COVID-19 Continuing Ed. Requirements: Live Updates

by: The Knowledge Group

March 19, 2020


Live Blog: Updated Thursday, April 30, 2020.

To cope with the COVID-19 outbreak, what changes are states making to Continuing Legal Education and Continuing Professional Education (CLE/CPE) requirements?

Continuing Legal Education Modifications

With social distancing understood as critical in containment efforts, New Jersey‘s Supreme Court has suspended all live classroom credit requirements, enabling attorneys to complete all CLE through approved online courses. New York’s Continuing Legal Education Board is allowing new attorneys to do their live skills education by video, live webcasts, or teleconferences, through June 30.

In these additional states, lawyers are now allowed to complete all CLE compliance online as follows:

  • Arizona, An order has been issued by the Arizona Supreme Court that has extended the reporting deadline for the 2019-2020 reporting period.  Previously June 30, and September 15, it is now December 30, 2020. Please note the 2021 reporting remains unchanged
  • In Delaware, there has been a temporary ruling to waive the live requirement for those that have not yet completed their 2019 requirement.  There are however some conditions. First, you must verify both your transcript, and plan to make up your shortfall by April 30, 2020.  Your plan must be completed by May 31, 2020 and finally completion must be reported by June 15, 2020.
  • For Florida attorneys have been granted an extension to CLE reporting deadlines for February. March and May,  2020 not to August 31 2020.  All other deadlines remain unchanged per the Florida Bar.
  • Georgia has waived its required live CLE hours through March 31, permitting Georgia attorneys can now complete all 12 MCLE hours online.
  • Tennessee has waived its 8-hour distance learning limit for the 2019 CLE requirements through March 31.
  • Utah has suspended live CLE requirements through June 30, enabling attorneys to take CLE courses online.
  • Same for West Virginia, whose lawyers may, through June 30, study with online CLE courses.
  • Those licensed in Indiana, the limitation for distance education credits has been temporarily lifted, per the Supreme Court of Indiana.  Those with a reporting deadline of December 31, 2020, all credits can be completed online.  Should your deadline fall on December 31, 2022, up to 24 credits can be completed online.
  • Iowa Supreme Court has announced that credit limitation for unmoderated courses has been waived temporarily. On Demand courses ay be used to complete any portion of their requirement until further notice from the Iowa Supreme Court.
  • The Illinois Supreme Court has issued an order extending your MCLE deadline to September 30 (90 days) for those with credits due in 2020 (Those with the last name A-M).  You must seek this extension using the MCLE Board website if you are unable to complete your requirement by the original deadline of June 30 and report “Not Yet Completed” by July 31.  You will not have to give any additional information.
  • In Kansas, an automatic extension has been granted for the 2019-2020 CLE and reporting deadlines. The limit on pre-recorded CLE courses for this period has also been lifted, meaning your entire requirement for this period can now be completed using this method.  Your new deadline is September 30, 2020 for those unable to complete their requirement by June 30, 2020. The Supreme Court of Kansas has ordered.
  • The Kentucky Supreme Court has issued an order resulting in attorneys now being able to complete a total of  24 credits (including your 4 required ethics credits) by June 30, 2021and certify to the bar August 10, 2021.
  • For attorneys based in Louisiana, a temporary order has been issued by the Louisiana Bar Association, lifting the limit for online CLE (normally 4) to 12.5 hours for the 2020 compliance period ending December 31, 2020.
  • Maine, an order from the Supreme Court has temporarily waived their live in-person requirement and an extension has been granted by the Board of Overseers to May 1, 2020 (with late fees not being imposed for the 2018-19 reporting period).
  • Minnesota, has issued a temporary order via their Supreme Court that has waived credit limitation for on demand courses temporarily.  Category 3 attorneys due to report their requirement August 31, 2020 may complete their requirement via the On Demand delivery method.
  • Attorneys in Missouri have had their June 30, 2020 CLE deadline extended to September 30, 2020.  There is a reporting deadline extension to October 30, 2020 too according to an order issued by the Missouri Supreme Court. Late fees for courses completed on or before December 31, 2020 will not be assessed.
  • Montana Supreme Court has advised the Commission on CLE will not assess late fees as long as your required credits are completed and reported by May 15, 2020 (an extension from the original deadline of March 31, 2020).
  • In Nebraska, the limit for distance learning courses for all CLE requirements has been temporarily removed.  This would mean attorneys can complete up to 10 credits of silence learning that would be due on or before 2021 (including the 202 requirement.  Per the Nebraska Supreme Court.
  • North Dakota CLE Commission has suspended credit limitation on self-study courses for those in Reporting Group 3. These attorneys may complete any portion of their requirement via on demand courses.
  • New York CLE Board has announced that temporarily allowing Newly Admitted Attorneys to complete their Live requirement via webcast, videoconference or teleconference effective June 30, 2020.
  • For attorneys in New Mexico, an extension to late fee reporting deadlines has been granted by the Supreme Court of New Mexico. The 30 day extension means the following; for those reporting by April 30, 2020, your 2019 credits can be reported subject to a $100 late fee.  There would be a $350 late fee for your 2019 credits if you are reporting by May 31, 2020. Should you report beyond June 1, 2020. non-compliant attorneys  will have their names sent to the Supreme Court.
  • The Ohio Commission on CLE has waived the self-study limit for the 2018-2019 reporting period (late reporting).  This deadline has been extended to June 30, 2020, meaning attorneys can now meet this requirement using on demand webcasts.
  • The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has issued an order to extend their CLE deadline for Compliance Group 1 to August 31, 2020 (other compliance groups remain unchanged).
  • For attorneys in South Carolina, by a recent Supreme Court order, all attorneys may complete their credit requirement (14 hours) via online or telephonic programs for the 2019/2020 reporting period (ending April 15, 2020).
  • Tennessee has waived it’s distance learning limitation for CLE courses (8 hours) for their 2019 requirement. meaning any portion of this requirement can now be completed online. (Tennessee Supreme Court).
  • The State Bar of Texas has granted automatic extensions for the following. First, attorneys with missed January and February 2020 deadlines have been granted a sixty (60) day extension to prevent assessment of further fees.  Secondly, those with March, April and May 2020 deadlines have been granted a sixty (60) day extension. Finally those attorneys that are subject to suspension related to failure to comply with MCLE requirements in November and December 2019 have been granted a one month extension.
  • For those attorneys in Utah, requirements for in-person CLE credits have been suspended until June 30, 2020.  If that is your reporting deadline, you can complete the requirement via webcasts, or other self-study programs (Utah CLE Board).
  • For Attorneys practicing in Vermont, the Supreme Court has ordered the 10-hour limit for self study CLE has been temporarily lifted for the 2018-2020 reporting period and if your reporting deadline is June 30, 2020, the entire requirement can ben completed via self study.
  • Attorneys in West Virginia, can now complete their full CLE requirement via webcast, audio, video, telephone seminars, in-house instruction, and other computer based education.  The CLE Commission advised in an order issued recently.
  • Wisconsin has issued an order that increases the number of On Demand credits an attorney can take through December 31, 2020.  Attorneys working on a deficit from their 2019 requirement and those working on their 2020 deadline can take 30 hours on demand programming. The Legal Ethics requirement will need to be taken via a live online program or an in person course.

Continuing Professional Education Modifications

The following states, in light of COVID-19 dangers and state government restrictions on in-person meetings, currently allow CPE format flexibility:

Alabama; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Florida; Georgia; Idaho; Maine; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; North Carolina; Ohio; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; and Wyoming.

Your certificate of completion, for course work done under modified rules, will carry a COVID-19 notation. Contact your state board for further information.

Online Professional Education Rule Modifications: A Developing Situation

The above information is current as of mid-March; this is a developing situation. If your state doesn’t appear above, stay tuned—or contact the state board directly.

The Knowledge Group wishes you and yours good health and strength in these jarring times.