What Newly Admitted Attorneys Need to Know for the New Jersey CLE Deadline

Meredith Cohen | September 6, 2018

Two-year compliance periods for Newly Admitted Attorneys in New Jersey begin on January 1 following the year of admission. That’s right: Newly Admitted NJ Attorneys have to complete a special CLE requirement starting in the calendar year after admission.

Here’s a quick guide outlining to what you’ll need to do as a Newly Admitted Attorney in New Jersey. For a more thorough breakdown of the requirements, check out our New Jersey CLE Requirements Page.

What’s Required

24 total credit hours in two years. Of the 24 credits:

For example, an attorney can complete three credits each in: 1) NJ Family Law, 2) NJ Law Office Management, 3) NJ Basic Estate Planning, 4) NJ Municipal Court Practice, and 5) NJ Civil or Criminal Trial Preparation. However, an attorney cannot simply complete 15 credits in NJ Landlord/Tenant Practice, as this would only be one subject area. The credits can be done in any combination of subject area and amount, so long as the total credits add up to at least 15 and at least five of the subject areas are represented.

The other five credits out of the 24 total can be in any approved legal subject.

How to Get It Done

New Jersey places limitations on how attorneys can complete their Newly Admitted Attorney requirements. No more than 50% of the requirement can be done via Online programs. That means at least 12 credits of the 24 total need to be done via Live programs, which, in New Jersey, means in-person seminars held in the same room as the speaker. The other 12 credits can be done with On Demand programming.

To try and simplify this for attorneys, Lawline has put together a bundle (that you can check out via our new Free Trial!) that’s specifically geared towards the NJ Newly Admitted requirement. This bundle includes one Ethics credit and eleven credits of approved NJ-specific courses that hit at least five of the nine subject areas. Attorneys who complete this bundle will still need to complete twelve hours of Live CLE, including at least four credits of approved NJ-specific content (but these four credits can be in any of the nine subject areas) and three credits of Ethics.

Lawline also offers four Bridge the Gap events throughout the year to help NJ attorneys complete up to nine credits of Live CLE in one day, including the remaining three Ethics credits.

To recap, Newly Admitted Attorneys in NJ who complete the New Jersey Newly Admitted Attorney CLE Bundle and one Bridge the Gap event would receive:

  • 21 total credits, including:
    • 4 Ethics
    • 11/15 NJ-specific courses in at least five of the required subject areas
    • 9/12 Live credits

Attorneys would still need to complete four more credits of live, NJ-specific courses in order to meet the requirement.

Certifying Compliance

You may be wondering, “so when do I have to complete all of this?” Remember, this is a two-year compliance cycle, so you’ll have two years to complete these requirements beginning in the calendar year following your year of admission. Then you’ll report your CLE credits on your Annual Attorney Registration and Billing statement in March. You’ll simply certify on the statement whether or not you’ve completed your CLE requirements. However, NJ attorneys are assigned into compliance groups based on their birthdays.

  • Compliance Group 1: Birthdays January 1st — June 30th; reports attendance in even-numbered years
  • Compliance Group 2: Birthdays July 1st — December 31st; reports attendance in odd-numbered years

Depending on the year you’re admitted and the Compliance Group to which you’re assigned, you may have a modified requirement for your first year. Refer to the chart on the CLE Requirements Page and contact the Supreme Court of New Jersey for more specific information for your personal deadline and requirement.

Hang on to your CLE course attendance information - you’ll need to keep it  for 3 years from the date of attendance in case the New Jersey CLE Board selects you for an audit.

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About the Author

Written by Meredith Cohen

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.


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