A new online platform has some lofty legal dreams. Launched last week, DigiCounsel provides Continuing Legal Education (CLE) courses in what founder Humira Noorestani hopes will become the “Netflix” of legal resources and CLE.
Before starting the platform, Noorestani spent most of her career working as a corporate and commercial attorney internationally and in the U.S. Once dubbed an “unconventional attorney” due to her extensive, international and, at times, non-traditional legal education and work experience, she has ample experience in what one could call “DIY” CLE training.
Early in her career, she accepted a job in Qatar and was suddenly overseeing over 120 companies. During that time, she spoke to many lawyers from around the world and realized to what extent law school doesn't necessarily prepare students for the actual practice of law, including such basics as how to draft a contract from scratch or how to negotiate a deal. As a result, she began creating informal upskilling courses. In one instance, she remembers creating a 50-page book with sample contract clauses for herself and others.
Then, around the time she returned to work in the U.S. as an in-house counsel lawyer, and after the pandemic hit, she realized that there was a greater need for a wider variety of courses and a void in the legal industry in terms of education. The more she talked to other lawyers, the more she heard not just of a need for upskilling but also of a need for courses on health and wellness and information on law and technology, among other things.
“My main goal is for DigiCounsel to not be sort of the traditional CLE that we think of,” DC-based Noorestani explained. “In a typical CLE course, you're just falling asleep. So how DigiCounsel is different is it's supposed to be fun. It's supposed to be very organic. And it's supposed to be very conversational. We give you as much information as we actually can so that you walk away feeling smarter, feeling better, feeling like you actually learned something and craving more.”
The courses currently fall under three umbrella topics: upskilling, health and wellness, and law and technology. Some of the current courses include titles such as “Cyber Risks to Law Firms,” “Interrupting and Combating Implicit Bias in the Legal World” and “Psychology and Methodology of Litigation.”
While the soft launch happened last week and currently includes about 35 courses on a range of topics, Noorestani hopes to expand it over time and make it an international resource.
“Remember, I'm that American girl who went to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, and completed part of my legal studies there,” she explained. “So, I definitely feel like there is no reason to have these borders in terms of education or an exchange of knowledge or connection. For instance, if you want to learn from one of the preeminent arbitration attorneys in the world or in Dubai, you might not be able to make it to that local event. But DigiCounsel will allow lawyers to get out of that bubble, and I think the legal universe is sort of hungry for that.”
For more information on the platform, visit https://digicounsel.thinkific.com/