Updated: Aug 14, 2019
For attorneys licensed in Georgia, continuing legal education (CLE) is provided for by Bar Rule 8-101 which states “It is of utmost importance to members of the Bar and to the public that attorneys maintain their professional competence throughout their active practice of law.” Attending continuing legal education seminars is a way for attorneys to maintain their competence while gaining skills that will help them become better advocates for their clients.
Bar Rule 8-103 creates the Commission on Continuing Lawyer Competency (CCLC), a permanent commission consisting of sixteen (16) members. The CCLC has general supervisory authority to administer the State Bar Rules mandating CLE. Attorneys can view their CLE transcript on the State Bar of Georgia’s web site at www.gabar.org.
Per Bar Rule 8-104, attorneys must earn annually twelve (12) hours of instruction in an approved continuing legal education activity. If you earn excess hours, they can be carried forward and applied for the next year only.
The 12 CLE credit hours that must be completed each year should include:
· 1 ethics hour;
· 1 professionalism hour; and
· 3 trial practice hours (only required for trial lawyers).
Each year, only six (6) hours can be completed as self-study which consists of any seminars completed in-house, online, or by distance learning.
CLE hours must be completed before December 31. If an attorney has not completed the 12 CLE hours before December 31, she can complete them during the grace period from January 1 to March 31. If an attorney does not complete her CLE hours on March 31, she will be assessed a $100 late CLE fee by CCLC. If an attorney misses the March 31 deadline and has not completed her CLE hours by September 30. The attorney is assessed an additional $150 late fee. See Rule 8-107 and Regulation 1.
Attorneys should contact the State Bar of Georgia’s Continuing Legal Education Regulation (CLER) department if they have questions regarding such things as:
· the status of their credit hours;
· credit hours earned from a CLE seminar;
· credit hours earned out-of-state;
· any deficiency letters or penalties administered.
Attorneys can reach the CLER department at 404-527-8710 or email them at email@example.com.
The State Bar of Georgia Rules regarding continuing legal education can be found online at www.gabar.org/barrules/.