of audience members and how I would recommend addressing them if you are the speaker. If you get any of these attendees, try not to take it personally. Here’s what you can do about them.