CLE status updates: e-learning, DEI, etc.


Another unprecedented year is ending, bringing even more COVID-related headlines (thanks, Omicron variant), Zoom meetings and uncertainty. Throughout the pandemic, states have taken steps to relax and revise CLE compliance requirements – and the Practicing Law Institute (PLI) has tracked the many changes. As we head into 2022, here is the latest news:

COVID-related responses

PLI has been in close contact with regulators in all MCLE states, posting updates on a web page accessible to its members and the public. Since this summer, a few states have expanded their policies around the types of studies eligible for CLE credit, reports Andrew Ottiger, Senior Director of PLI, MCLE Accreditation & Compliance:

• New York has extended until June 30, 2022 the ability of newly admitted lawyers to earn CLEs through live webcasts and other non-traditional live formats (originally scheduled to expire on December 31, 2021).
• Delaware has waived its in-person requirements until 2022.
• Ohio waived self-study caps for attorneys with surnames M through Z for the December 31, 2022 compliance period.
• Clarifying its requirements, Pennsylvania now says that for 2021 compliance can be met with on-demand courses, but for 2022 at least six credits must be online or in person / in class.
• Mississippi has temporarily removed the online CLE limit for the year 2021-2022 ending July 31, 2022.

What about other states with exemptions and orders expiring at the end of 2021? Ottiger suggests that many are taking a “wait-and-see approach,” in anticipation of winter trends in COVID. “We may not learn more about the waiver extensions in some states until the New Year, especially those where January marks the start of the MCLE compliance period, which leaves considerable time until the next deadline, “he notes.

Non-COVID rule changes

Life – and the law – isn’t all about COVID, and states continue to adjust requirements in response to other factors, including diversity training. Significantly, California has increased its bias elimination requirement from one hour to two and established a subtopic dedicated to implicit bias, required for lawyers with a deadline after January 31, 2022. “C ‘is a first in the independent subject of the country,’ Ottiger reports. Other changes related to AED include:

• Virginia will allow the elimination of biases to be considered for legal requirements of ethics or professionalism effective October 11, 2021.
• Washington added a requirement for an ethics credit in the area of ​​equity, inclusion, and the alleviation of implicit and explicit biases in the legal profession and the practice of law, effective September 1, 2022 .
• Texas will allow ethics credits for implicit and explicit bias courses, effective June 1, 2021.
• Colorado added a requirement of at least two credit hours in equity, diversity and inclusiveness (EDI) and at least five credit hours in legal ethics or legal professionalism effective July 1, 2021.

Format changes

Another CLE trend is emerging in the area of ​​format changes, Ottiger reports. Take a look at Utah, whose State Bar made some notable updates earlier this year. In addition to moving from a two-year compliance period to a one-year period, Utah has also expanded the eligibility of formats eligible for CLE credit live and uncapped to include a new “E-” category. KEY checked ”. Ottiger explains: “Verified E-CLE is a CLE presented through a computer program or on the Internet where the active participation of the lawyer in CLE is verified by answering scenarios during CLE or by answering knowledge-based questions during CLE. or after the presentation of the CLE. KEY. He adds that while regulators have approved scenario-based simulations on a case-by-case basis, Utah appears to be the first to officially recognize it as a stand-alone format while also recognizing it for live / uncapped credit.

“This is an interesting move away from measuring EDC strictly through the clock and ‘talking head’ lectures and towards a competency-based model for measuring EDC,” he said. Ottiger said. “It will be interesting to see if other states follow suit, if providers create qualifying programs, and how lawyers respond to getting credit ‘live’ through this new kind of format.”

Other changes have taken place in Kansas, which permanently removed the limitation on the pre-recorded program, effective June 1, 2021.

…And more!

The State Bar of California now requires approved Multiple Activity Providers (MAPs) to electronically report MCLE course attendance to the state bar. To meet this new requirement, attorneys must provide their California State Bar license number when obtaining the CLE – a significant change for attorneys and training providers.

Looking to complete your CLE requirements? Visit the PLI website for a listing of on-demand, live webcast and in-person programs. You can also use PLI’s Credit Tracker to easily track credits earned from any vendor in any jurisdiction, or learn about the latest MCLE rule changes by visiting recent PLI rule changes.

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