Commission Letterhead

Policy Statement on Education on Substance Abuse Course Content

The following policy statement on substance abuse instruction was established by the Commission on Continuing Legal Education at its meeting on October 4, 2005. Please contact Margot Millar, Executive Director, with any questions, at (302) 577-7040 or

The Commission will consider awarding credit to courses which address substance abuse. For Enhanced Ethics credit to be considered, the program should deal specifically with issues of ethics and professionalism, including but not limited to competence, confidentiality, supervision and disability. Substantive credit will be considered for other topics, such as substance abuse awareness, impairment, and intervention, with some restrictions. The Commission will not approve provider applications for courses with a personal orientation to the attendee, such as detecting substance abuse in a friend or performing an intervention for a family member. However, as with all denied applications, an attorney who attends such a course and who can demonstrate relevance to the attorney's practice of law, may receive individual credit from the Commission. Similarly, an attorney may request Enhanced Ethics credit for substance abuse courses taken to further the attorney's service to the Court or Bar, for instance, as a member of the Professional Guidance Committee. Recommended speakers for courses in this area include those who are personally involved with attorney substance abuse issues, such as disciplinary counsel, or lawyers previously sanctioned for substance abuse problems.

Attorneys who wish to receive credit for a denied program on the basis that it is relevant to the practice of law must contact the Commission in writing. Members of the Professional Guidance Committee need not establish relevance to the practice of law, although they may wish to contact the Commission to determine whether a program has been reviewed if credit is not automatically posted to their Transcripts.