Analysis

A Guide To Each State's CLE Changes Amid COVID-19

Law360 (March 24, 2020, 3:54 PM EDT) -- As lawyers across the country are working in isolation due to the coronavirus pandemic, state bars and courts are adjusting how they are handling mandatory continuing legal education requirements for lawyers.

Here is a state-by-state breakdown of how local in-person CLE programs are being handled, if online CLE courses are available and if there are any pertinent rule changes or other information when it comes to minimum continuing legal education rules.

Many state bars, such as New Mexico's, are in conversations with state courts about how to handle the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, and its impact on lawyers.

"Due to the current climate, the courts are overwhelmed with special requests, such as ours," Alyxandria Callison, regulatory programs coordinator for New Mexico's state bar, said in an email to Law360.

This list will be updated continually with new information.

State CLE Program Status MCLE Rules
Alabama The bar is prioritizing attorneys that need to meet their 2019 hours by April 1 and making accommodations for them.
Bar officials hope to meet with the MCLE Commission on 2020 CLE requirements in April.
Alaska Spring CLE programs are postponed through May 1.
Arizona CLE courses are available online.
Arkansas Upcoming live CLE events are either being postponed or turned into virtual events. Online CLE is available. Under existing MCLE rules, attorneys must complete half of their mandated 24 credits in person. It is unclear if changes to the rules are being considered.
California Upcoming CLE events are either being postponed, canceled or turned into virtual events.
Colorado Upcoming CLE events are either being rescheduled for the fall or turned into virtual events. To obtain a license to practice in the state, attorneys are required to attend a one-day professionalism course in person. The Colorado Supreme Court Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel has temporarily allowed attorneys to attend via webcast.
Connecticut CLE events through April 24 are either postponed or made virtual. The Rules Committee of the Superior Court voted to suspend MCLE requirements.
Delaware In-person CLE is suspended. Online CLE is available at a 10% discount. Under existing MCLE rules, attorneys must complete half of their mandated 24 credits in person. It is unclear if changes to the rules are being considered.
Florida CLE reporting deadlines for February, March, April and May 2020 have been extended to a new reporting deadline of Aug. 31. With the Florida Bar offices closed, all course accreditation is stopped and CDs, DVDs and printed seminar course books will not be shipped. Online CLE is available.
Georgia With the state bar offices closed, the late-fee deadline of March 31 for lawyers who have not completed their 2019 CLE requirements is extended to April 30. The Supreme Court of Georgia order dated March 10, allowing all 2019 MCLE hours to be completed by approved in-house or distance learning seminars, will end March 31.
Hawaii Some CLE postponed. Online offerings available.
Idaho Online CLE offerings available.
Illinois In-person events suspended through April 30. Online offerings available.
Indiana Online CLE offerings available and the bar has waived a number of fees on courses. Under existing rules, distance education courses may account for up to 18 hours of an attorney's MCLE requirements per three-year cycle.
Iowa Webinar-only CLE are planned through April 13. The Iowa Supreme Court has suspended a six hour cap on unmoderated, distance learning CLE.
Kansas Online CLE offerings are available.
Kentucky Online CLE offerings are available and the state bar is working with sponsors to turn accreditation for some live programs to non-live without requiring an additional application fee. Under existing rules, attorneys can complete all MCLE requirements with non-live, on-demand material.
Louisiana All live CLE events canceled through the end of April. Online CLE offerings are available. Under existing rules, attorneys can earn up to four hours of CLE online. It is unclear if changes to the rules are being considered.
Maine Online CLE offerings are available. The Maine Supreme Judicial Court on March 15 waived all in-person MCLE requirements, allowing for them to be filled with online CLE credits, until further order.
Maryland In-person CLE is suspended through May 17. Online offerings are available.
Massachusetts In-person CLE programs are canceled through May. Under existing rules, there are no mandatory MCLE requirements.
Michigan In-person CLE through May are either being turned to virtual events or are being rescheduled. Under existing rules, there are no mandatory MCLE requirements.
Minnesota In-person CLE is suspended through June 30. Online offerings are available. The Minnesota Supreme Court has suspended a 15-hour cap on on-demand CLE for attorneys facing an Aug. 31 filing deadline.
Mississippi Online CLE offerings are available.
Missouri In-person events are suspended until further notice. Under existing rules, all MCLE requirements can be fulfilled remotely.
Montana Online CLE offerings are available. No late fees will be assessed as long as credits are earned and reported before May 15.
Nebraska In-person events are suspended for the coming weeks. Online offerings are available. The Nebraska Supreme Court is allowing all 10 hours of MCLE to be obtained without live education. Normally, attorneys must obtain at least five hours through in-person CLE events.
Nevada Online CLE offerings are available.
New Hampshire In-person CLE postponed for now. Online CLE offerings are available.
New Jersey In-person CLE is suspended until at least April 12. Online CLE offerings are available, and planned CLE events are being turned into webcasts. The Supreme Court of New Jersey has temporarily dropped a requirement that 12 of 24 MCLE hours per two-year cycle be live classroom instruction.
New Mexico In-person CLE suspended and turned into webcasts for at least two weeks. The state bar is in conversation with the state court about determining next steps to ensure 2019 compliance for attorneys.
New York Online CLE offerings are available. The CLE board has relaxed in-person requirements, particularly the live skills requirement for newly admitted attorneys, through June 30.
North Carolina In-person CLE planned from now until at least April 30 are either postponed or have been turned into webcasts. All MCLE requirements can be met online.
North Dakota Online CLE offerings are available.
Ohio Online CLE offerings are available. As of March 17, the Supreme Court of Ohio has decided to not relax a 12-hour cap on self-study programs. The court did indicate it will continue to monitor the situation and discuss at a May meeting of the Commission on Continuing Legal Education.
Oklahoma Online CLE offerings are available. All MCLE requirements can be met online.
Oregon In-person CLE events suspended through April. Online CLE offerings are available.
Pennsylvania Live CLE events originally scheduled through mid-April are being rescheduled. Online CLE offerings are available at a 35% discount through Aug. 31. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has extended the April 30 CLE compliance deadline to Aug. 31.
Rhode Island Live CLE events are being offered via webcast only through May 31.
South Carolina In-person CLE events through April have been canceled. Online CLE offerings are available. The Supreme Court of South Carolina has waived an eight-hour cap on distance learning for lawyers seeking to meet their 2019-20 hours. All 14 hours of required MCLE can be met online or via telephonic programs.
South Dakota
Under existing rules, there are no mandatory MCLE requirements.
Tennessee Online CLE offerings are available. On March 13, the Tennessee Supreme Court allowed attorneys seeking compliance for 2019 to use unlimited online hours to meet the requirements. This removes an eight-hour cap on distance learning.
Texas The bar is offering 5.5 hours of free online CLE. Events scheduled through May 10 have been postponed, canceled or turned to webcast format. The state bar's MCLE department has granted an automatic 60-day extension to attorneys with compliance deadlines coming up in March, April or May, as well as those who missed January and February deadlines. Attorneys facing suspension for failing to meet November or December compliance deadlines have an additional month extension.
Utah Live CLE events scheduled through April 15 have been canceled or postponed. The Supreme Court of Utah has suspended all requirements for in-person CLE attendance for the remainder of the current reporting cycle, which ends June 30.
Vermont Online CLE offerings are available.
Virginia Online CLE offerings are available.
Under existing rules, webcasts and teleconferences with an opportunity to interact with someone in real time count toward a four-hour requirement of live CLE.
Washington Upcoming state bar CLE will be offered as webcasts only. An on-demand "legal lunchbox" CLE is free throughout April.
West Virginia Online CLE offerings are available. The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia has granted a temporary waiver through June 30 of current rules that limit the MCLE credits for online and in-house credits to 12 credits, or half of the mandatory continuing legal education requirements.
Wisconsin In-person CLE events are suspended through April 30. Online CLE offerings are available. The Wisconsin Supreme Court on March 17 issued an order allowing attorneys to meet all MCLE requirements online. Previously, only half of the required 30 credits could be met with on-demand CLE.
Wyoming Online CLE offerings are available. Under existing rules, video, audio and online self-study CLE can only account for six hours of a 15-hour requirement. It is unclear if changes to the rules are being considered.




Correction: An earlier version of this story gave incorrect information for Illinois. That error has been corrected.
--Editing by Orlando Lorenzo

For a reprint of this article, please contact reprints@law360.com.

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