In response to the novel Coronavirus COVID-19, many CLE boards are modifying their rules by suspending their in-person CLE requirements or extending their reporting deadlines to help prevent the spread of the virus. Listed below are the states that have issued orders modifying their rules, this will be updated as more information comes in.
Updated as of 03/29/2021
Delaware: As of April 6, 2020, the Supreme Court of Delaware has issued an order waiving the in person, live CLE requirement for the two year periods ending December 31, 2020 and December 31, 2021. All 24 CLE credit hours for those two-year periods may be satisfied by approved courses that do not require an in-person, live appearance. Click here for more info.
Georgia: The Supreme Court of Georgia issued a new order waiving the 6-hour in-person CLE requirement continuing through the extended grace period to May 31, 2021. Georgia attorneys may earn all or any portion of the required CLE hours through self-study, in-house, or distance learning activities.
The credit-hour limitation is amended for all other Judges and attorneys whose educational periods expire on or before December 31, 2022 may obtain no more than 24 credit-hours of distance education; and State Level Judicial Officers whose educational period expires on or before December 31, 2022, may obtain no more than 36 credit-hours by distance education.
Iowa: The Iowa Supreme Court has issued an order temporarily lifting the six (6) hour cap for unmoderated CLE until further notice. Iowa attorneys may complete all 15 hours of their CLE requirements using On-Demand courses.
Kentucky: The Supreme Court of Kentucky has issued an order extending the 2019-2020 CLE deadline to June 30, 2021 (previously June 30, 2020), and combining the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 reporting cycles. All Kentucky attorneys should complete a total of 24 credits, including 4 ethics, by June 30, 2021, and certify their compliance to the bar by August 10, 2021.
Louisiana: Considering the continued need to take measures to stop the spread of COVID-19, the Louisiana Supreme Court issued an order lifting the online limit of MCLE hours from four (4) to twelve and half (12.5) for 2021. View court order.
Maine: The Maine Supreme Judicial Court issued an Emergency Order. Among the important details of this Order, Maine has announced that they have suspended the in-person requirement for their harassment and discrimination requirement. Maine attorneys may now take this credit with live webinars, but may not take this credit with on-demand courses.
Minnesota: The Minnesota Supreme Court has issued an order temporarily waiving the fifteen (15) credit limit for on-demand CLE courses, for lawyers in Category 3 with the June 30th deadline.
Mississippi: Due to the continued issues concerning Covid-19 and the limitations on the ability to gather in-person, the Mississippi Supreme Court has ordered that the limit on CLE credit earned through online programs has been temporarily removed. For the 2020-2021 CLE reporting year, attorneys may complete their CLE obligations through online, webinars or live, in-person programs. This provision includes newly admitted lawyers who are to complete the program by July 31, 2021. These attorneys may also complete this program through online, webinars or live, in-person programs. You may access the order here.
Montana: The Supreme Court of Montana Commission of CLE will not assess any late fees as long as the required credits are completed and reported by May 15, 2020 (the usual deadline for completion is March 31). Attorneys can complete all of their credits online via a combination of live webcasts and on-demand programs.
Nebraska: The Nebraska Supreme Court entered an order this week lifting the 5 hour cap on distance based courses. For attorney CLE reports due prior to Jan. 20, 2021, courses submitted will not be subject to the 5 credit limit and attorneys may submit up to 10 credits of distance learning to satisfy the annual requirement. Attorneys should continue to use the class type designation to describe the nature of the course.
New Jersey: The Supreme Court of NJ issued an order temporarily suspending the 12-hour live CLE requirement. This order will stand until further notice from the courts. New Jersey attorneys may fulfill their full 24 hour CLE requirement through approved online courses.
New York: The New York CLE Board has issued an order temporarily allowing Newly Admitted Attorneys to complete their Skills CLE via individual participation (self-study) or group participation, in the following live, non-traditional formats, where questions are allowed during the program:
North Dakota: The North Dakota CLE Commission issued an order temporarily suspending the limitation on Self-Study courses for attorneys who are due to report in 2020. This order is effective immediately until further notice.
Ohio: On October 16, 2020, The Supreme Court of Ohio issued an order temporarily waiving the self-study CLE limitations for the 2020-2021 compliance cycles. Ohio attorneys with last names A through L may complete their entire CLE requirement through approved self-study courses for their December 31, 2021 deadline.
Pennsylvania: On December 23, 2020, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania issued an order permitting attorneys the ability to complete their 2021 compliance requirements with twelve (12) credits earned through accredited distance learning programming. Any credits earned via distance learning in excess of the allotted credit limit, will not carry over into the next compliance period.
South Carolina: The Supreme Court of South Carolina issued an order temporarily lifting the limit of online/telephonic courses for the 2020-2021 compliance. Accordingly, South Carolina lawyers and judges may earn all or any portion of the CLE credit they are required to obtain for the 2020-2021 annual reporting year through online or telephonic programs.
Tennessee: On December 3, 2020, the Supreme Court of Tennessee issued an order allowing attorneys to use unlimited online hours to establish their compliance for the 2021 compliance year. Attorneys seeking reinstatement in 2021 are also covered by the order. In addition attorneys will be able to carry forward a maximum of 15 hours of online CLE from 2020 toward their 2021 CLE requirement. This order is in effect through December 31, 2021.
Texas: In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the State Bar of Texas has granted 60-day extensions to attorneys who had compliance dates in November and December 2019.
- November attorneys will have a final deadline of January 31, 2021
- December attorneys will have a final deadline of February 28, 2021
Automatically extending the CLE requirement for March, April and May by 60 days respectively. They also granted a 60 day extension for missed January or February 2020 compliance deadlines, to prevent penalty fees. They have also issued a 30 day extension for attorneys subject to suspension for failure to comply with MCLE requirements in November or December 2019.
Utah: On April 23, 2020, the Supreme Court of Utah authorized the Board to suspend the traditional Live in-person credit requirement for lawyers reporting in 2021, allowing all required CLE to be fulfilled with online, self-study audio or video presentations, webcasts or computer interactive telephonic programs for the compliance period ending June 30, 2021.
Washington: The Supreme Court of Washington issued an order extending the 2018-2020 reporting period for Group 2. Attorneys that are in this group must complete their full requirement on or before December 31, 2021 and certify their completion by February 1, 2022. The following reporting period for Group 2 attorneys has been shortened to 2022-2023. Attorneys in Group 2 may carry over up to 30 total credits including 4 Ethics into the 2022-2023 reporting period from the 2018-2021 cycle.
West Virginia: Due to ongoing concerns associated with the COVID-19 virus, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia granted a request from the MCLE Commission for a temporary waiver of current CLE rules and regulations which limit the CLE credits for online and in-house credits to 12 credits. Attorneys will now be able to earn all or any portion of the required 24 CLE credit hours through video, audio, computer-based training courses. This temporary waiver is limited to the 2020-2022 reporting period ending June 30, 2022. Read the full order here.
Wisconsin: The Supreme Court of Wisconsin has issued an order temporarily increasing the number of on-demand CLE credits attorneys are allowed to take to fulfil their CLE requirement through December 31, 2020 (for even-year reporters). Attorneys with a December 31, 2020 deadline or anyone making up hours from 2019 may take up to 30 hours of on-demand courses, except for legal ethics which need to be taken via LIVE online programming or in-person courses.
The following states have either not made any changes to their CLE rules or the changes have since expired.
California (The rule change expired)
Florida (The rule change expired)
Illinois (The rule change expired)
Louisiana (The rule change expired)
Missouri (The rule change expired)
Vermont (The rule change expired)
*Denotes states where all credits are allowed via distance learning