Pennsylvania CLE FAQ

Continuing Legal Education rules and requirements can be hard to find and even harder to decipher.  Each state has rules on everything from the number of units required to record keeping requirements to prove that CLE has been completed.  Finding the exact rule or information that you are looking for can be a daunting task, and you are limited on time.

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For this reason, we have created FAQs for every state that we offer CLE in.  If you are an attorney in Pennsylvania, we have the answers that you need in regards to your PA CLE requirement.  We have information for you about everything from PA CLE compliance groups, to late PA CLE compliance.

Top PA CLE Questions

What are the mandatory Pennsylvania CLE requirements?[1]

  • Pennsylvania attorneys must currently complete twelve (12) credit hours each compliance period, including a minimum of one (1) hour of legal ethics, professionalism or substance abuse.

How many online PA CLE courses can I take?

  • Pennsylvania lawyers taking Distance Learning CLE courses may complete four (4) hours per annual CLE compliance year by completing online and offline PA CLE programs.

What are the PA CLE compliance groups?

  • All Pennsylvania attorneys are permanently assigned to 1 of 3 PA CLE Compliance Groups chosen randomly by lawyer ID number. Group I – May 1 through April 30; Group II – September 1 through August 31, and; Group III – January 1 through December 31.

Does Attorney Credits report my CLE hours completed to the PA CLE Board?

  • Attorney Credits reports your PA CLE credit completed to the PA CLE Board within 30 days of course completion. We generally report on the 1st and 15th each month.

What if my PA CLE hours are not reported as of my CLE compliance deadline?

  • If the PA CLE credits are properly completed prior the PA CLE deadline, the attorney will not be considered non-compliant once the PA CLE credits are reported.

How do I report my PA CLE compliance?

  • The PA CLE Board maintains a record of each attorney’s PA CLE compliance. The CLE Board will notify you regarding your CLE status prior to the final day of your compliance period and will provide a final compliance notice after the end of the PA CLE compliance period. If the report indicates that you are in compliance, then you do not need to take any further action.

What happens if I do not comply with the PA CLE requirements within my Compliance Period?

  • If you do not comply with the PA CLE Rules and Regulations, the PA CLE Board will send you a report of non-compliance. Within sixty (60) days from the date of the notice you must comply with the PA CLE Rules and Regulations. In addition, you must pay an initial $100 late fee. Additionally, a second $100 late fee will be assessed if the required PA CLE credit hours are not completed within the 90-day period from the initial notice of non-compliance.

Should I keep a list of my PA CLE activities that I complete?

  • Each active Pennsylvania attorney must maintain records sufficient to establish compliance with the PA CLE requirement in case there is a dispute with the final compliance report. The PA CLE Board recommends that you maintain your PA CLE records for three (3) years. The Certificates of Completion issued by Attorney Credits should be used to verify attendance.

Who can I contact for more information about Pennsylvania CLE?

  • For more information about CLE in Pennsylvania, please call the Pennsylvania CLE Board at (800) 497-2235. You may also contact Attorney Credits support via email or telephone. For further assistance and information, please call our Support Center at 877-910-MCLE (6253) or visit the support page on the website.

Attorney Credits is an accredited CLE provider in Pennsylvania.[2]  Pennsylvania attorneys may complete PA CLE courses in the following media formats: streaming video & audio, MP3 and video download (MP4).  We also offer MP3 Player and USB Stick compliance packages that come pre-loaded with PA CLE credit hours.  Please note that without a valid exception, Pennsylvania attorneys may only currently complete 4 of the required 12 credit hours through online and offline CLE courses.[3]

For more information about CLE in Pennsylvania, please click the following link: PA CLE.


[1] There are amendments to the Pennsylvania CLE rules and regulations will take effect with CLE compliance periods that have requirement deadlines in 2015.

[2] Pennsylvania CLE State Provider #8066.

[3] For 2015 compliance, Pennsylvania has increased the amount of credits lawyers may earn via online CLE courses from four (4) to six (6) credits annually. The PA CLE Board also increased the ethics component of the annual CLE requirement from one (1) to two (2) credit hours. The total number of CLE credits required annually will remain 12 hours.  The amendments to the Pennsylvania CLE rules and regulations will take effect with CLE compliance periods that have requirement deadlines in 2015.

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Colorado CLE: 45 Online Credit Hours Each Compliance Period

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Attorneys that are licensed in Colorado must complete 45 credit hours of approved CLE every 3 years in order to complete the CO CLE requirement.[1]  Of the 45 required CO CLE credit hours, at least 7 credit hours must be completed in the area of legal ethics. Of the forty-five (45) required CO CLE credit hours, a minimum of seven (7) credit hours must be completed in the area of legal ethics

Colorado CLE Compliance and Reporting Requirements

Reporting Cycle: Every 3 years

Compliance Deadline: December 31

Reporting Deadline: January 31

There is one bright spot for Colorado attorneys when it comes to completing the CLE requirement – all 45 credit hours may be completed through online CLE courses.  To receive Colorado CLE credit for a home study course, a Homestudy Affidavit must be submitted to the Colorado Supreme Court Board of Continuing Legal and Judicial Education.[2]

Homestudy

You can receive CO CLE credit for a CLE course referred to as “homestudy” provided the activity:[3]

  1. Is a structured course of study
  2. Is organized by an eligible sponsor
  3. Includes the use of thorough, high-quality written materials, available to the attorney or judge completing the course
  4. Incorporates some other educational medium, such as video or audio tapes, correspondence work, testing or individual conferences. Regulation 103(j).

 

Attorney Credits is an Approved Sponsor of CLE courses in Colorado.  Our Colorado CLE courses have all been pre-approved for credit by the Colorado CLE Board for homestudy credit in Colorado because our CLE courses meet the requirements set forth in Colorado MCLE Rule 103(j).

For more information about continuing legal education in Colorado, please click the following link: Colorado CLE.


[1] In order to keep your license to practice law in Colorado in good standing you must complete your CO CLE requirement and report your Colorado CLE compliance by January 31.

[2] Contact the sponsor of the course, or consult the Colorado CLE Board’s CLE Index to determine if a course is accredited.  Every Colorado attorney was given a Homestudy Affidavit from the Colorado Supreme Court upon admission to the bar or subsequently with an address change.

[3] Colorado CLE FAQ

https://www.coloradosupremecourt.com/CLE/CleFaq.htm

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Arizona CLE: Online CLE Must Be Interactive

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In order to fulfill the Arizona Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) requirement, attorneys that are licensed to practice law in Arizona must complete 15 AZ CLE credit hours each annual compliance period.  As part of this annual 15 credit hour AZ CLE requirement, Arizona attorneys must also complete 3 credit hours of Professional Responsibility credit.[1]

Arizona MCLE Compliance Requirements

  • Reporting Cycle: Annual
  • Compliance Deadline: June 30
  • Reporting Deadline: September 15

 

It is interesting to note that the State Bar of Arizona does not certify CLE courses or CLE Providers.  It is up to Arizona attorneys to decide if a CLE course will be considered for CLE credit under the CLE Rules of Arizona, specifically Arizona MCLE Regulation 104(a).[2]  For online AZ CLE programs, the course must be considered interactive.

For online programs, what qualifies for interactive or self-study?[3]

“Where the order of presentation or the content of the course material is dependent on the attorney’s response and the attorney has an opportunity to respond to prompts initiated by the faculty or placed within the course material, it is considered to be interactive. All of the State Bar’s Online Programs are considered interactive.”

All of Attorney Credits’ online and offline Arizona CLE courses are considered interactive.  For online AZ CLE programs we use verification prompts during the course of the online course to monitor your participation.  For offline CLE courses we use number codes embedded in the course to verify your participation and completion.

For further information about the mandatory CLE program in Arizona please click the following link: Arizona CLE.


[1] A minimum of 3 credit hours must be completed in the area of professional responsibility. This includes – but is not limited to – legal and judicial ethics, professionalism, substance abuse and malpractice prevention.

[2] See: MCLE Regulation 104(a).[2]

http://www.azbar.org/cleandmcle/mcle/mcleregulations

[3]  Frequently Asked Questions About MCLE in Arizona

http://www.azbar.org/cleandmcle/mcle/frequentlyaskedquestionsaboutmcleinarizona

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New Jersey CLE: 12 Online Units each Compliance Period

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Active New Jersey attorneys must complete a minimum of 24 credit hours of continuing legal education (CLE) every two year NJ CLE compliance period.[1]  Of the required twenty-four (24) NJ CLE credit hours, at least four (4) credit hours must be in the area of ethics and/or professionalism.

Can attorneys take online and offline NJ CLE courses?

Generally, NJ attorneys may take online and offline CLE courses.  The courses must be approved for CLE course accreditation by the NJ CLE Board.  Courses offered under an “alternative verifiable learning format” must have a reliable method of verifying and recording participation.[2]

Of the required 24 NJ CLE credit hours, 12 credit hours may be completed through online and offline CLE courses.[3]  They key is that the CLE provider is able to verify your participation in the online and offline CLE courses.  Attorney Credits’ monitors your participation through online prompts in our streaming audio and video courses, and number codes that are embedded in our MP3, Video Download (MP4), CD & DVD NJ CLE courses.

NJ CLE courses completed through alternative verifiable learning formats such as online and offline NJ CLE courses can account for no more than one-half of the total credit hour requirement per compliance period.  If you are subject to the 24 credit hour NJ CLE requirement, you may complete up to 12 credit hours of NJ CLE through online and offline NJ CLE courses.

For more information about the New Jersey CLE requirement and NJ CLE compliance packages, please click the following link: NJ CLE.


[1] The NJ CLE program is mandatory for all NJ attorneys, in-house corporate counsel, judges and government attorneys – regardless of whether the attorney is actually practicing within the state of New Jersey.

[2] Supreme Court of New Jersey Continuing Legal Education, see: BCLE Reg. 201:8 and 301:9.

http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/cle/att_faq.htm#13

[3] Some New Jersey attorneys, however, may qualify for either a medical or non-resident exception and may be able to take all 24 units through online on-demand CLE courses.  If a medical condition prohibits you from attending a live CLE event, you may qualify to take all required 24 NJ CLE units online.   Some attorneys licensed in New Jersey that live outside of the Garden State may also be able to apply for a non-resident exception which allows all NJ CLE courses to be completed though online courses

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Florida CLE: 5 Credit Hours of Legal Ethics Each Compliance Period

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Like just about every other attorney across the country, attorneys in Florida have continuing legal education requirements.  The continuing legal education requirement in Florida is called the CLER – or Continuing Legal Education Requirement.

Florida calls its mandatory Continuing Legal Education (CLE) program the Florida CLER – Continuing Legal Education Requirement.[1]

As part of the Florida CLER, each member of the Florida Bar must complete a minimum of 30 Florida CLE credit hours each three-year CLE compliance period.  As part of this 30 credit hour requirement, Florida attorneys must also complete 5 credit hours in the area of legal ethics – which also includes CLE courses in professionalism, substance abuse and mental illness awareness.  These 5 credit hours of legal ethics are included in – and not in addition to – the regular 30-hour requirement.

Five of the 30 hours must be in approved legal ethics, professionalism, bias elimination, substance abuse, or mental illness awareness programs.[2]

Florida attorneys can complete all 30 required CLER credit hours through online and offline CLE courses, including the 5 credit hour legal ethics requirement.  The Florida Bar allows the entire CLER to be completed thorough streaming audio & video, MP3, MP4, CD and DVD CLE courses.  To see a listing of legal ethics courses offered in Florida, please click this link: Florida Ethics CLE.

For more information about Attorney Credits’ Florida CLE courses and the CLER in Florida please click this link: Florida CLE.


[1] The Supreme Court of Florida adopted The Florida CLER back in 1988.

[2] Rule 6-10.3 Minimum Continuing Legal Education Standards http://www.floridabar.org/divexe/rrtfb.nsf/FV/B60A3DD3EC4FB70E852574F6007602DB

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Texas CLE: Definition of Accredited CLE

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Every active member of the State Bar of Texas must complete at least 15 hours of accredited TX CLE during each Texas MCLE compliance year.  Failure to complete and properly report TX MCLE credit hours could result in a non-compliance penalty, with penalties ranging from $100 to $300.

Every active State Bar of Texas member must complete a minimum of 15 hours of accredited CLE during each MCLE compliance year.

  • 12 hours – Must be in accredited CLE classes
  • 3 hours – Must be in legal ethics[1]
  • 3 hours – Could be in self study[2]

But exactly what is the definition of ‘accredited’ MCLE credit in Texas?  You can earn accredited CLE credit by attending Texas MCLE approved activities.  Texas MCLE approved activities include live presentations, pre-recorded online CLE courses, webinars, podcasts and DVDs & CDs.[3]  At least 12 hours of the 15-hour TX CLE requirement for each compliance year must be in a form of accredited CLE.  Of the 15 required TX CLE credit hours a minimum of 3 credit hours must be in the area of legal ethics/legal professional responsibility.

Texas MCLE Compliance Requirements

  • Reporting Cycle: Annual
  • MCLE Deadline: Last day of month before birth month
  • Reporting Deadline: First day of attorney’s birth month

 

Attorney Credits is an Approved Provider of CLE in Texas.[4]  All of Attorney Credits’ online and downloadable CLE courses have been pre-approved for CLE credit in Texas.  You can study your TX CLE courses online though our streaming courses or download your TX CLE courses as an MP3 or Video Download (MP4) and study offline.  Certificates are available instantly after course completion.

For more information about CLE in Texas, please click the following link: Texas CLE.


[1] Three of the fifteen hours must be completed in the area of legal ethics or professionalism, this includes CLE courses in substance abuse and elimination of bias.

[2] Including 1 hour of legal ethics.

[3] Accredited CLE

http://www.texasbar.com/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Determine_MCLE_Hours&Template=/CM/HTMLDisplay.cfm&ContentID=18968

[4] Texas State Provider #12507.

http://www.attorneycredits.com/Texas-cle-information

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Late California MCLE Compliance is June 30

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The State Bar of California requires all active California attorneys to complete 25 hours of minimum continuing legal education (MCLE) every three years.[1]  As part of the 25 credit hour California MCLE requirement attorneys must complete at least four hours of legal ethics, one hour of elimination of bias in the legal profession and one hour of substance abuse.  CA MCLE compliance is broken down into 3 different compliance groups so that not every attorney has to complete their CA CLE requirement at one time.

Extensions of Time

If you can comply by June 30, there is no need to request an extension of time, although a late fee of $75 will be assessed if you have not reported your compliance by February 1.[2]

First, the bad news if you belong to the Group 3 MCLE compliance group in California – you are late completing your MCLE.  Now, for the good news.  If you comply with your CA MCLE requirement by June 30, you simply have to pay a $75 late fee.  There is no suspension, there is no make up plan, there is no disbarment – you simply have to comply with your CA MCLE requirement by June 30.

“You cannot be disbarred for failure to take MCLE … but you can be disbarred for lying about it.”[3]                                                                                             – Jerome Fishkin, Walnut Creek legal ethics attorney

However, it is important to properly complete your California MCLE requirement.  This means completing the proper amount of bias, ethics and substance abuse hours and making sure that you don’t exceed the 12.5 credit hours of self-study credit.  And most importantly, don’t try to lie or deceive the State Bar of California.  The Cal Bar has been greatly increasing the amount of MCLE audits and the penalty for trying to deceive the Bar has even been disbarment in some cases.[4]

Don’t get suspended or disbarred, get your CA MCLE done today!  For more information about the California MCLE requirement please click the following link: California CLE.


[1] There are some limited exceptions to the 25 credit hour MCLE requirement.

[2] Attorneys with the last name N–Z are in Group 3 for MCLE compliance in California.

[3] Extensions of Time

MCLE Audits Catch Lawyers Off Guard

https://www.callawyer.com/clstory.cfm?eid=928451&wteid=928451_MCLE_Audits_Catch_Lawyers_Off_Guard

[4] MCLE Audits Catch Lawyers Off Guard

https://www.callawyer.com/clstory.cfm?eid=928451&wteid=928451_MCLE_Audits_Catch_Lawyers_Off_Guard

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NY CLE FAQ

How many New York CLE credit hours do I have to complete?

When do I have to complete my New York CLE credits?

How do I report my NY CLE compliance?

These are some of the questions that we hear everyday when we speak to New York attorneys that use AttorneyCredits.com for CLE compliance.  We know that New York attorneys have questions on NY CLE compliance – everything from the NY CLE requirement to late NY CLE reporting.  CLE information is not always the easiest to find and the state bars don’t always provide you with the information that you need.

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That’s why we have created a NY CLE FAQ to help New York attorneys find the information that they need.  Attorneys in the Empire State must complete their CLE requirement every two years.  If you are an ‘experienced’ attorney in New York there is one bright spot – you may complete your entire New York CLE requirement through online and downloadable NY CLE courses.  What’s an experienced attorney in New York you might ask?   See the answer below!

Top New York CLE Questions

What is my CLE requirement if I am an ‘experienced’ New York attorney?

  • Experienced New York attorneys must complete twenty-four (24) accredited NY CLE credit hours during each biennial NY CLE reporting cycle.[1]  At least four (4) credit hours of Ethics and Professionalism credit must be completed each two-year compliance period.  The remaining NY CLE credit hours can be earned in any category of CLE credit.

What is an ‘experienced’ attorney?

  • Attorneys that have been admitted to the New York Bar for more than two (2) years are experienced attorneys.

If I am an experienced New York attorney how many online NY CLE courses can I take with Attorney Credits?

  • All twenty-four (24) NY CLE credit hours.

When must I complete my NY CLE requirement and report NY CLE compliance?

  • Your NY CLE compliance deadline is your birthday.  You have 30 days after your birthday to report your NY CLE compliance.

What are the NY CLE compliance groups?

  • If you were admitted BEFORE 1/1/82 – OR in an even-numbered year – then you report your New York CLE compliance in EVEN-numbered years. If you were admitted in an odd-numbered year AFTER 1982, then you report your NY CLE compliance in ODD-numbered years.

Does the NY CLE Board keep a record of my CLE activities?

  • No, the New York State CLE program is a self-reporting system and certificates of completion and other supporting CLE documentation must be retained by the attorney for at least four (4) years from the date of the completion of the CLE course.

How do I report New York CLE compliance?

  • The NY CLE Board will mail you an attorney registration form.  You must file your attorney registration form and indicate that you have completed your MCLE requirement within 30 days after your birthday on alternate years.[2]

Who can I contact for more information about NY CLE?

  • For more information about NY CLE, please call the New York CLE Board at (212) 428-2105 or toll free from outside of New York City at 1 (877) NYS-4CLE (697-4253). You can also contact Attorney Credits support via email or phone. For further assistance and information, please call our Support Center at 877-910-MCLE (6253) or visit the support page on the website.

Attorney Credits is an accredited CLE provider in New York.  New York attorneys may complete NY CLE courses in the following media formats: streaming video & audio, MP3 and video download (MP4).  We also offer MP3 Player and USB Stick compliance packages that come pre-loaded with all 24 required NY CLE credit hours.

 For more information about CLE in New York, please click the following link: NY CLE.


[1] The biennial NY CLE reporting cycle is the two-year period between your attorney registrations.

[2] At the time of your biennial registration, you must certify that you have completed your MCLE requirement for that reporting cycle and that you have retained the proper documentation.

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Illinois CLE: 30 Credit Hours by June 30

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For about half of the Illinois attorneys, it’s just about that time for you.  Time to get your Illinois CLE requirement done!  The June 30 IL MCLE deadline will be here before you know it.  Why procrastinate … when you can get started now and complete your Illinois MCLE requirement in plenty of time.

Illinois MCLE Compliance Requirements:

  • Reporting Cycle: 2 years
  • Compliance Deadline: June 30
  • Reporting Deadline: July 31

In Illinois, there are two different MCLE reporting groups for CLE compliance purposes.  The reporting groups are based on the attorney’s last name.[1]  Illinois attorneys whose last name starts with A – M must complete 30 IL CLE credit hours by June 30, 2014.  The deadline to report IL CLE compliance is July 31.

Illinois MCLE Reporting Periods:

  • Last names A – M: July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2014
  • Last names N – Z: July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2015

Attorneys licensed in Illinois may satisfy all 30 IL CLE credit hours through online IL CLE courses.  Attorney Credits is an Accredited Provider in Illinois and all of our Illinois CLE courses are presumptively pre-approved by the Illinois MCLE Board.  For more information about Illinois CLE requirements, deadlines and CLE compliance packages, please click the following link: Illinois CLE.


[1] As your last name as it appears on the master roll of attorneys.

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What is CLER?

Every state regulates the conduct of its own attorneys – everything from Bar admissions to requiring a certain amount of pro bono hours every year.  And continuing legal education is no exception.  At this point in time, CLE is mandatory in the majority of states around the country – although there are a few holdovers like Michigan and Maryland.

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Each state even has its own name for the mandatory continuing legal education that is required of its attorneys.  Some states call it MCLE (Minimum Continuing Legal Education) some states simply call it mandatory CLE – and then there’s Florida.  The official name for the continuing education required of attorneys in Florida is the Florida CLER – or Florida Continuing Legal Education Requirement.

CLER, or Continuing Legal Education Requirement, was adopted by the Supreme Court of Florida in 1988 and requires all members of The Florida Bar to continue their legal education.[1]

The Florida CLER was adopted by the Supreme Court of Florida in 1988 and requires all members of The Florida Bar to complete a certain amount of continuing legal education.  Each three year compliance period, every Florida attorney must complete 30 FL CLE credit hours.[2]  Of these 30 required credit hours, 5 must be in the area of ethics, professionalism, substance abuse, or mental illness awareness.

Attorney Credits offers a number of pre-approved Florida CLE courses and also offers a number of different 30 credit hour FL CLE compliance packages: Florida CLE.


[1] What is CLER?

http://www.floridabar.org/tfb/TFBMember.nsf/ed6e4bcb92a8fe1b852567090069f3c2/dde037de5dcfe59885256b2f006c6a4d?OpenDocument#What%20isCLER%3F

[2] Members of The Florida Bar are required to report FL CLE hours earned every three years. Each Florida attorney is assigned a three year reporting cycle. You can find your reporting date on the mailing label of The Florida Bar News.

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