States Amending CLE Requirements in Response to COVID-19 (Corona Virus) Pandemic
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In response to the declared pandemic of COVID-19 (Corona Virus) state bar associations in the United States are amending their Continuing Legal Education (CLE) requirements.
Some states have extended deadlines.
Some states are also allowing for attorneys to complete more of their required CLE hours via remote learning such as webinars.
Most of these changes are temporary.
*We have received information about CLE changes in the states colored red. Hover over any state below to see these changes. Click on those states for additional information.
**On mobile devices, scroll down for alphabetical list of states with changes.
- GEORGIA: In response to recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding the COVID-19 virus, the Supreme Court of Georgia has issued an order temporarily waiving the 6-hour in-person CLE requirement. Additionally, the deadline for Georgia attorneys to fulfill your 12-hour CLE requirement has been extended until 4/30, but the order allows you to obtain all of your hours through self-study, in-house or online seminars.
- MAINE: No Coronavirus-related changes, however…At their February meeting, the directors of the Board of Overseers of the Bar decided to extend the 2018/2019 CLE reporting deadline. The Board made this decision because of the significant changes resulting from amended Maine Bar Rule 5, including the new mandatory harassment and discrimination credit, and the challenges associated with implementing the Rule. Consequently, the Board is extending the CLE reporting deadline to May 1, 2020. The Board also decided to forgo the imposition of late fees for the 2018/2019 reporting period.
- NEW JERSEY: In the wake of #COVID-19 (#CORONAVIRUS) New Jersey attorneys can earn all of their CLE credits online.
- NEW YORK: In an effort to address the growing concerns related to the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus, the CLE Board will implement the following changes, effective immediately through June 30, 2020. Newly Admitted Attorneys – Newly admitted attorneys (those admitted to the New York State Bar for two years or less) may participate in Skills CLE courses by either individual participation (self-study) or group participation, in the following live, nontraditional formats, where questions are allowed during the program:
- a. webconference,
- b. teleconference, and
- c. videoconference.
This extension applies only to Compliance Group 1. All other 2020 CLE deadlines remain the unchanged.
- PENNSYLVANIA: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has issued an order extending the CLE deadline for compliance Group 1 from April 31, 2020 to August 30, 2020. This extension applies only to Compliance Group 1. All other 2020 CLE deadlines remain the unchanged.
- SOUTH CAROLINA: Effective immediately, lawyers may earn all or any portion of the required fourteen hours of CLE credit for the 2019-2020 annual reporting year through online or telephonic programs.
- TENNESSEE: “In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chief Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court has declared a state of emergency for the Judicial Branch of Tennessee government and activated a Continuity of Operations Plan for the Courts of Tennessee. … Effective immediately and through March 31, 2020, lawyers may earn all or any portion of the required continuing legal education hours for 2019 through approved Distance Learning completed through March 31, 2020.”
- UTAH: “Due to the CDC recommendations against gathering in large groups in order to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Supreme Court has authorized the Supreme Court Board of Continuing Education to suspend all requirements for in-person CLE attendance for the remainder of the current reporting cycle, which ends on June 30, 2020.”
- VERMONT: While no official change has been made to Vermont’s MCLE compliance deadline, the Vermont Judiciary website does state: NOTICE: In light of possible cancellations/rescheduling of CLE programming due to COVID-19 concerns, the Office of Attorney Licensing wants to emphasize that any reasonable request for an extension of time to complete the first-year CLE requirement will be granted. Also, please remember that “live” programming includes non-recorded programming presented via electronic means, such as webinars and teleseminars.” Note that this message is specifically targeted at the first year CLE requirement of newly-admitted attorneys.
- WEST VIRGINIA: On March 12, 2020, The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals granted “a temporary waiver of the current CLE rules and regulations which limit the total CLE credit for video, audio, correspondence telephone seminars, computer-based training courses, and in-house instruction to 12 credits…attorneys may earn all or any portion of the required 24 CLE credits”…via these methods for the 2018-2020 reporting period.
- WISCONSIN: Attorneys can now obtain up to 30 continuing legal education (CLE) credits “on-demand” under a temporary order the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued today at the request of the State Bar of Wisconsin, providing more stay-at-home CLE options amidst the coronavirus pandemic. This order is in place until December 31, 2020.
*Information last updated 3/31/2020; 4:09 PM ET