Issue: December, 2005
Author: Kim Mayo
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Top 10 CLE Questions
The end of the year is drawing near and that means the CLE panic is setting in! Do I have enough hours? Did I forget to send in my application? Will I be suspended? Read on and put your fears to rest...
1. How many CLE credits do I need to earn each year?
Active attorneys are required to earn 15 hours of CLE credits, including one hour of ethics, each calendar year. This does not mean that you must earn 16 hours of credit; it means that of the 15 hours of CLE that you earn, one of those hours must pertain to ethics. Inactive, honorary and retired members are not required to fulfill the CLE requirement.
2. What is the requirement for newly admitted attorneys?
Newly admitted attorneys are exempt from the CLE requirement during the calendar year in which they are admitted; however, they must attend the mandatory Pathways to Professional Practice program in person or online within the first year of admission. For instance, if you were admitted in October 2005, you are not required to earn 15 hours of CLE for 2005, but you will need to earn 15 hours during 2006. The four-hour Pathways to Professional Practice program will count toward this requirement.
3. How do I report my CLE credits?
For each program you attend, you must submit an Application for CLE Credit, which can be printed from our website, www.wyomingbar.org. Sponsors cannot report CLE credits for you; you must submit this form yourself. Letters or alternative forms will not be accepted.
4. What is the deadline for submitting CLE credits?
The CLE reporting period runs from January 1 to December 31. All credits for the reporting period must be submitted by January 30 of the following year.
5. What if I don’t have my CLE hours completed in time?
Good news -- you can “buy” yourself extra time. If you don’t have your CLE hours for the previous reporting period by March 31, $100 will buy you an extra 30 days. If you still don’t have your CLE by May 1, you can buy another 45 days for an additional $200. If you are still delinquent on June 15, you will be fined another $300 and be recommended for suspension to the Supreme Court.
6. If I earn more than 15 CLE hours in a calendar year, can I carry them forward?
You may carry up to 30 hours of CLE forward to the next year, including two hours of ethics.
7. How do I find out how many CLE credits I have?
Official Compliance Reports are mailed to all active attorneys the first week of February. You can also log onto www.wyomingbar.org, click on My Bar Page, then CLE Records, enter your attorney number and birthdate, and access your CLE records anytime.
8. Does Wyoming compute CLE hours on a 50- or 60-minute hour?
Wyoming uses a 60-minute hour. A few other states, including Colorado, use a 50-minute hour for CLE credits. This means that you will receive less credit in Wyoming than in Colorado for the same program. Be sure to mark “60-minute hour” or “50-minute hour” on your Application for CLE Credit so that your credits will be reported accurately.
9. Can I get credit for self-study CLE courses?
Yes. You may earn up to five hours during each calendar year for self-study credit, including audio and video tapes and online courses. Live webcasts are eligible for live credits and do not count towards the five-hour limit.
10. Can I get credit for teaching a CLE course?
Yes. If you teach a CLE course you may receive three times the CLE credit. This triple credit only applies to the actual time that you are “at the podium,” however. For instance, if you are on a two-person panel presenting a six-hour program, you will receive three credits for attending and three credits for instructing, which will be multiplied by three, for a total of nine instruction credits.
Still have questions? Kim Mayo is happy to answer any of your questions. You may contact her at (307) 632-9061.