This article takes a look at continuing legal education (abbreviated as CLE or often MCLE – M standing for mandatory or minimum, depending on who you ask or what state they’re from) requirements on a state by state basis. All states allow legal professionals to use online courses to count for some portion of their CLE requirements, although the amount of credits, which topics, and which courses and course providers are approved vary from state to state.

Attorneys can’t seem to get enough education. Four years getting an undergraduate degree, then three more years achieving your JD seems like a lot of studying the law.

But, as you know, a significant part of the attorney occupation is staying up to date and developing new areas of expertise through CLE courses. The requirements for quality and quantity of continuing education courses for lawyers is set by the bar organization in each state.

I am going to list each state’s CLE requirements here, and I will include a link to the specific state-approved online CLE courses from Lorman (an affiliate of Prosperopedia.com) in case you’d like to shop their catalog for courses that will help you fill your online quota.

New Versus Experienced Attorneys

The state specific CLE requirements listed below are mostly focused on experienced attorneys, ones who have been with their respective bars beyond a designated introductory period of time. For attorneys who are new to a state bar, there are often differing, more stringent requirements.

CLE Exemptions

Many of the state requirements listed below have exemptions to them that include things like doing pro bono work or  doing other types of volunteer legal activities.

Other exemptions from these state defined continuing education requirements involve being in active military or having some other legitimate reason the standard continuing education requirements could not be fulfilled.

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Alabama CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 12

Total Live (not online) CLE Credits Required: 6

Courses must include at least 1 credit in Ethics or Professionalism

Official State of Alabama CLE Description: http://judicial.alabama.gov/docs/library/rules/mcle3.pdf

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

Alaska CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 3 (Ethics, this requirement is referred to as MECLE, or Mandatory Ethics Continuing Legal Education)

Total Live (not online) CLE Credits Required: 0: all credits can be completed online.

Official State of Alaska CLE Rule Description: https://public.courts.alaska.gov/web/sco/docs/sco1640leg.pdf

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

Notes: Although Alaska only requires 3 credits in Ethics subject matter, the state also recommends 9 additional credits

Arizona CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 15

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 0: all credits can be completed online.

Courses must include at least 3 credit in Ethics

Official State of Arizona CLE Rule Description: https://www.azbar.org/MCLE

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

Arkansas CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 12

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 0: all credits can be completed online.

Courses must include at least 1 credit in Ethics

Official State of Arkansas CLE Rule Description: https://rules.arcourts.gov/w/ark/rules-for-minimum-continuing-legal-education

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

California CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 25

Total Live “Participatory” (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 12.5

Courses must include at least:

  •  4 credits in ethics
  • 1 credit in Recognition and Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession and Society
  • 1 credit in competence issues

Official State of California CLE Rule Description: https://www.calbar.ca.gov/Attorneys/MCLE-CLE/Requirements

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

Colorado CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 45 (to be completed every three years, which is their reporting period)

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 0; all courses can be completed through online self-study.

Courses must include at least:

  •  7 credits  in ethics

Official State of Colorado CLE Rule Description: https://coloradosupremecourt.com/Current%20Lawyers/CLENewAtty.asp

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

Connecticut CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 12

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 0; all courses can be completed online or through self-study.

Courses must include at least:

  •  2 credits  in ethics

Official State of Connecticut MCLE Rule Description: https://www.jud.ct.gov/Publications/PracticeBook/PB.pdf#page=136

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

Delaware CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 24 (every 2 years, which is the established reporting period for Delaware)

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 12

Courses must include at least 4 credits  in ethics

Official State of Delaware CLE Rule Description: https://courts.delaware.gov/rules/pdf/CLE-RULES-Effective-JAN012016.pdf

Florida CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 33 (every 3 years, which is the established reporting period for Florida)

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 0; all credits may be taken through self-study

Courses must include at least:

  • 5 credits in ethics, professionalism (1 credit mandatory), bias elimination, substance abuse, or mental illness awareness
  • 3 credits in technology

Official State of Florida CLE Rule Description: https://www.floridabar.org/member/cle/bscr-req/

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

Georgia CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 12

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 0; credits can be self-study.

Courses must include at least:

  • 1 credit in ethics
  • 1 credit in professionalism

Official State of Georgia CLE Rule Description: https://www.gabar.org/handbook/index.cfm#handbook/rule227

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

Note: Attorneys who try cases in Georgia are required to have 3 credit hours of trial skills courses as part of their CLE study.

Hawaii CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 3

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 0 – all credits can be self-study.

Every third year, courses must include at least 1 credit in ethics or professional responsibility courses.

Official State of Hawaii CLE Rule (Supreme Court Rule 22) Description: https://www.courts.state.hi.us/docs/court_rules/rules/rsch.htm#Rule%2022

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

Idaho CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 30 (every three years, which is the State of Idaho CLE reporting period)

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 0 – all credits can be self-study.

Courses must include:

  • 3 credits in ethics.

Official State of Idaho CLE Rule Description: https://isb.idaho.gov/licensing-mcle/

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

Illinois CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 30 (every two years, which is the State of Illinois CLE reporting period)

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 0 – all credits can be self-study.

Courses must include:

  • 6 credits in professional responsibility, of which..
    • 1 must be a diversity and inclusion and…
    • 1 must be a mental health and substance abuse course

Official State of Illinois MCLE Rule Description: https://www.isba.org/cle/mcle

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

Indiana CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 36 (every three years, which is the State of Indiana CLE reporting period).

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 0 – all credits can be self-study.

Courses must include:

  • 3 credits in ethics

Official State of Indiana MCLE Rule Description: https://www.in.gov/judiciary/rules/ad_dis/#_Toc532979358

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

Note: Although the requirement is 36 credits over a three year period, attorneys practicing in Indiana must complete at least 6 per year.

Iowa CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 15 credits per year

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 0 – all credits can be self-study.

Courses must include:

  • 3 credits in ethics every two years

Official State of Iowa MCLE Rule Description: https://www.iowacourts.gov/opr/attorneys/attorney-practice/frequently-asked-questions/continuing-legal-education-cle/

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

Kansas CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 12 credits per year

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 0 – all credits can be self-study.

Courses must include:

  • 2 credits in ethics

Official State of Kansas MCLE Rule Description: https://www.kscle.org/rules-guidelines#rule_803

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

Kentucky CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 12 credits per year

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 0 – all credits can be self-study.

Courses must include:

  • 2 credits in ethics

Official State of Kentucky CLE Rule Description: https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.kybar.org/resource/resmgr/SCR3/SCR_3.645.pdf

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

Louisiana CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 12.5 credits per year

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 0 – all credits can be self-study.

Courses must include:

  • 1 credit in ethics
  • 1 credit in professionalism

Official State of Louisian MCLE Rule Description: https://www.lsba.org/MCLE/ContinuingLegalEducationRules.aspx

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

Maine CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 11 credits per year

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 5.5

Courses must include:

  • 1 credit in ethics

Official State of Maine MCLE Rule Description: https://mebaroverseers.org/regulation/bar_rules.html?id=638733

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

Maryland CLE Requirements

Maryland does not currently have Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MBLE) Requirements.

Massachusetts CLE Requirements

Massachusetts does not currently have Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MBLE) Requirements.

Michigan CLE Requirements

Michigan does not currently have Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MBLE) Requirements.

Minnesota CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 45 credits every 3 year reporting period

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 30

Courses must include:

  • 3 credits in ethics
  • 2 credits in elimination of bias

Official State of Minnesota MCLE Rule Description: https://www.cle.mn.gov/lawyers/cle-compliance-2/

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

Mississippi CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 12 credits per year

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 0 – all credits can be self-study.

Courses must include:

  • 1 credit in ethics, professional responsibility, professionalism, malpractice prevention, substance abuse or mental health

Official State of Mississippi MCLE Rule Description: https://courts.ms.gov/cle_bccr/clefaq.php

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

 

 

Missouri CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 15 credits per year

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 9

Courses must include:

  • 2 credits in professionalism, substance abuse and mental health, ethics, or malpractice prevention
  • 1 credit in cultural competency, diversity, inclusion, and implicit bias

Official State of Missouri MCLE Rule Description: https://www.courts.mo.gov/courts/ClerkHandbooksP2RulesOnly.nsf/c0c6ffa99df4993f86256ba50057dcb8/5c20face4921fe3286256ca6005212b6?OpenDocument

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com.

Montana CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 15 credits per year

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 10

Courses must include:

  • 2 credits in ethics

Official State of Montana MCLE Rule Description: https://www.mtcle.org/pdfs/clerules.pdf

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

Nebraska CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 10 credits per year

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 0 – all credits can be self-study.

Courses must include:

  • 3 credits in ethics every two years

Official State of Nebraska MCLE Rule Description: https://supremecourt.nebraska.gov/attorneys/mandatory-continuing-legal-education-mcle

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

Nevada CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 13 credits per year

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 0 – all credits can be self-study.

Courses must include:

  • 2 credits in ethics, professional conduct
  • 1 credit in substance abuse, addictive disorders and/or mental health

Official State of Iowa MCLE Rule Description: https://www.nvbar.org/member-services-3895/cle/cle-requirements/

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

New Hampshire CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 12 credits per year

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 0 – all credits can be self-study.

Courses must include:

  • 2 credits in ethics

Official State of New Hampshire MCLE Rule Description: https://www.courts.state.nh.us/rules/scr/scr-53.htm

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

New Jersey CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 24 credits over two year period, the established reporting period for New Jersey

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 12

Courses must include:

  • 4 credits in ethics or professionalism

Official State of New Jersey MCLE Rule Description: https://www.njcourts.gov/attorneys/assets/attyreg/cleinstructions.pdf?c=8cT

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

New Mexico CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 12 credits per year

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 8

Courses must include:

  • 2 credits in ethics

Official State of New Mexico MCLE Rule Description: https://www.nmbar.org/Nmstatebar/For_Members/Definition_of_MCLE_Credit.aspx

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

New York CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 24 credits every two years

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 0 – all credits can be self-study.

Courses must include:

  • 4 credits in ethics or professionalism

Official State of New York MCLE Rule Description: http://www.nysba.org/CLE/CLE_Program_Pages/5__CLE_Information,_Policies,_and_Order_Form/Mandatory_CLE_Rules/

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

North Carolina CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 12 credits per year

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 0 – all credits can be self-study.

Courses must include:

  • 3 credits in ethics
  • 1 credit in technology
  • 1 credit in substance abuse every three years

Official State of North Carolina MCLE Rule Description: https://www.nccle.org/for-lawyers/requirements/renewing-lawyers/

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

North Dakota CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 45 credits every three years

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 0 – all credits can be self-study.

Courses must include:

  • 3 credits in ethics during the three year reporting period

Official State of North Dakota MCLE Rule Description: https://www.sband.org/page/cle_hours

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

Ohio CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 24 credits every two years

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 12 credit hours

Courses must include:

  • 2.5 credits in professional conduct (ethics and other courses that include alcoholism, mental health, and others) during the 2-year reporting period

Official State of Ohio MCLE Rule Description: http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/LegalResources/Rules/govbar/govbar.pdf#App1

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

Oklahoma CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 12 credits per year

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 0 – all credits can be self-study.

Courses must include:

  • 1 credit in ethics

Official State of Oklahoma MCLE Rule Description: https://www.okmcle.org/requirements

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

Oregon CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 4credits every three years

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 0 – all credits can be self-study.

Courses must include:

  • 5 credits in ethics during the reporting period
  • 1 credit in child and elder abuse reporting
  • 3 credits in access to justice courses
  • 1 credit in substance abuse and mental health

Official State of Oregon MCLE Rule Description: https://www.osbar.org/_docs/rulesregs/mclerules.pdf#page=5&view=FitH,50

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

Pennsylvania CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 12 credits per year

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 6 – all credits can be self-study.

Courses must include:

  • 2 credits in ethics

Official State of Pennsylvania MCLE Rule Description: https://www.pacle.org/rules-and-regulations

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

Rhode Island CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 10 credits per year

Total Live CLE Credits Required: 10 – No self-study is allowed. Attorneys must attend activities where they can ask questions.

Courses must include:

  • 2 credits in ethics

Official State of Rhode Island CLE Rule Description: Click here (URL is outrageously long)

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

South Carolina CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 14 credits per year

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 6

Courses must include:

  • 2 credits in ethics, professional responsibility
  • 1 credit in substance abuse, mental health, or stress management (once every two years)

Official State of South Carolina MCLE Rule Description: https://www.sccourts.org/courtReg/displayRule.cfm?ruleID=408.0&subRuleID=&ruleType=APP

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

South Dakota CLE Requirements

South Dakota does not currently have Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MBLE) Requirements.

Tennessee CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 15 credits per year

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 7 – all credits can be self-study.

Courses must include:

  • 3 credits in ethics, professionalism

Official State of Tennessee MCLE Rule Description:  http://www.tsc.state.tn.us/rules/supreme-court/21

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

Texas CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 15 credits per year

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 12

Courses must include:

  • 3 credits in ethics

Official State of Texas MCLE Rule Description: Click here

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

Utah CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 24 credits every two years

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 12

Courses must include:

  • 2 credits in ethics
  • 1 credit in professionalism

Official State of Utah MCLE Rule Description: https://www.utahbar.org/mcle/requirements/

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

Vermont CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 20 credits every two years

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 10

Courses must include:

  • 2 credits in ethics every two-year reporting period

Official State of Vermont MCLE Rule Description: https://www.vermontjudiciary.org/attorneys/mandatory-continuing-legal-education

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

Virginia CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 12 credits per year

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 4

Courses must include:

  • 2 credits in ethics

Official State of Virginia MCLE Rule Description: https://www.vsb.org/pro-guidelines/index.php/mcle-regs/

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

Washington CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 45 credits every three years

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 0 – all credits can be self-study.

Courses must include:

  • 15 credits in law and legal procedure
  • 6 credit in ethics

Official State of Washington MCLE Rule Description: http://www.wsba.org/for-legal-professionals/mcle/mcle-for-lawyers

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

West Virginia CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 24 credits every two years

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 0 – all credits can be self-study.

Courses must include:

  • 3 credits in ethics every two years

Official State of West Virginia MCLE Rule Description: https://wvbar.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/rules.pdf

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

Wisconsin CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 30 credits every two years

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 30 – self-study is not allowed

Courses must include:

  • 3 credits in ethics, professional responsibility during the two-year reporting period

Official State of Wisconsin MCLE Rule Description: https://www.wicourts.gov/sc/scrule/DisplayDocument.pdf?content=pdf&seqNo=27987

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com

Wyoming CLE Requirements

Total CLE Credits Required: 15 credits per year

Total Live (not self-study) CLE Credits Required: 9

Courses must include:

  • 2 credits in ethics

Official State of Wyoming MCLE Rule Description:  Click here.

Qualifying Online Courses available from Lorman.com