All the States that are Changing their MCLE Rules due to the Coronavirus Pandemic
In response to COVID-19, conferences all over the world were canceled. In response, many states temporarily suspended the requirements that their attorneys attend in-person, and even live webcast, CLE. These measures will help prevent the spread of the virus and alleviate some pressures on attorneys arising from major uncertainties in the legal issues affecting their clients - not to mention increased childcare demands. Lawyers in states that have made these changes can currently fulfill their entire CLE requirement online. Below is a running list of states that have made this change, updated to include all the latest changes, including changes extending deadlines in 2021.
This post was last updated on January 22, 2020 at 3:26 p.m. Eastern.
- Alabama: No changes
- Alaska: No changes
- Arizona: The Supreme Court of the State of Arizona issued an order extending the 2019-2020 CLE and reporting deadlines to December 30, 2020 (previously June 30 and September 15 respectively). Please note, the 2020-2021 cycle remains unchanged. For more information, please see the official FAQ here.
- Arkansas: No changes
- California: (This rule change has now expired.) The State Bar of California has issued an order extending the late CLE deadline to September 30, 2020 (previously June 30) for attorneys in Group 3 who have not yet completed their requirement. Failure to complete the requirement by September 30, and pay any outstanding license fees, will result in being enrolled in Involuntary Inactive status.
- Colorado: No changes
- Connecticut: The State of Connecticut Superior Court has suspended the annual CLE requirement until further notice.
- Delaware: The Supreme Court of the State of Delaware issued an order temporarily waiving 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 two-year reporting cycles may be satisfied by approved courses in any format including On Demand. Previously, the Delaware Supreme Court issued a similar order waving the Live requirement for those who have not completed their 2019 requirement.
- Florida: The Florida Bar has extended the CLE reporting deadlines for February through November 2020 to December 31, 2020. This includes the Basic Skills Course Requirement. All other annual compliance deadlines remain the same.
- Georgia: The Supreme Court of Georgia has issued an order temporarily waiving the 6-hour self-study CLE limitation effective May 28, 2020 for courses completed on or before March 31, 2021. Attorneys may complete their entire requirement through self-study, in-house, or distance learning formats such as on demand courses and live webcasts.
- Hawaii: No changes
- Idaho: No changes
- Illinois: (This rule change has now expired.) The Illinois Supreme Court has issued an order extending the MCLE deadline by 90 days (to September 30) for attorneys due in 2020 (last name A-M) who are unable to complete their requirement by June 30. To receive this extension, attorneys must log in to the MCLE Board's website and report "Not Yet Completed" by July 31. No reason for the extension is required.
- Indiana: The Indiana Supreme Court has issued an order temporarily waiving the credit limitation for distance education until further notice by the court.
- Iowa: The Iowa Supreme Court has issued an order temporarily waiving the credit limitation for unmoderated courses. Iowa attorneys may complete any portion of their requirement as On Demand courses until further notice from the Iowa Supreme Court.
- Kansas: The Supreme Court of the State of Kansas has removed the credit limitation on pre-recorded CLE for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 reporting periods. Kansas attorneys can complete their entire requirement via On Demand CLE courses during those cycles. The Court has also issued an order granting an automatic extension for the 2019-2020 CLE and Reporting Deadlines to September 30, 2020 for attorneys unable to complete their requirement by June 30, 2020. Note: In order to avoid any late fees, courses must be reported no later than September 30, 2020. We will do our best to ensure all reporting is completed in time, but if you are taking courses on September 29 or September 30, please reach out to our Customer Service team by 12:00pm EST.
- 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: The Louisiana Supreme Court has lifted the limitation on self-study credits for the 2019 and 2020 cycles. Attorneys may now complete their entire credit requirement through On Demand courses. Credits for the 2019 cycle must be earned and reported by May 15, 2020. Please note that the late penalty for filing will still be assessed.
- Maine: The Maine Supreme Judicial Court has issued an order temporarily waiving the in-person CLE requirement. Maine attorneys can complete the Harassment & Discrimination requirement via live webcast. In addition, the Board of Overseers of the Bar for the State of Maine has extended the reporting deadline to May 1, 2020 and will not impose any late fees for the 2018-2019 reporting period.
- Minnesota: The Minnesota Supreme Court issued an order allowing Minnesota attorneys to take up to 30 credits of recorded CLE courses for cycles ending in 2021 and later. These courses must be completed in 2021 or later. Courses completed before 2020 are subject to a maximum of 15 recorded credits. Starting January 1, 2024, recorded CLE credits will be unlimited for courses completed in 2024 for reporting periods ending in 2024 or later.
- Mississippi: (This rule change has now expired.) The Supreme Court of Mississippi issued an order waiving the in-person CLE requirement for the 2019-2020 reporting year. Attorneys may complete their CLE requirement via online webinars or live, in-person programs. Additionally, the completion deadline has been extended to September 30, 2020, and the reporting deadline has been extended to October 15, 2020. Attorneys unable to comply with the temporary amendments may seek a hardship exemption and/or extension from the Commission.
- Missouri: The Supreme Court of Missouri has issued an order extending the 2020 CLE deadline to September 30, 2020 (previously June 30). The reporting deadline is extended to October 31, 2020 but MO will not assess any late fees for courses completed and reported on or before December 31, 2020.
- Montana: (This rule change has now expired.) The Supreme Court of Montana Commission of Continuing Legal Education 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). Montana attorneys can complete all of their credits online via a combination of live webcasts and On Demand programs.
- Nebraska: The Nebraska Supreme Court has issued an order temporarily removing the limit to distance learning courses. Attorneys can complete up to ten credits of distance learning for all CLE requirements due on or before January 20, 2021. This includes the 2020 requirement.
- Nevada: No changes
- New Hampshire: (This rule change has now expired.) The Supreme Court of New Hampshire has issued an order granting attorneys an extension to their requirement for the 2020 reporting year. For any questions, please contact the NHMCLE or the New Hampshire Bar Association at NHMCLE@nhbar.org or 603-715-3222.
- New Jersey: 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.
- New Mexico: (This rule change has now expired.) The Supreme Court of the State of New Mexico issued an order extending the MCLE late reporting deadlines by 30 days. The new deadlines are as follows:
April 30, 2020: 2019 credits can be reported with a $100 late fee
May 31, 2020: 2019 credits can be reported with a $350 late fee
June 1, 2020: The list of non-compliant attorney names will be sent to the Supreme Court
- New York: The New York CLE Board has issued an order temporarily allowing Newly Admitted Attorneys to compete their Skills requirement via live webcast, teleconference, and videoconference. This change is effective March 11, 2020 through June 30, 2021.
- North Carolina: No changes [Note: Although North Carolina previously had a live CLE requirement, as of January 1, 2020, that requirement was rescinded. North Carolina attorneys can complete their entire CLE requirement via On Demand programming.]
- North Dakota: (This rule change has now expired.) The North Dakota CLE Commission has suspended the credit limitation on Self-Study courses for North Dakota attorneys in Reporting Group 3 (attorneys who report in 2020). These attorneys may complete any portion of their requirement as On Demand courses. In addition, the North Dakota Supreme Court has extended Reporting Group 3's CLE completion deadline to September 1, 2020 and their reporting deadline to October 1, 2020. No extensions have been given for any other Reporting Groups.
- Ohio: The Supreme Court of Ohio has issued an order temporarily waiving the self-study CLE limitation for the 2019-2020 and the 2020-2021 compliance cycles. Ohio attorneys with last names M through Z may complete their entire requirement through approved self-study courses for their December 31, 2020 deadline and attorneys with last names A through L may do so as well for their December 31, 2021 deadline. Self-study formats include On Demand, Audio, and Live Interactive Webinars.
- Oklahoma: (This rule change has now expired.) The Oklahoma Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Commission has extended the deadline to June 30, 2020 for attorneys who are currently non-compliant on their 2019 requirement and working to make up the credits.
- Oregon: No changes
- Pennsylvania: The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has issued three orders in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic: 1) The distance learning cap has been waived for all 2020 deadlines. Attorneys may complete their entire 2020 requirement online via On Demand, Webcast, MP3, etc.; 2) The CLE deadline for Compliance Group 1 has been extended to August 31, 2020 (previously April 30, 2020). All other annual compliance deadlines remain the same; 3) Effective January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021, Live Webcasts will be considered Live (non-capped) credits. Group 1 and 2 attorneys are still limited for distance learning courses completed after their 2020 deadline and before January 1, 2021. However, they can complete live webinars after their compliance deadline but before December 31, 2021 for the 2022 reporting cycle. Note: All distance learning courses (Webcast, On Demand, MP3, etc.) must be completed from an accredited provider such as Lawline.
- Puerto Rico: (This rule change has now expired.) The Supreme Court of Puerto Rico extended all deadlines between March 16, 2020 and May 17, 2020 to June 1, 2020. The PEJC will not be sending any noncompliance notices if an attorney failed to do their requirement on or before May 31, 2020.
- Rhode Island: (This rule change has now expired. Any credits completed during the 2020 compliance year will be counted towards to 2021 requirement.) The Rhode Island Supreme Court issued an order suspending the annual CLE requirement for the 2020 compliance year. All CLE credits that would have been used to satisfy the 2020 requirement can be carried over to satisfy the CLE requirements for the 2021 reporting year.
- South Carolina: The Supreme Court of South Carolina has issued an order waiving the credit limit for Alternative Delivery Format courses for the 2020-2021 reporting year. SC attorneys may take any portion of this cycle's requirement via online formats such as On Demand programming.
- Tennessee: Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the TN Supreme Court has issued an order temporarily waiving the 8-hour Distance Learning CLE limitation for the 2021 requirements. Tennessee attorneys can now complete any portion of the requirement through approved Distance Learning until December 31, 2021. Previously, the TN Supreme Court issued similar orders waiving the distance learning CLE limitation for the 2019 and 2020 requirements.
- Texas: The State Bar of Texas has granted the following automatic extensions for their CLE requirement: 1) September compliance deadlines: 90-day extension with a final deadline of December 31st; 2) October compliance deadlines: 60-day extension with a current deadline of January 31st; 3) November compliance deadlines: 60-day extension with a current deadline of January 31st; 4) December compliance deadlines: 60-day extension with a final deadline of February 28th.
- Utah: The Supreme Court of Utah issued an order suspending the traditional live in-person credit requirement for attorneys reporting in 2020 and 2021, allowing all required CLE to be fulfilled with online self-study via audio or video presentations, webcasts or computer interactive telephonic programs. In addition, the 2020 completion deadline has been extended to September 1, 2020, and the reporting deadline has been extended to September 15, 2020. No extension has been given for the 2021 deadline.
- Vermont: The Vermont Supreme Court has issued an order lifting all format limitations/requirements for the 2019-2021 reporting period. Vermont attorneys who are due on June 30, 2021 can complete their entire requirement through any combination of Moderated Programming (e.g. Live Webcasts), Non-Moderated Programming With Interactivity as a Key Component (e.g. On Demand or Audio courses), or Non-Moderated Programming Without Interactivity. The credit limitation for activities claimed under Rule 6 (teaching, writing, mentoring, etc.) has also been lifted for the 2019-2021 reporting period. Previously Vermont issued an order waiving the self-study CLE limitation for the 2018-2020 reporting period only.
- Virgin Islands: No changes
- Virginia: The Supreme Court of Virginia has issued an order extending the 2020 MCLE deadline to midnight EST December 31, 2020 (usually October 31). The required CLE hours must be reported no later than 4:45 p.m. EST February 15, 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: (This rule change has now expired.) The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia issued an order temporarily waiving the 12-hour CLE format limitation for the 2018-2020 reporting cycle. Attorneys can now complete their CLE requirement through video, audio, webcast, in-house, etc. In addition, the 2018-2020 reporting cycle deadline to complete and report CLE has been extended to September 30, 2020.
- Wisconsin: The Supreme Court of Wisconsin issued an order temporarily increasing the number of On Demand CLE credits lawyers can take to satisfy their requirement through December 31, 2020. Attorneys with a December 31, 2020 deadline and those working to make up a deficit from their December 31, 2019 deadline may now take 30 hours of On Demand programming, however, the legal ethics requirement needs be taken via live online programming or in-person courses.
- Wyoming: No changes
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This article was originally published on May 14, 2020.
About the Author
Written by Sarah Mills
Sarah graduated from Simon's Rock College in 2005 with a BA in Linguistics, then worked in events production for several years before obtaining a JD from New York Law School in 2012. Before joining Lawline, they worked in litigation management. They love working as a program attorney as it combines their legal knowledge and production background. They have two kids, two cats, and they love public transit and rainy days.
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