CLE Requirements in North Carolina for Lawyers
THE ANNUAL CLE REQUIREMENTS IN NORTH CAROLINA ARE 12 HOURS OF APPROVED CLE.
Of these 12 hours, two must be in the area of professional responsibility or professionalism or any combination thereof, and effective in 2019, at least one hour shall be devoted to technology training. If a lawyer takes more than the required 12 hours in a calendar year, up to two additional hours of professional responsibility and up to ten additional hours of general education may be carried over to the next calendar year. There is no provision to carry hours over multiple years.
At least once every three calendar years, each lawyer must complete an additional hour of professional responsibility devoted exclusively to instruction in substance abuse awareness or debilitating mental conditions, and a lawyer’s professional responsibilities.
Lawyers licensed before July 1 are subject to all CLE requirements for that calendar year. Lawyers licensed on or after July 1 of any year do not have CLE requirements until the next calendar year.
The CLE rules also require every active lawyer, regardless of exempt status, to file an annual written report of his/her CLE activity for the preceding year. To facilitate that filing, the CLE office mails each lawyer an Annual Report Form in January. The report includes a transcript of all the CLE activity for the previous calendar year reported to our office by CLE sponsors. It is the lawyer’s responsibility to review that transcript, to make any necessary changes, to verify the CLE activity, to pay any outstanding attendee fees ($3.50 per credit hour), and to return the form to us by the last day of February.
All active members admitted to the North Carolina State Bar after January 1, 2011, must complete the Professionalism for New Attorneys Program in the year the member is first required to meet CLE requirements. Credit for the program is applied to the annual mandatory requirements. If you were licensed in another state for 5 or more years at the time you were admitted to the NC Bar, you are exempt from the requirement; however, you must notify the State Bar of the exemption in the first annual report form sent to you.
For more information related to rules and procedures related to sponsors, visit our sponsor FAQ page.