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REQUIREMENTS

Q. If an attorney does not attend the entire program, may the payment be adjusted accordingly?

Yes

Q. What is the purpose of the fee?

Of the $3.50 per credit hour assessed, $1.25 supports the CLE program of the State Bar, and $1 is given to the Chief Justice's Commission on Professionalism to support its program to enhance the professionalism of North Carolina lawyers, $1 is given to support the North Carolina Equal Access to Justice Commission, and $0.25 to the State Bar to administer the funds distributed to the commissions.

Q. Should my organization pay when we submit our request for approval?

No. Please submit the total payment with an attendance report within 30 days after the program. See questions below on attendance. Be sure that your sponsor and course identification numbers and other identifying information accompany the check.

Q. How much is the fee?

The rate is $3.50 for every CLE credit hour earned. Calculate the total amount owed by multiplying approved credits for the program times number of attorneys in attendance.

Q. May my organization pay the fee for the attorneys as a courtesy even if it is not required by the rules explained above?

Yes. Compute the amount as explained in the next answer and remit with your attendance report.

Q. Must I pay the NC State Bar any fees for my CLE activity? And if so, how much are the fees?

The answer depends on three factors: whether your organization is based in North Carolina; whether the activity will be located in North Carolina; and whether you charge attendees for participation. The fee is $3.50 for every CLE credit hour earned by an active member of the State Bar. Sponsors based in North Carolina who charge for admission must pay the fee, regardless of where the activity is located. 1. Sponsors based outside North Carolina who charge for admission must pay the fee if the activity is located in North Carolina. 2. Sponsors based outside North Carolina who charge for admission are not required to pay the fee if the activity is located outside North Carolina. 3. Sponsors, regardless of where they are based, are not required to pay the fee if they do not charge admission to the CLE activity. Please note: When the sponsor does not do so, the lawyer is responsible for paying the fee. Lawyers will receive a bill for fees after they return their annual report forms each year.

Q. What are the major requirements for my organization’s program?

Summarizing 27 NCAC 1D, Rules .1519 and .1602: your activity must “have significant intellectual or practical content and the primary objective must be to increase the participant’s professional competence and proficiency as a lawyer.” Furthermore, it “shall constitute an organized program of learning dealing with matters directly related to the practice of law, professional responsibility, professionalism, or ethical obligations of lawyers.”

Q. Can any of the required hours be taken online?

Yes, members may take up to 6 hours of online credit each year towards their CLE requirements.

Q. Where do I find the rules and regulations for the administration of the CLE program?

See 27 NCAC 1D, Sections .1500 and .1600.

GENERAL SPONSOR INFORMATION

Q. Can activities directed primarily to other professions or groups (for example, CPAs) be approved for CLE credit?

Yes, provided the CLE Board is “satisfied that the content of the activity would enhance legal skills or the ability to practice law.”

Q. How many CLE hours do attorneys have to take each calendar year?

Active members of the North Carolina State Bar must take 12 hours of approved CLE during each calendar year. Of the 12 CLE hours, at least two must be devoted to the area of professional responsibility (ethics) or professionalism. At least once every three calendar years, each attorney must complete one hour on substance abuse and debilitating mental conditions. This hour is credited to the twelve hour requirement for the year but not to the two hour annual professional responsibility requirement. See 27 NCAC 1D, Rule .1518.

Q. What is the North Carolina reporting period for CLE requirements?

The CLE year corresponds to the calendar year – January 1 through December 31. In addition, attorneys may apply hours taken in January and February of the following calendar year to any deficit for the prior year without penalty.

Q. Where do I find the rules and regulations for the administration of the CLE program?

See 27 NCAC 1D, Sections .1500 and .1600.

Q. How can I find out the identification number for previously approved courses that my organization has sponsored?

Click here to search for the course, or telephone the CLE Department at 919-733-0123.

Q. What is my organization’s North Carolina State Bar sponsor identification number?

Click here to look up your sponsor identification number. Your sponsor ID number is located on your course approval letters. You may also call the CLE Department at 919-733-0123.

COURSES

Q. What if errors are discovered on a course print-out after it is sent to the CLE Department?

Telephone or mail the course accreditation coordinator, CLE Department. Or, click here to email the Course Accrediation Coordinator.

Q. When should my organization report attendance?

You should send attendance to the CLE Department within 30 days after an activity takes place.

Q. How does my organization report attendance?

Please use our attendance form. Make sure that your sponsor number, course numbers, and other identifying information are included on the form. Attendance must be in alphabetical order. List each attending attorney’s name, bar membership number, and a breakdown of credit received.

Q. May attorneys get partial credit if they attend a portion but not all of a CLE activity?

Yes. Indicate the hours attended when you submit attendance.

Q. If my organization is paying fees, should payment include fees for the CLE credit granted for teaching or serving as a panel member?

Yes

Q. May attorneys get credit for serving as a panel member during a CLE activity?

Yes. The time allotted for the session is divided by the number of speakers on the panel. For example, a 60-minute session with 4 speakers is 15 minutes per speaker. Attorneys can receive one hour of CLE credit for every ten minutes of instruction, so the time allotted per panel member should be divided by 10 to arrive at the teaching credit allowed per speaker. To request credit, complete CLE Form 7, Teacher’s Request for CLE Credit.

Q. May attorneys get credit for teaching a CLE activity?

Yes. Attorneys are entitled to one hour of CLE credit for every ten minutes of actual instruction. To request credit, the attorney should complete CLE Form 7, Teacher’s Request for CLE Credit.

Q. How do I determine how much CLE credit to request for my organization’s activity?

Tally the minutes for each segment of professional responsibility, substance abuse, other topics, and for the total program. Divide by 60. Round each total down to the nearest quarter-hour. Do not include the following: 1. Any time devoted to proscribed activities listed above. 2. Time given to non-educational activities such as social activities, welcomes and introductions, breaks, meals, business or committee meetings, examinations, evaluations, etc.

Q; How do I find out  whether the course I’m sponsoring is eligible for specialization credit?

To find out if a course would be eligible for specialization credit please send a copy of the agenda or course description to Lanice Heidbrink at lheidbrink@ncbar.gov or fax to 919-719-9353. Please visit the specialization website to find a listing of the specialty areas. 

Q. Are some activities ineligible for CLE credit?

Yes. No credit will be given for the following: 1. Programs on marketing. 2. Programs marketing products or services. 3. In-house programs. 4. Self-study (use of books and manuals, audiotapes, non-interactive computer programs or CDs, solitary viewing of video programs, etc.). 5. Bar review/refresher programs. 6. Activities held in conjunction with banquets or other primarily social functions. 7. Business meetings.

Q. Can videotaped or computer-based programs be approved?

Yes, provided the program is interactive and all other requirements are met. See subsequent responses.

Q. May a sponsor offer a CLE program to a law firm in North Carolina?

Yes, as long as the program is open to any interested attorney from outside the law firm, the course will be approved for CLE credit in North Carolina. The program should be advertised to the wider legal community at least ten days in advance of the course date. The firm may also invite outside attorneys to attend. Failure to make the program available to attorneys outside the law firm will result in denial of CLE credit for the program.

ACCREDITATION

Q. How will I know that my organization’s CLE program has been approved or denied?

You will receive a letter or email approving or denying each request.

Q. Must my organization’s programs be conducted live and on-site?

No. Telephone seminars, teleconferencing, satellite transmissions, and webcasts can all be approved if they meet other requirements.

Q. Is there a different procedure for requesting approval for online activities?

No.

Q. How does my organization receive approval for a CLE activity?

Complete the Sponsor's Application for CLE Credit form. Attach all requested documentation and return the completed packet to the CLE Department by mail or fax.

Q. How soon should my application be submitted to the CLE Board prior to the scheduled presentation?

The application should be transmitted to the CLE Board at least 50 days prior to the presentation or the CLE activity.

Q. How long does it take for my organization's application to be reviewed by the CLE Department?

The processing time is 45 days from receipt of the application.

Q. How are teaching credits calculated and what form(s) to use to submit the credits?

Teaching credit is calculated at 1 hour of CLE credit for every 10 minutes taught. Example, 30 minutes of teaching equals 3 hours of CLE credit. To apply for teaching credit, please use the Teacher’s Request for CLE Credit.