PA CLE: 2 Credit Hours of Ethics for 2015

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Attorneys that are licensed to practice in Pennsylvania must still complete a minimum of twelve (12) CLE credits each compliance period in order to fulfill the annual Pennsylvania CLE requirement. However, if you are a Pennsylvania attorney there are some recent changes to the PA CLE regulations that you should be aware of.

The Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board has made changes to rules and regulations that will permit more credits to be earned via distance learning and increase the annual ethics requirement.

First, Rule 108 (e) has been changed to increase the amount of credit hours Pennsylvania attorneys may earn by completing online and downloadable CLE courses from four (4) to six (6) credit hours annually. Second, the PA CLE Board also adopted a regulation change that increases the ethics component of the annual PA CLE requirement from one (1) to two (2) credit hours annually.[1] The amendments to the PA CLE rules and regulations will take effect for PA CLE compliance periods that have CLE requirement deadlines in 2015.[2]

The amendments to the PA CLE rules and regulations will take effect for CLE compliance periods that have requirement deadlines in 2015.

These PA CLE changes became effective May 1, 2014, and affect all Pennsylvania attorneys with 2015 compliance dates. Therefore, Pennsylvania attorneys that are in Group I and Group II are now able to complete 6 credit hours through online and downloadable on-demand video and audio courses.[3] Since Group III Pennsylvania attorneys still have a 2014 compliance date (12/31/2014) they are still subject to the 4 credit hour limit for online and downloadable on-demand CLE courses.[4] Group III are also still only required to complete one credit hour of ethics CLE. For more information about CLE in Pennsylvania, please click here: PA CLE.

[1] The new PA CLE provisions for distance learning will provide PA lawyers the option of completing up to half of their annual PA CLE requirement through distance learning and computer-based education.

[2] The ethics credit increase marks the first significant modification to the PA CLE requirement since 1996 when the total requirement expanded from nine credits to twelve.

[3] The compliance period for Group 1 attorneys is May 1 – April 30, Group II:  September 1 – August 31

[4] Group III:  January 1 – December 31