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Continuing Legal Education Explained

What are Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Credits and how do I obtain them?

Background

In the US, there are no uniform standards for CLE requirements or accreditation. Instead, the regulation of U.S. lawyers is left up to each particular jurisdiction (i.e., each state, the District of Columbia, and each territory), including the setting of standards for CLE requirements and accreditation. Each jurisdiction's highest court normally holds the power to provide this authority to specialized CLE commissions or boards.

Attorneys are often required to accrue a minimum number of CLE credits (measured in hours) over a predetermined number of years in U.S. jurisdictions with obligatory CLE requirements. Additionally, several of these jurisdictions need a particular minimum amount of CLE credits.

Attorneys in the United States often obtain CLE credits by attending legal training sessions led by seasoned attorneys. Legal theory and hands-on legal experience may both be covered in the training. The majority of the time, attorneys can acquire CLE credits through legal training without having to submit to competency testing. The course materials may be broad and reflect the most recent and cutting-edge thinking on a particular legal topic. Often, reading and other forms of self-study can be used to gain CLE credits. In recent years, several jurisdictions have made it possible for lawyers to get CLE credits through online distance education courses or audio downloads.

Resources

At IJEthics, we provide lawyers both high quality on demand CLE seminars as well as timely live seminars. Lawyers are encouraged to check out our library of on demand CLE accredited seminars in addition to our upcoming live CLE accredited seminars.

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