Commission on Continuing Legal Education: Attorneys - FAQs
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do I find out how many credits I have now or how many I need by
- What if I don't have all my credits done by December
- I completed my make-up plan. Is there anything else
I must do?
- Can I get my late fees waived?
- My deadline is almost here! Can I just watch videos
to finish my credits?
- I get a report each year - do I have to earn so
many hours each year?
- How many of my Enhanced Ethics credits can I earn
by video replay or self-study?
- I earned excess Enhanced Ethics last reporting period.
Can I use them as carryover?
- What's the most carryover I can have?
1. How do I find out how many credits I have now or how many
I need by my deadline?
get this information if you have enrolled in our online Transcript
feature (www.desclms.org). You may have enrolled by completing
the appropriate portion of any previous Transcript, or by sending
a letter or an e-mail to the Commission to register a password. The
Commission does not have the resources to mail updates but will discuss
credits earned over the telephone or via e-mail. If you do not want to wait until
the next Transcript is finalized in January, you should enroll in the
online database, which allows you to look up your credits on a website
at any time of the day or night. Because of the confidentiality requirements
of the CLE Rules, however, you must supply the Commission with a password
or PIN number in order to access these credits. Please review the
instructions on the Transcript page to sign up for this feature. If you do not give this information
to the Commission, your records cannot be accessed online, and you
will have to wait until each January to receive the finalized script.
2. What if I don't have all my credits done by December 31?
for make-up plans are built into the Rules. You have two options:
the credits in January and February and add them in on the Transcript before you certify and return it to the Commission on or before
March 1. We consider this a completed make-up plan.
the certified Transcript showing the credits you have completed (if
any) on or before March 1, but forward to it a make-up plan. A
make-up plan may be a letter you compose or a completed Form
14. Make-up plans must inform the Commission of the specific
courses you plan to complete by April 30 and are subject to approval
by the Commission. If there are any changes to the approved plan,
you must notify the Commission in writing or by
e-mail. When you have completed the plan, you must file a statement
confirming completion (or a completed Form
15) within 15 days of completion of the coursework.
3. I completed my make-up plan. Is there anything else I must
are not considered in compliance until you have reported completion
of the make-up coursework pursuant to CLE Rule 9(A)(1)(a). Just as
you must verify the information on the Transcript by March
1, providers cannot confirm your attendance on your behalf. You must
file a statement confirming completion (or a completed Form
15) within 15 days of completion of the coursework. If the provider
has agreed to report your credits to the Commission, the report can
only be used to verify your information, not to replace your verification
to the Commission that you earned the credits.
4. Can I get my late fees waived?
is no longer waiving the $50.00 late filing fee. This fee is imposed by CLE
Rule 5(A)(3) and is assessed regardless of the reason for the delay,
including health problems and mail delays. The Commission encourages
attorneys to certify and file the Transcript early.
The per diem fees assessed by CLE Rule 5(A)(4) for filing a Transcript
after April 1 and by CLE Rule 9(A)(1)(a) for filing late completion
of a make-up plan may be waived, in part or in whole, by the Commission,
for good cause shown. If you have been assessed late fees under these
Rules, you may petition the Commission for consideration of fee waiver
5. My deadline is almost here! Can I just watch videos to finish
video replay is still allowed by the Rules,
however, only half of the minimum requirement may be earned by monitored
video replay. For attorneys with a 24-hour credit requirement, no
more than 12 credits may be earned by monitored video replay. Excess
credits will not carry over; they simply will be rejected by the system.
Self-study video options are not available; the three providers approved
for monitored video replay options are the Delaware
State Bar Association, the Delaware
Trial Lawyers Association, and the National
Law Foundation. Other providers may present programs by video
replay, but only these three schedule videos on an on-demand basis.
6. I get a report each year - do I have to earn so many hours
mid-period report is only to remind you of your status halfway through
your compliance period. If you have earned ample credits for your
upcoming deadline, you need not take courses unless they are of particular
interest to you. If you have earned no credits, it serves as a reminder
to make CLE course scheduling a priority in the upcoming year. It
also gives you another opportunity to send in a password for the online
7. How many of my Enhanced Ethics credits can I earn by video
replay or self-study?
are required. While your total credits are limited in certain categories
such as monitored video replay or self-study, these ratio limits do
not apply specifically to your Enhanced Ethics requirement. Therefore,
if you have a requirement of 24 credits, including 4 Enhanced Ethics
credits, you may earn up to 12 credits by self-study, of which 6 may
be audio-only such as telephone seminars. All 4 of your required Enhanced
Ethics credits may be earned through telephone seminars, online seminars,
or video replay. Limits on the way you may earn credits apply only
to the total amount; limits on "half the minimum requirement"
do not apply specifically to the Enhanced Ethics requirement as well.
8. I earned excess Enhanced Ethics last reporting period. Can
I use them as carryover?
Enhanced Ethics credits. The 4 Enhanced Ethics credits must be earned
during each two-year period and do not carry over as Enhanced Ethics.
However, you are not penalized by earning more than 4 hours in Enhanced
Ethics - they do stay part of your total credits, which carry over
to the following two-year period.
9. What's the most carryover I can have?
have a requirement of 24 credits, you can carry over up to 20 credits
to the following period (the Enhanced Ethics credits must be new each
period). If you are a senior attorney and have a requirement of 12
credits, the most you can carry over is 10. If you are a newly admitted
attorney or an attorney resuming active practice, your requirements
are one-time-only and you may carry over 20 to the following period
(unless you are resuming practice and will be considered a senior
attorney after that requirement is satisfied; then the most you can
carry forward is 10). CLE Rules have recently
been clarified on this point.
Courses and Activities
- How do I know if a course I took or want to take
- What if I attend a seminar not previously approved
by the Commission?
- How do I make sure my credits are reported to the
- What if I forget to sign out of a seminar? What
if I forget to write down my ID number?
- How do I get credit for teaching, pro bono, or something
else I did?
- What is self-study? Can I get credit for listening
to tapes at home? What about the teleconference I attended last
- Can I get credit for a seminar my firm is holding?
1. How do I know if a course I took or want to take is approved?
both sponsors and individual programs. We will approve the program as long
as it meets our Rules - if the topic is in an area such as stress
management or business development, contact the Commission to determine actual approval status. Please refer to the program catalog at www.decle.org for approved courses.
Important: The above information applies only to live programs.
All self-study programs must be approved through the same process,
regardless of provider status. We consider self-study
programs to be any organized program of learning in which the provider's
representative is not physically present with the attorney as the
educational activity is underway.
2. What if I attend a course not previously approved by the Commission?
when you register, or at least when you attend, that you want Delaware
credit. If the provider does not want to apply for Delaware credit,
you will still have to do so in order to receive credit. Complete
the Form 4 application so that the Commission
can review the program and assign credits. Form 4 should be completed
after the seminar so you can attach a final agenda and attendance
certificate and properly answer all questions about the format of
the seminar. However, if you require approval in advance, you may
complete the Form 4 application before attending the seminar. You
may need provider assistance in completing certain areas of the form
(information about written materials or program format), and after
attending, you will have to submit a copy of your attendance certificate
so credit can be posted to your Transcript. Be sure to apply for
credit as soon as possible after you have completed the activity so
that your Transcript will always reflect the most accurate information.
Since the reporting period ends before the Transcript is finalized, if you do not apply for credit for activities on a timely
basis, it will affect your compliance status.
3. How do I make sure my credits are reported to the Commission?
the instructions of the program provider at each seminar. This will
usually require signing in at the program on a list at the
door so they can track your attendance. However, some providers, particularly
those of larger seminars with many concurrent sessions, have obtained
approval of other attendance maintenance records, so if you do not
see a sign-in sheet, be sure to ask. You may be required to turn in
a program evaluation at the end of each session, or complete and submit
a two-part form verified by the provider. Always supply your Delaware
Supreme Court identification number on all paperwork, and for out-of-state
seminars, be sure to request Delaware credit so they know to send
us the records.
4. What if I forget
to write down my ID number?
the program sponsor so that they can amend their records. According
to the sponsor's policy, you may not receive full credit. If you do
not write down your ID number or write down the wrong number, you
will not receive credit; your name may not be legible, or it may be
the same as someone else's, so the Commission will not be able to
ensure credit. If you write down the wrong number, someone else may
receive your credit by accident.
5. How do I get credit for teaching, pro bono, or something else
approves a number of forms of non-attendance credit. All work must
be unpaid. You may receive credit for teaching or moderating a CLE
course or teaching to law students; for authoring works of scholarly
writing circulated to at least 300 lawyers; for writing and grading
questions for the Board of Bar Examiners; for participating on committees
that seek improvements in the law or administration of justice; and
for performing uncompensated legal work assigned by specific Delaware
agencies or courts. See our forms page to
complete and submit the appropriate application for review, or, preferably, submit forms through online process.
6. What is eCLE? Can I get credit for listening to tapes
at home? What about the teleconference I attended last week?
is any activity where the provider is not physically present with
the attorney as the educational activity is underway. This includes
telephone and online courses, as well as tapes at home. Self-study
programs must be organized programs of learning, so reading books
for credit will not qualify. Providers must be able to provide independent
verification of the attorney's identification and participation, so
tests or electronic monitoring may be involved. Due to the newness
of this area and the extensive technology usually involved, only providers
may apply for Commission approval of a program, and application must
be made at least 60 days in advance to allow ample time for Commission
review. Therefore, attorneys interested in completing self-study courses
for credit must choose only from the Commission's list of approved
self-study courses. If you attended a course before the provider
sought credit, you will not be able to receive any credit for that
7. Can I get credit for a seminar my firm is holding?
approve closed, in-house programs for credit. The seminar must be
approved by the Commission, and the firm must agree to abide by all
the rules for providers, but there are no other restrictions for in-house
programs. Attorneys may not earn more than half their credits per
period through this means of instruction. The firm should apply following
the instructions on the providers' page, or the attorney may apply
for approval of individual credit using the Form 4 application. A
completed Form 10 application must be attached to either application,
and for the provider to receive credit, they must maintain attendance
records in accordance with our requirements.
- I also have to do credits for Pennsylvania. Do I
still have to do Delaware credits?
- What if I change to active? What if I'm inactive
and want to return to practice?
- What is the Fundamentals requirement?
- Can I be exempted from the Fundamentals requirement?
- Do courses I take in New Jersey count towards my
- How do I find courses to satisfy the Fundamentals
requirement? Can they be done by self-study or video replay?
- What if I don't complete the Fundamentals requirement
within four years of admission? Can I get an extension?
1. I also have to do CLE for Pennsylvania. Do I still have to
do credits for Delaware?
primarily practice in Pennsylvania*, and if you are licensed to practice
in Pennsylvania and required to complete CLE for Pennsylvania, you
need only certify on the Delaware Transcript that you are compliant
in Pennsylvania and need not worry about Delaware's specific credit
requirements. * - "Primary Practice" refers to the address you maintain
on record with the Supreme Court through filing of your annual registration
statements. The same rule applies to all other mandatory continuing
legal education states. This does not exempt you from the Fundamentals
requirement, only from the general credit requirement. If you primarily
practice in Maryland, New Jersey, Washington, D. C., or another jurisdiction
where CLE is not mandatory, you must still satisfy Delaware requirements.
If your Transcript is randomly selected for audit and you have certified
that you are compliant with the requirements in your primary jurisdiction,
you may be required to submit proof of compliance to the Commission.
If, however, you primarily practice in Delaware, then you still have
to meet Delaware requirements, regardless of the other states in which
you may be admitted. Please note: for this exemption to be
claimed, it must apply during the entire two-year reporting period.
During that time, the attorney must not have changed addresses outside
the state in which the exemption is claimed, the attorney may not
have been admitted to that state at some time during that two-year
period, etc. The intent of the exemption rule is merely to
save the attorney the burden of filing the paperwork to seek Delaware
approval for all the out-of-state courses as most states' MCLE requirements
are nearly the same. Therefore, the attorney who does not qualify
for the exemption may still not have to do any CLE specifically for
Delaware if the attorney files the paperwork to seek approval for
each individual course attended.
2. What if I change from inactive to active? What if I'm inactive
and want to return to practice?
exempt from CLE during your time of inactivity. If you come back to
active practice, your requirement will be prorated based upon the
point in your reporting cycle when you became inactive, and the point
in your reporting cycle when you returned to active status. In addition,
if you owed late fees to the Commission at the time you opted for
inactive status, you must pay these fees in order to resume active
practice. The Commission will contact you in writing upon receipt
of the Supreme Court Clerk's letter to you confirming your new active
status. If you are near a reporting deadline and have ample credits
to meet the compliance requirement for that deadline, you should report
compliance before changing to inactive, as this will decrease the
number of credits due when you return to practice.
3. What is the Fundamentals requirement?
requirement is a series of courses in basic legal skills required
of all Recently Admitted Attorneys who passed the Delaware Bar Examination
in 2004 or earlier. An attorney must take three of the courses within
four years of admission. Fundamentals of Lawyer-Client Relations is
required; the other two may be chosen among: Fundamentals of Civil
Litigation, Fundamentals of Will Drafting and Estate Administration,
Fundamentals of Family Law, and Fundamentals of Real Estate. At
this time the Delaware State Bar Association is the only provider of these courses. Attorneys who passed the
Delaware Bar Examination in 2005 or later are not required to complete
these courses as they are instead required to attend the mandatory
pre-admission conference in order to be sworn in to the Delaware Bar.
4. Can I be exempted from the Fundamentals requirement?
requirement must be satisfied by all Recently Admitted Attorneys,
and CLE Rule 2(N) defines "Recently Admitted Attorney" as "every Attorney
who has been a member of the Bar of the Supreme Court for no more
than 4 years and who upon the Attorney's initial admission to the
Bar of the Supreme Court had, as the Attorney's principal occupation,
been actively engaged in the practice of law within the United States
or its territories for less than 5 years." Therefore, if you were
working as an attorney in another state for at least five years before
you were admitted to practice in Delaware, you need not complete the
Fundamentals courses. On very few occasions, the Commission has waived
the requirement for attorneys who changed to inactive status immediately
after admission and practiced in another state for at least five years
before returning to active practice in Delaware. No other exemptions
are allowed. Attorneys required to complete the Fundamentals courses
may not attend the pre-admission conference instead.
5. Do courses I take in New Jersey count towards my Fundamentals
Fundamentals programs must be those approved by the Commission to
deal with Delaware law. Courses you take to satisfy your Basic Legal
Skills requirements in New Jersey or other states may be approved
(via Form 4) towards your biannual requirement,
but cannot be applied to your Fundamentals requirement.
6. How do I find courses to satisfy the Fundamentals requirement?
Can they be done by self-study or video replay?
time, the Delaware State Bar Association is the only provider of Fundamentals courses. Be sure that you are
on their mailing list for upcoming program advertisements. The Commission
does not advertise any programs for providers, including the Fundamentals
programs. At this time, Fundamentals courses may not be completed
by self-study. Since there is no provision within the Rules for completing
the courses via a make-up plan after the four-year deadline, attorneys
may attend monitored video replays at the DSBA's office in order to
complete the credits before the deadline. This method of attendance
is strongly discouraged, as the interaction of a live seminar is a
more valuable learning experience than monitored video replay. Also,
since attorneys may only earn half the biannual minimum requirement
through this medium, attorneys attending all three Fundamentals courses
right before the deadline will not be able to receive credit for all
three towards their two-year requirement.
7. What if I don't complete the Fundamentals requirement within
four years of admission? Can I get an extension?
is no extension allowed by the Rules. If your completion of the Fundamentals
requirement is not reported on the CLE Transcript during the month
after the four-year deadline expires, you will receive a notice from
the Commission to request the date(s) on which you completed the courses.
If this notice is not returned by the response deadline, you will
receive a Notice of Noncompliance pursuant to CLE Rule 9(A)(1)(a),
giving you 20 days to respond. If you do not rectify the situation
by completing the courses via monitored video replay at the DSBA's
offices by that final deadline, the matter of noncompliance will be
referred to Disciplinary Counsel for review.