North Carolina's Technology CLE Credit: What Attorneys Need To Know
January 31, 2019
Meredith Cohen is Lawline’s Director of Customer Experience. She manages relationships with state regulating agencies nationwide to bring the best and most relevant content to attorneys who need it. In this monthly column, she answers customers’ most pressing CLE questions.
I’m finishing up my 2018 North Carolina CLE requirement (using the grace period until the end of February), and I saw that in 2019 I have to complete a credit of Technology CLE. Since we’re already in 2019, does that mean I have to do that credit now?
Technical Difficulties in North Carolina
Dear Technical Difficulties in North Carolina,
You are correct about the recent rule change in North Carolina - attorneys are now required to complete one hour of technology training as part of the twelve total credits, but this is only effective as of January 1, 2019. That means that if you’re still finishing up the 2018 requirement, even though it is technically the beginning of 2019 already, you don’t have to worry about that new credit until the 2019 reporting period.
Your next question is probably, “what is considered ‘technology training’?”. The NC CLE regulations define it as “a program, or a segment of a program, devoted to education on information technology (IT) or cybersecurity… including education on an information technology product, device, platform, application, or other tool, process, or methodology.”
Example topics include, but are not limited to:
IT tools, processes, or methodologies designed to perform tasks that are specific or uniquely suited to the practice of law;
Using a generic IT tools, processes, or methodologies to increase the efficiency of performing tasks necessary to the practice of law;
Digital forensics for legal investigation or litigation; and
Practice management software.
Just like with any CLE topic, the primary objective of the course must be to increase your professional competence and proficiency as a lawyer, so watching a general tutorial on how to use Excel isn’t going to cut it. Look for programs that have already been approved by the North Carolina bar specifically to fulfill this requirement (hint: Lawline has 15 and counting!), and if you’re ever unsure, contact the bar directly to confirm if a program will qualify.
Meredith is the Director of Customer Experience at Lawline but has taken on a number of diverse roles within the company over the years, and has handled just about everything from managing customer databases to doing post-production work on courses. Since joining the Lawline team in 2012, she has gotten her MBA online, done some world traveling, and hand-fed an ostrich. She loves singing off-key in the car, shouting out the questions on ‘Jeopardy!’ and eating dessert first.