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How COVID-19 Has Affected CLE Requirements

More States Accepting Online CLE Courses Due to COVID-19
The crisis of COVID-19 has brought changes to the way most professions operate, and the legal industry is no exception. Due to the career upheaval many lawyers have faced, as well as the limitations on physical classes, nearly every jurisdiction in the United States has altered its continuing legal education (CLE) requirements for through 2021. Many states that previously required in-person CLE courses are now permitting their lawyers to earn all of their CLE credits online.

That’s why now is the perfect time to sign up for Quimbee CLE. On-demand CLE providers, like Quimbee, allow lawyers to earn their CLE credits anywhere, any time. This eliminates the need for large, in-person gatherings and helps facilitate social distancing. Quimbee CLE courses can be completed from the safety of your own home, so you can avoid worrying about having to adjust your mask while you’re trying to listen to the presenter.

State-by-State CLE Changes


Below is a summary (as of July 6) of how states have adjusted their CLE requirements. Note that the COVID-19 pandemic is an ongoing crisis, and further changes are likely to occur after publication of this article. Check with your state’s bar association to ensure that you have the most updated information on your CLE requirements. 

Alabama CLE Updates


Alabama attorneys are required to complete 12 CLE hours, including one ethics hour, by December 31, 2020. A searchable database of approved CLE courses is available on the Alabama State Bar’s website. Approved courses are designated as live onsite, live teleconference/webcast, or on demand. Attorneys are limited to six hours of on-demand courses per year. The limitation does not apply to live teleconference/webcast courses, which may be useful during this crisis. For more information on CLE requirements, email the Alabama State Bar’s CLE staff at [email protected]

Alaska CLE Updates


Alaska has postponed all in-person CLE programs until September 11, 2020. For more information on Alaska’s CLE requirements, visit the Alaska Bar Association's website

Arizona CLE Updates


The Supreme Court of Arizona has extended the MCLE compliance and affidavit-filing deadlines to December 30, 2020 for the 2019–2020 educational year. For more information, visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section of the State Bar of Arizona’s website

Arkansas CLE Updates


As of this publication, the Arkansas Bar Association has not announced any changes to the state’s CLE obligations. However, Arkansas does not have any in-person CLE requirements. To stay updated on changes to Arkansas’s CLE requirements, visit the Arkansas State Bar Association’s website.

California CLE Updates


The State Bar of California has issued an order extending the late CLE deadline to September 30, 2020 (previously June 30). If attorneys do not report their CLE compliance by that date, they  will be administratively enrolled on involuntary inactive status. For more on California’s CLE updates, visit the State Bar of California’s website

Colorado CLE Updates


As of this publication, Colorado has not announced any changes to the state’s CLE requirements. However, Colorado does not have any in-person CLE requirements. To stay up-to-date on Colorado’s CLE requirements, visit the State Bar of Colorado’s website.

Connecticut CLE Updates


The State of Connecticut Superior Court has suspended the annual CLE requirement until further notice. No further guidance has been given. Keep up with the latest developments regarding Connecticut’s CLE requirements by visiting the Connecticut Bar Association’s website.

Delaware CLE Updates


The Delaware Supreme Court has issued an order easing certain continuing legal education (CLE) rules during the COVID emergency. The court has temporarily waived the 12-hour live credit requirement for attorneys for the reporting cycles ending on December 31, 2020 and December 31, 2021. All 24 CLE credits for those reporting cycles may be satisfied by approved courses in any format. For more information on Delaware’s CLE requirements, visit the Delaware courts’ website.

Florida CLE Updates


The Florida Bar has announced that the CLE reporting deadlines for February, March, April, May, June, and July 2020 have been extended to a new reporting deadline of August 31, 2020. This includes the basic skills course requirement. For more information, visit the Florida Bar’s website.

Georgia CLE Updates


The Supreme Court of Georgia has issued an order temporarily waiving the six-hour self-study CLE limitation for courses completed on or before March 31, 2021. Florida attorneys may complete their entire requirement through self-study, in-house, or distance-learning formats. For more information on Georgia’s CLE requirements, visit the State Bar of Georgia’s website.

Hawaii CLE Updates


As of this publication, Hawaii has not announced any changes to its CLE requirements. To stay updated, visit the Hawaii State Judiciary’s website.  

Idaho CLE Updates


As of this publication, Idaho has not announced any changes to its CLE requirements. For the latest news on Idaho’s CLE requirements, contact the Idaho State Bar.

Illinois CLE Updates


The Illinois Supreme Court has announced that through July 31, 2020, the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) will not be providing live in-person programs. All live, on-site CLE programs will be canceled, postponed, or delivered as webcasts or webinars. All impacted participants will be notified directly. For more information, visit the ISBA’s website.

Indiana CLE Updates


The Indiana Supreme Court has issued an order temporarily waiving the credit limitation for distance education. Attorneys with a CLE deadline on December 31, 2020 may complete all of their credits via online courses. Attorneys with a deadline on or before December 31, 2022 may complete up to 24 credits via online courses. For the latest information on Indiana’s CLE requirements, visit the Indiana Judiciary’s website.

Iowa CLE Updates


The Iowa Supreme Court has temporarily waived the credit limitation for unmoderated courses. Iowa attorneys may complete any portion of their requirement as on-demand courses. To stay up to date on Iowa’s CLE requirements, visit the Iowa State Bar Association’s website.

Kansas CLE Updates


The Kansas Supreme Court issued several orders to extend the due date for annual fees, modify CLE attendance and reporting deadlines, and temporarily waive the limitation on prerecorded programming through September 30, 2020. The deadline for attendance remains June 30, 2020, but for those who cannot meet that requirement, there is an automatic extension without penalty through September 30, 2020. All CLE attendance in Kansas must be reported by September 30 to qualify for the 2019–2020 compliance period. For more detailed information, visit the Kansas CLE website.

Kentucky CLE Updates


The Supreme Court of Kentucky has extended the 2019–2020 CLE deadline to June 30, 2021 and combined the 2019–2020 and 2020-2021 reporting cycles. All Kentucky attorneys must complete a total of 24 credits, including four ethics credits, by June 30, 2021. Attorneys must certify their compliance by August 10, 2021. For more information, visit the Kentucky Bar Association’s website.

Louisiana CLE Updates


The Louisiana Supreme Court has lifted the limitation on self-study credits for the 2019 and 2020 cycles. All in-person CLE seminars through September 1 have been postponed or cancelled. Registrants will receive full refunds in the form of original payment for cancelled CLE seminars. For more information, visit the Louisiana State Bar Association’s website.

Maine CLE Updates


The Maine Supreme Judicial Court has issued an order temporarily waiving the in-person CLE requirement. To stay updated on Maine’s CLE requirements, visit the Maine State Bar Association’s website.

Maryland CLE Updates


Maryland offers virtual attendance options for upcoming CLEs. The Maryland State Bar Association is monitoring the COVID situation daily and updating its events accordingly. All impacted participants have been, and will continue to be notified directly. To view the latest updates, visit the Maryland State Bar Association’s website

Massachusetts CLE Updates


The Massachusetts Supreme Court has ordered that Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:16, requiring that lawyers newly admitted to the bar of the commonwealth complete a Practicing with Professionalism course within 18 months of admission, is suspended until further notice. For more information, visit the Massachusetts Bar Association website.

Michigan CLE Updates


As of this publication, Michigan has not made any changes to its CLE requirements. To stay up to date on Michigan’s CLE requirements, visit the State Bar of Michigan’s website.

Minnesota CLE Updates


The Minnesota Supreme Court issued an order suspending the 15-credit limit for on-demand CLE for lawyers due to report August 31, 2020, for the July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2020 reporting period. For more information, visit the Minnesota State Board of Continuing Legal Education’s website.

Mississippi CLE Updates


The Mississippi Supreme Court has ordered that the limit on CLE credit earned through online programs be temporarily removed. For the 2019–2020 CLE reporting year, attorneys may complete their CLE obligations through online webinars or live, in-person programs. The completion deadline is extended to September 30, 2020, and the reporting deadline is extended to October 15, 2020. This provision includes newly admitted lawyers, who are to complete the program by July 31, 2020. These attorneys may also complete this program through online webinars or live, in-person programs. The deadline for the completion of the new-lawyer program has also been extended to September 30, 2020. For more information, visit the State of Mississippi Judiciary’s website

Missouri CLE Updates


The Supreme Court of Missouri has adopted changes to Rule 15, expanding the 2019-2020 MCLE reporting year (now through September 30) and reporting deadline (now October 31). For more information, visit the Missouri Bar’s website.

Montana CLE Updates


Montana previously had stated that no late fees related to CLE would be assessed so long as all credits were earned and reported on or before May 15, 2020. As of this publication, Montana has not updated this statement. To stay up to date on Montana’s CLE requirements, visit the State Bar of Montana’s website.

Nebraska CLE Updates


The Nebraska Supreme Court has ordered that attorneys will be allowed to obtain all 10 required CLE credits without attending live education for 2020. As attorneys file annual reports for 2020 in December, reports that have no live education will be accepted if they contain at least 10 total credits including two that qualify as professional responsibility/ethics. For more information, visit the Nebraska Supreme Court’s website.

Nevada CLE Updates


As of this publication, Nevada has not made any changes to its CLE requirements. However, Nevada does not have in-person CLE requirements. To stay up to date on Nevada’s CLE requirements, visit the State Bar of Nevada’s website.

New Hampshire CLE Updates


The Supreme Court of New Hampshire has issued an order granting attorneys an extension to their requirement for the 2020 reporting year. For more information, visit the New Hampshire Bar Association’s website.

New Jersey CLE Updates


The Supreme Court of New Jersey issued an order temporarily relaxing the 12-hour, live-classroom credit requirement. Until further notice from the courts, New Jersey attorneys may fulfill their entire CLE requirement through approved courses offered in alternative, verifiable learning formats. For more information, visit the New Jersey Courts’ website.

New Mexico CLE Updates


As of this publication, New Mexico does not have any active changes to its CLE requirements. To stay updated on New Mexico’s CLE requirements, visit the Star Bar of New Mexico’s website.

New York CLE Updates


The New York State CLE Board has issued an order temporarily allowing newly admitted attorneys to complete their live skills requirement via live webcast, teleconference, or videoconference. This change is effective through October 31, 2020. For more information, visit the New York State Bar Association’s website.

North Carolina CLE Updates


As of this publication, North Carolina does not have any active changes to its CLE requirements. To stay updated on North Carolina’s CLE requirements, visit the North Carolina Bar Association’s website.

North Dakota CLE Updates


The North Dakota CLE Commission has temporarily suspended ND CLE Policy 1.15. Effective immediately and continuing until further notice, attorneys who report in 2020 will be allowed to earn all or a portion of the required 45 credits through self-study. Three ethics CLE hours will still be required. To stay updated on further developments regarding North Dakota’s CLE requirements, visit the State Bar Association of North Dakota’s website.

Ohio CLE Updates


The Supreme Court of Ohio has issued an order temporarily waiving the self-study CLE limitation for the 2019–2020 compliance cycle. Ohio attorneys with last names starting with the letters M through Z may complete their entire requirement through approved self-study courses. For more information, visit the Supreme Court of Ohio’s website.

Oklahoma CLE Updates


As of this publication, Oklahoma does not have any active changes to its CLE requirements. To stay updated on Oklahoma’s CLE requirements, visit the Oklahoma Bar Association’s website.

Oregon CLE Updates


As of this publication, Oregon has not announced any changes to its CLE requirements. To stay updated on Oregon’s CLE requirements, visit the Oregon State Bar’s website.

Pennsylvania CLE Updates


The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania issued a court order temporarily waiving the six-hour limitation on distance-learning credits for 2020 compliance deadlines. Attorneys in Pennsylvania may now complete all 12 hours of their 2020 CLE requirements through approved distance-learning activities. For more information, visit the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

Continuing Legal Education Board’s website.

Rhode Island CLE Updates 


As of this publication, Rhode Island does not have any active changes to its CLE requirements. To stay updated on Rhode Island’s CLE requirements, visit the Rhode Island Bar Association’s website.

South Carolina CLE Updates


Chief Justice Donald Beatty issued an order on March 17, 2020, allowing South Carolina lawyers who failed to comply with the 2019–2020 CLE requirements to earn all or any portion of the required 14 hours of CLE credit for the annual reporting year through online or telephonic programs. For further updates on South Carolina’s CLE requirements, visit the South Carolina Bar’s website.

South Dakota CLE Updates


As of this publication, South Dakota has not made any changes to its CLE requirements. To stay updated on South Dakota’s CLE requirements, visit the State Bar of South Dakota’s website.

Tennessee CLE Updates


The Tennessee Supreme Court entered an order allowing attorneys to use unlimited online hours to establish their compliance for the 2020 compliance year. Attorneys seeking reinstatement in 2020 are also covered by the order. For more information, visit the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education’s website

Texas CLE Updates


The State Bar of Texas Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) Department will grant an automatic 60-day extension to attorneys reaching their compliance deadlines in March, April, or May. Attorneys who missed compliance deadlines in January or February will receive an automatic 60-day extension to prevent the assessment of further fees. For more information, visit the State Bar of Texas’s website.

Utah CLE Updates


The Utah Supreme Court authorized the suspension the traditional live, in-person credit requirement for lawyers reporting in 2020, allowing all required CLE to be fulfilled with online self-study, which could take the form of audio or video presentations, webcasts, or computer-interactive telephonic programs, for the compliance period ending June 30, 2020. The court also authorized the extension of compliance deadlines for the compliance period ending June 30, 2020. Lawyers will have through September 1, 2020 to complete required CLE hours without paying late filing fees and will have through September 15, 2020 to file certificate-of-compliance reports without paying late filing fees. For more information, visit the Utah State Bar’s website.

Vermont CLE Updates


As of this publication, Vermont has made no changes to its CLE requirements. To stay updated on Vermont’s CLE requirements, visit the Vermont Judiciary’s website.

Virginia CLE Updates


The Supreme Court of Virginia has issued an order extending the 2020 MCLE deadline to December 31, 2020. The required CLE hours must be reported by February 15, 2021. For more details, visit the Virginia State Bar’s website.

Washington CLE Updates


The Washington Supreme Court announced an extension of the suspension deadline for the 2017–2019 MCLE reporting period and licensing requirements to June 30, 2020. Additionally, the Supreme Court ordered a one-year extension of MCLE reporting for credits earned in 2018-2020. As part of this extension, lawyers are authorized to carry over an additional 15 credits towards the next reporting period. For more information, visit the Washington State Bar Association’s website.

West Virginia CLE Updates


The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia has granted a one-year extension for completion of the bridge-the-gap program for attorneys who were admitted between July 1, 2018, and April 30, 2019. The Court has also extended the CLE reporting period to September 30, 2020. The reporting period normally would have ended on June 30, 2020. For more information, visit the West Virginia State Bar website.

Wisconsin CLE Updates


In response to COVID-19, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has issued a temporary order to increase the number of credits from on-demand programs that attorneys may use to satisfy their CLE reporting requirements. For details on this and other updates to Wisconsin’s CLE requirements, visit the Wisconsin Court System’s website.

Wyoming CLE Updates


The Wyoming State Bar has stated that at this time, the Board of CLE is not considering an extension of the CLE deadline. While the CLE rules limit self-study credit to eight hours per calendar year, there is no requirement that lawyers appear live and in-person to earn the remainder of their CLE credit. Wyoming allows live credit for attendance on live webinars and programs that are being live-streamed. For more information, visit the Wyoming State Bar’s website.

Quimbee CLE


During these difficult times, it’s vital that you minimize stress wherever you can. At Quimbee, we’ve spent over a decade perfecting online legal education. While so many other educational institutions are scrambling to adapt to the challenges of COVID, we’ve built our business around online learning. We know how to make the experience engaging, useful, and hassle-free.

And thanks to the relaxation of in-person CLE requirements, Quimbee CLE's have you covered in even more jurisdictions. Get your CLEs from the safety and comfort of your own home. With our years of perfecting online legal education, you can be confident that Quimbee offers the best online CLE experience on the market.