2021 December CLE Requirements: A State-By-State Guide

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By: The NBI Team

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

2021 December CLE Requirements: A State-By-State Guide

This year’s largest CLE deadline is approaching. By the end of December, attorneys in 23 states must fulfill their CLE credit requirements. These requirements vary per state in terms of how many CLE credits are needed, and how many can be carried over.

If you believe your CLE reporting deadline is upcoming, check this list. We’re covering everything you need to know about every state’s December deadline:

States with CLE Deadlines in December

Alabama CLE Requirements

To maintain compliance, Alabama attorneys must complete 12 CLE credits every year. One of these credits must be ethics. At least 6 of these credits must satisfy live credit requirements. New attorneys are exempt from the mandatory CLE requirements; however, they must complete a 3-hour course in professionalism within the first 12 months of being admitted to the bar. These credits may be carried over to the new attorney’s first compliance period.

  • CLE Credit Requirement: 12 credits, 1 one of which must be ethics, and 6 of which must be live
  • Deadline: December 31
  • Reporting Period: 1 year
  • Carry-Over Credit Limit: 12 credits, including 1 ethics credit

Alabama State Bar – MCLE Attorney Regulations

Alabama State Bar – MCLE FAQs

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Alaska CLE Requirements

Alaska attorneys must complete at least 3 ethics credits every year. All credits can be satisfied through technology-delivered programming. Topics that qualify as an ethics CLE include professional responsibility, workplace ethics, law office management, attention to cases and clients, time management, malpractice prevention, collegiality, general attorney wellness, and professionalism. Alaska attorneys are encouraged to complete an additional 9 CLE credits; however, this is not a requirement.

  • CLE Credit Requirement: 3 ethics credits
  • Deadline: December 31
  • Reporting Period: 1 year
  • Carry-Over Credit Limit: 12 credits, including 3 ethics credits

Alaska Bar Association - MCLE Rule

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Colorado CLE Requirements

Colorado attorneys must complete 45 CLE credits every 3 years. All 45 credits can be earned by either attending live sessions or via home study activities. Of these 45 credits, Colorado attorneys must complete 7 credits of professional responsibility.

Recently, Colorado CLE rules were updated. For attorneys whose compliance periods started January 1, 2021, 2 of the 7 professional responsibility credits must be equity, diversity, and inclusivity credits.

  • CLE Credit Requirement: 45 credits, 7 of which must be professional responsibility/ethics credits. Of the 7 professional responsibility/ethics credits, 2 must be equity, diversity, and inclusivity credits.
  • Deadline: December 31
  • Reporting Period: 3 years
  • Carry-Over Credit Limit: No credits may be carried over

Colorado Supreme Court – CLE Rules and Regulations

Colorado Supreme Court – CLE FAQs

Check out our Colorado CLE Courses

Connecticut CLE Requirements

Connecticut attorneys must complete 12 CLE credits every reporting period, which is 1 year long. Of these 12 credits, 2 must be ethics/professionalism credits. Connecticut allows attorneys to carry over 2 credits every year, which can be either general or ethics credits. All credit hours can be earned using live or self-study CLE activities.

Due to the impact of COVID-19 on the legal profession, the Rules Committee of the Superior Court suspended CLE requirements for the 2020 calendar year. Any credits completed in 2020 may be applied to the 2021 reporting period.

  • CLE Credit Requirement: 12 credits, 2 of which must be ethics credits
  • Deadline: December 31
  • Reporting Period: 1 year
  • Carry-Over Credit Limit: 2 credits, which may be general or ethics credits

Connecticut Bar Association – MCLE Rule

Connecticut Bar Association – MCLE FAQs

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Delaware CLE Requirements

Delaware attorneys must complete 24 CLE credits every 2 years. Four of these credits must be enhanced ethics credits. Compliance periods correspond with the attorney’s year of admittance to the bar. Accordingly, the compliance period for attorneys who were admitted during an odd year ends this year on December 31, 2021.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the requirement that 12 of 24 CLE credit hours must be earned by attending in-person, live CLE courses has been waived for attorneys with reporting periods ending on December 31, 2020, and on December 31, 2021. Generally, members are required to take 12 credit hours of live classroom CLE.

New attorneys must complete a 2-day Pre-Admission Conference. Within the first 4 years of practice, new attorneys must complete 7 fundamentals courses offered by the Delaware State Bar Association.

  • CLE Credit Requirement: 24 credits, 4 of which must be ethics credits
  • Deadline: December 31
  • Reporting Period: 2 years
  • Carry-Over Credit Limit: 20 credits. Ethics credits do not carry over as ethics but will count as substantive credits.

Delaware Courts – CLE Information

Delaware Courts – CLE FAQs

Check out our Delaware CLE Courses

Georgia CLE Requirements

Georgia attorneys are required to complete a total of 12 CLE credits every year.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person requirements have been waived for the 2021 reporting period. Traditionally, Georgia requires 6 live in-person credit hours. Attorneys may earn all or any portion of the required 12 hours for 2021 through self-study, in-house, or distance-learning CLE activities.

Georgia’s special credit requirements are two-fold: 1 of the 12 credits must be legal ethics, 1 must be professionalism. If the attorney is a trial attorney, then 3 of their required CLE credits must be in trial practice.

New attorneys must complete the Transition into Law Practice Program (TILPP), which entails special mentoring and CLE requirements.

  • CLE Credit Requirement: 12 credits, of which 1 must be ethics, 1 must be professionalism, and 3 must be trial practice (if the attorney is a trial attorney)
  • Deadline: December 31
  • Reporting Period: 1 year
  • Carry-Over Credit Limit: 12 regular credits, 2 ethics credits, 2 professionalism credits, and 3 trial practice credits can be carried over

State Bar of Georgia – CLE Information

State Bar of Georgia – CLE FAQs

Check out our Georgia CLE Courses

Hawaii CLE Requirements

Hawaii attorneys must complete at least 3 CLE credits every year through live or alternate format CLE activities. One CLE credit every 3 years must be in ethics or professional responsibility. New attorneys are exempt from CLE requirements for the first year of practice, but they must complete the Hawaii Professionalism Course, which consists of 4.5 credits.

  • CLE Credit Requirement: 3 credits every year; every 3 years, 1 credit completed must be in ethics or professional responsibility
  • Deadline: December 31
  • Reporting Period: 1 year
  • Carry-Over Credit Limit: 3 credits; ethics credits cannot be carried over

Hawaii State Bar Association – MCLE Requirements

Hawaii State Bar Association – MCLE FAQs

Check out our Hawaii CLE Courses

Idaho CLE Requirements

Idaho attorneys are subject to a 3-year reporting period. Every 3 years, they must complete 30 CLE credits, 15 of which must be approved for live CLE credit. No more than 6 credits can be published legal writing credits. Three of these credits must be in legal ethics or professional responsibility.

New attorneys must complete the New Attorney Program and at least 10 New Admittee Credit-Approved (NAC-Approved) CLE credits. If the newly admitted attorney has already practiced for at least 3 years, they must still complete the NAC-Approved CLE credits in their first year as bar members.

  • CLE Credit Requirement: 30 credits, 3 of which must be ethics/professional responsibility
  • Deadline: December 31
  • Reporting Period: 3 years, the first period ending on December 31 of the third full year following admission
  • Carry-Over Credit Limit: Idaho attorneys cannot carry over CLE credits

Idaho State Bar – MCLE Requirements

Idaho State Bar – New Admittee Credits

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Indiana CLE Requirements

Indiana attorneys must complete 36 credits every 3 years. Of these 36 credits, 3 credits must be legal ethics CLE credits.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Indiana Supreme Court has waived the credit-hour limitations on distance education courses until further notice. Generally, Indiana requires members to complete 18 credit hours with activities approved for live classroom credit.

For new Indiana attorneys, all CLE credits completed during their first reporting period must be designated as appropriate for new lawyers. New attorneys must also complete a 6-hour applied professionalism course in lieu of completing other ethics credits.

  • CLE Credit Requirement: 36 credits, 3 of which must be ethics credits
  • Deadline: December 31
  • Reporting Period: 3 years
  • Carry-Over Credit Limit: Indiana attorneys cannot carry over CLE credits

Indiana Courts – Attorney Continuing Education

Indiana Courts – MCLE for New Lawyers

Check out our Indiana CLE Courses

Iowa CLE Requirements

Iowa attorneys must complete at least 15 CLE credits every year. Of these 15 credits, 1 credit must be a legal ethics CLE and 1 credit must be devoted to either attorney wellness or diversity and inclusion. All Iowa CLE credits can be earned in either moderated activities or unmoderated activities. Unmoderated activity means that the CLE is presented by delayed or On-Demand broadcast but has an interactive component and is approved by the commission.

  • CLE Credit Requirement: 15 credits, of which 1 must be ethics and 1 must be in attorney wellness or diversity and inclusion
  • Deadline: December 31
  • Reporting Period: 1 year
  • Carry-Over Credit Limit: Iowa attorneys may carry over any credits they complete for a maximum of 2 years. Ethics credits will be carried over as general credits.

Iowa Judicial Branch – CLE Requirements

Iowa Judicial Branch – CLE FAQs

Check out our Iowa CLE Courses

Louisiana CLE Requirements

Louisiana attorneys are required to complete 12.5 CLE credits every year. Of the 12.5 required credits, 1 must be in legal ethics, and 1 must be in professionalism.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court of Louisiana lifted the limitation on self-study requirements for the 2021 compliance cycle. Generally, 4 self-study credit hours are permitted annually.

Excess credits from 2019 can also be carried forward to the 2020 and 2021 compliance periods. Lastly, up to 4 self-study credits can be carried into 2022.

New attorneys have additional CLE requirements: they must complete 8 CLE credits in either ethics, professionalism, or law practice management. These credits can be earned either in the year of admission, or the following year.

  • CLE Credit Requirement: 12.5 credits, of which 1 must be in ethics, and 1 must be in professionalism
  • Deadline: December 31
  • Reporting Period: 1 year
  • Carry-Over Credit Limit: 8 credits. Ethics and professionalism credits can’t be carried over.

Louisiana State Bar – MCLE Reporting Requirements

Louisiana State Bar – Rules for Continuing Legal Education

Check out our Louisiana CLE Courses

Maine CLE Requirements

Attorneys licensed to practice in Maine must complete 12 CLE credits every year, 7 of which must be completed with activities approved for live CLE credit.

Maine attorneys must complete at least 1 credit in legal ethics or professional responsibility and 1 credit in harassment/discrimination.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court has temporarily suspended the in-person requirement for harassment and discrimination CLE credits. Attorneys may complete this requirement with qualifying live online presentations through December 31, 2021.

  • CLE Credit Requirement: 12 CLE credits, of which 1 must be ethics, and 1 must be harassment/discrimination
  • Deadline: December 31
  • Reporting Period: 1 year
  • Carry-Over Credit Limit: 10 credit hours, provided that no more than 5 of the credit hours may be earned through self-study programs.

State of Maine – Rule 5. CLE

Check out our Maine CLE Courses

Nebraska CLE Requirements

Nebraska attorneys must complete 10 CLE credits every year, 2 of which must be professional responsibility credits.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Nebraska Supreme Court has lifted the 5-hour cap on computer-based legal education for 2021. Traditionally, Nebraska attorneys are limited to 5 credit hours of computer-based legal education per reporting period.

  • CLE Credit Requirement: 10 credits, 2 of which must be professional responsibility credits
  • Deadline: December 31
  • Reporting Period: 1 year
  • Carry-Over Credit Limit: 5 live, in-person, general credits.

State of Nebraska Judicial Branch – MCLE

Check out our Nebraska CLE Courses

Nevada CLE Requirements

Nevada attorneys must complete 13 CLE credit hours every year through live or alternative format CLE activities. Of these 13 credit hours, 2 credits must be legal ethics credits, and 1 credit must be in substance abuse, addictive disorders, and/or mental health. Newly admitted attorneys are exempt from CLE reporting requirements for the year in which they’re admitted. Still, new attorneys must participate in the Nevada State Bar Association’s Transitioning into Practice (TIPs) program.

  • CLE Credit Requirement: 13 credits, of which 2 must be ethics credits and 1 must address substance abuse, addictive disorders, or mental health
  • Deadline: December 31
  • Reporting Period: 1 year
  • Carry-Over Credit Limit: 20 general credits, 4 ethics credits, and 2 substance abuse credits

State Bar of Nevada – CLE

Check out our Nevada CLE Courses

New Jersey CLE Requirements

New Jersey attorneys must complete 24 CLE credit hours every 2 years. Five credit hours must be in legal ethics or professionalism. Of the 5 ethics credits, 2 must be in diversity, inclusion, and elimination of bias.

Due to the impact of Covid-19, the Supreme Court of New Jersey relaxed the live classroom instruction requirement until further notice. Temporarily, attorneys can complete all 24 credits via live online seminars, webinars, or other alternative verifiable learning formats. Traditionally, New Jersey attorneys have a 12-credit hour cap on learning from alternative verifiable learning formats.

New attorneys in New Jersey have specific CLE requirements. During their first 2-year reporting period, new attorneys must complete 15 of the required 24 CLE credits in any 5 of the following 9 topics specific to the state of New Jersey:

  • Basic estate administration
  • Basic estate planning
  • Civil or criminal trial preparation
  • Family law practice
  • Real estate closing procedures
  • Trust and business accounting
  • Landlord/tenant practice
  • Municipal court practice
  • Law office management

Reporting groups are determined by birthday

  • Compliance Group 1: Birthdays from January 1 - June 30 (certify compliance in even-numbered years)
  • Compliance Group 2: Birthdays from July 1 - December 31 (certify compliance in odd-numbered years)

This year Compliance Group 2 must report CLEs.

  • CLE Credit Requirement: 24 credits, of which 5 must be ethics credits. Two ethics credits must be diversity, inclusion, and elimination of bias.
  • Deadline: December 31
  • Reporting Period: 2 years, determined by birthday
  • Carry-Over Credit Limit: 12 credits

New Jersey Courts – Continuing Legal Education

New Jersey Courts – CLE Attorney FAQs

Check out our New Jersey CLE Courses

New Mexico CLE Requirements

New Mexico attorneys must complete 12 CLE credits every year, 8 of which with activities approved for live CLE credit. Of these 12 credits, attorneys must complete 2 ethics and professionalism credits.

  • CLE Credit Requirement: 12 credits, 2 of which must be legal ethics and professionalism
  • Deadline: December 31
  • Reporting Period: 1 year
  • Carry-Over Credit Limit: 12 live credits, 2 of which can be ethics and professionalism

State Bar of New Mexico – MCLE Information

Check out our New Mexico CLE Courses

North Carolina CLE Requirements

North Carolina attorneys must complete 12 CLE credit hours every year through live or online activities. Among these 12 credits are multiple special credit requirements. First, attorneys must complete 2 professional responsibility credits and 1 credit of technology training.

Second, every 3 years, attorneys must complete 1 credit of substance abuse and debilitating mental conditions. Finally, any attorney or supervised employee who has check signing authority must complete 1 credit of trust account management.

New attorneys admitted to the North Carolina bar must complete the Professionalism for New Attorneys (PNA) program during the first year in which they must report CLEs. Attorneys new to the bar, but who have practiced for at least 5 years, are exempt and must report that they are exempt.

  • CLE Credit Requirement: 12 credits, including 1 professional responsibility credit, 1 technology training credit, 1 substance abuse credit every 3 years, and 1 trust account management credit if applicable
  • Deadline: December 31
  • Reporting Period: 1 year
  • Carry-Over Credit Limit: 12 credits, including 2 professional responsibility credits

North Carolina State Bar – CLE Requirements

North Carolina State Bar – CLE FAQs

Check out our North Carolina CLE Courses

Ohio CLE Requirements

Ohio attorneys must complete at least 24 CLE credits in every 2-year compliance period. Compliance periods are determined by the last name. The compliance period for attorneys with last names beginning with A-L ends this December 31, 2021. Accordingly, the compliance period for attorneys with last names beginning with M-Z ends December 31, 2022.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the maximum amount of self-study credits has been waived for compliance periods ending on December 31, 2021 (2020-Ohio-4946), and December 31, 2022 (2021-Ohio-3324). Traditionally, of the 24 required CLEs, a maximum of 12 credits may be self-study.

All Ohio attorneys must complete at least 2.5 credits of professional conduct every reporting period. Topics may include legal ethics, professionalism, alcoholism/substance abuse, mental health, and access to justice.

New attorneys have additional CLE requirements, more information at the New Lawyer Training FAQ.

  • CLE Credit Requirement: 12 credits, including 2.5 professional conduct credits
  • Deadline: December 31
  • Reporting Period: 2 years
  • Carry-Over Credit Limit: 12 general credits. Ethics credits can only be carried over as general credits.

The Supreme Court of Ohio – Continuing Legal Education

Check out our Ohio CLE Courses

Oklahoma CLE Requirements

Oklahoma attorneys must complete 12 CLE credits every year. All credits can be earned using On-Demand CLE courses or activities. Of these 12 credits, at least 2 must be legal ethics, professional responsibility, or legal malpractice prevention credits.

  • CLE Credit Requirement: 12 credits, 2 of which must be ethics credits
  • Deadline: December 31
  • Reporting Period: 1 year
  • Carry-Over Credit Limit: 12 credits, including 2 ethics credits

Oklahoma MCLE Commission – MCLE Rules

Oklahoma MCLE Commission – MCLE FAQs

Check out our Oklahoma CLE Courses.

Tennessee CLE Requirements

Tennessee attorneys must complete 15 CLE credit hours every year. Of the 15 credit hours, 3 must be in legal ethics and professionalism.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court of Tennessee issued an order temporarily suspending the 8-hour cap on distance learning through 2022. Lawyers may earn all or any portion of required CLE hours through approved distance learning instruction through December 31, 2022. Traditionally, attorneys have an 8-hour limitation on distance learning credit.

  • CLE Credit Requirement: 15 credits, 3 of which must be ethics and professionalism credits
  • Deadline: December 31
  • Reporting Period: 1 year
  • Carry-Over Credit Limit: 15 credits, including 3 ethics and professionalism credits. A maximum of 8 distance learning credits may be carried over.

Tennessee State Courts – MCLE Rule 21

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Washington CLE Requirements

Washington attorneys must complete at least 45 CLE credits every 3 years. Of these, 15 credits must be in law and legal procedure, defined as legal education relating to substantive law, legal procedure, process, research, writing, analysis, or related skills and technology.

Of these 45 CLE credits, 6 must be legal ethics credits. Effective September 1, 2022, at least one of these ethics credits must be on the topic of equity, inclusion, and the mitigation of both implicit and explicit bias.

Deadline extension in response to Covid-19: Pursuant to an order by the Supreme Court of Washington, attorneys whose compliance period ended in 2020 now have until December 31, 2021 to complete the required credits. They must complete certification of credits by February 1, 2022. Attorneys whose compliance period ended in 2020 can also carry over 15 additional CLE credits to the next reporting period. Total, attorneys will be able to carry over 30 credits, including 4 ethics credits.

Reporting group 2 and group 3 are required to report this year.

  • CLE Credit Requirement: 45 credits, 6 of which must be ethics credits
  • Deadline: December 31
  • Reporting Period: 3 years
  • Carry-Over Credit Limit: 15 credits, including 2 ethics credits (increased for attorneys whose compliance period would have ended in 2020)

Washington State Bar Association – MCLE for Lawyers

Washington State Bar Association – MCLE FAQs

Check out our Washington CLE Courses

Wisconsin CLE Requirements

Wisconsin attorneys must complete a minimum of 30 CLE credits every 2 years. Of the 30 required CLE credit hours, 3 must be legal ethics and professional responsibility (EPR) credits. The EPR credits must be taken live.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Wisconsin Supreme Court temporarily waived the live requirement, allowing attorneys to complete up to 30 credits from repeated on-demand courses through January 31, 2022. Repeated on-demand courses may not be used to satisfy the mandatory 3 legal ethics and professional responsibility credit hours which must be completed using live online programming or in-person courses. Traditionally, no more than 15 credits may be claimed for repeated on-demand programs during a reporting period.

  • CLE Credit Requirement: 30 credits, 3 of which must be EPR credits
  • Deadline: December 31
  • Reporting Period: 2 years, alternating even and odd years of admission
  • Carry-Over Credit Limit: 15 credits. Ethics and professional responsibility credits may not be carried over.

Wisconsin Court System – CLE Information

Wisconsin Court System – CLE Reporting

Check out our Wisconsin CLE Courses

Wyoming CLE Requirements

Wyoming attorneys must complete 15 credit hours every year, 7 of which must be fulfilled with activities approved for live CLE credit. Two hours of legal ethics are required.

  • CLE Credit Requirement: 15 credits, including 2 hours of legal ethics
  • Deadline: December 31
  • Reporting Period: 1 year
  • Carry-Over Credit Limit: Attorneys can carry over live credit for two years. Self-study credit may not be carried over

Wyoming Judicial Branch - CLE Rules

Wyoming State Bar - CLE FAQs

Check out our Wyoming CLE Courses

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