Notice Regarding CLE Compliance Date:
The CLE reporting period ends on December 31 of the applicable year (even year deadline for even year admittees and odd year deadline for odd year admittees).
An email will be sent on February 1 regarding the process for review and verification of the online transcript through the Delaware Supreme Court's Lawyer Management System (www.desclms.org). NO paper transcripts are issued.
Any required make-up plan must be submitted with the transcript verification. Submitted make-up plans must be completed by April 30 and reported by May 15.
*NOTE: Programs formerly designated as "Self-Study" will now be designated at "eCLE"
Most attorneys have a biannual requirement of 24 credit hours due every two years. The Rules provide exceptions for senior attorneys, attorneys resuming active practice after a period of inactivity, and newly admitted attorneys who are not admitted during the month of December. However, these exceptions comprise only approximately 5% of all active attorneys and judges. If an attorney was admitted in an even-numbered year, credits are always due to be completed by December 31 of every even-numbered year; odd-numbered year admissions complete credit by December 31 of every odd-numbered year. Of the 24 credits, one-sixth, or 4 credits, must be earned in Enhanced Ethics.
Attorneys earn credits primarily from attending traditional courses of instruction held by organizations which exist to educate attorneys and other professionals. However, attorneys may earn credit in many other ways, but such forms of credit are limited to various amounts within the Rules. Other forms of approved attendance include in-house programs, monitored video replay and technologically-delivered eCLE coursework. Attorneys may receive credit, upon application, for activities such as teaching CLE courses, performing pro bono work, writing and publishing works of knowledge requiring substantial research in the law, and serving on approved organizations which seek to improve the administration of justice.
Attorneys bear the responsibility of finding coursework which interests them and which will meet their CLE obligation. The Court’s Lawyer Management System can assist with the process by providing attorneys a listing of individually approved programs and approved eCLE activities (see the Program Catalog tab at www.desclms.org). If an attorney attends a traditional program not approved by this office, or participates in an activity as described above, the attorney may apply for credit by completing the appropriate application form and submitting it to the Commission with the necessary materials for review.
When attorneys attend approved courses, the provider maintains a record of attendance which includes each attorney's name, Delaware Supreme Court identification number, and actual credit earned. Attorneys should remember their identification number and follow all providers' instructions for recording attendance. After the seminar, the provider gives the attorney a certificate of attendance and sends a copy of the attendance list to the Commission.
Each February, the Commission will notify each attorney that an online transcript is available for final review of credits on record. This Transcript will include carryover credits from the attorney's last reporting period, credits reported by providers of approved courses, and credits approved through attorneys' applications for credit. If the attorney's compliance deadline has just passed, the attorney must verify the Transcript to the Commission no later than March 31 of the reporting year (the year following the attorney's December 31 compliance deadline), making any changes necessary. If the attorney's compliance deadline has not passed, the attorney need not take any action unless changes are necessary.
While the Commission's Transcript system gives attorneys much assistance in maintaining a record of their credits, it is still the attorney's responsibility to confirm and correct information shown. The attorney should retain a certificate of attendance from every program attended to compare to the annual Transcript. Updated information is posted as received and is available online at www.desclms.orgallowing attorneys to review posted credit on an ongoing basis.
Attorneys should remember that the online Transcripts are not considered accurate or complete until the attorney verifies the Transcript every two years. Errors occur when attorneys write down an incorrect bar identification number, sign in, providers fail to report credits earned, or attorneys attend courses not previously approved by the Commission. The Transcript is intended only to assist attorneys in reporting their credits to the Commission, not serve as a report from the Commission to the attorney.
Continuing Legal Education is mandatory for all attorneys and judges, and the Commission which oversees the requirement is an arm of the Supreme Court. Attorneys will face financial penalties and possible disciplinary action if they do not complete and report credits earned within the proscribed deadlines. The Commission will provide assistance whenever possible in understanding the requirement or meeting the deadlines. If you still have questions after reading the information on this page and the Frequently Asked Questions, please contact Arms_CLE@delaware.gov.
Especially for newly admitted attorneys:
When attorneys are admitted to the Supreme Court of Delaware, the Clerk of the Supreme Court notifies the Commission of the attorney's name, address, identification number and date of admission.
Attorneys admitted in the December admission ceremony have a 24-credit requirement due by December 31 of the year which is two years following admission (see the first paragraph above in general information).
The CLE requirement for a newly admitted attorney begins on January 1st of the year after which he/she is admitted to the Delaware bar. As to any attorney admitted after December 1, 2015, within four years of the start of the attorney’s CLE requirement (i.e., two compliance periods) the attorney MUST attend the following seven Fundamentals programs, available only through the Delaware State Bar Association: (1) Fundamentals of Lawyer-Client Relations; (2) Fundamentals of Family Law; (3) Fundamentals of Real Estate; (4) Fundamentals of Civil Litigation; (5) Fundamentals of Will Drafting and Estate Administration; (6) Fundamentals of Law Practice Management and Technology; and (7) Fundamentals of Criminal Law and Procedure. Attendance at these programs shall be credited towards the attorney’s minimum continuing legal education requirements for the compliance period. The Fundamentals requirement is in addition to the required attendance at the Court’s Pre-Admission Conference prior to being admitted to the Delaware Bar.
Newly Admitted Attorneys may not receive CLE credit for programs attended prior to admission to the Delaware Bar, with the exception of the Pre-Admission Conference. Credit is not granted for courses taken in preparation for any other bar examination. However, attorneys satisfying credit requirements for newly admitted attorneys in other jurisdictions may apply for approval of those credits towards their Delaware CLE obligation.
Especially for law firm CLE Coordinators and Assistants:
Some large law firms employ support staff to assist their attorneys with meeting the CLE obligations, and the Commission is happy to work with such staff to meet this common goal. The Executive Director of the Commission is available for presentations or consultations on how to assist attorneys in understanding and meeting the CLE requirements. If your law firm has hired you to coordinate CLE for your firm's attorneys, or if you are new to understanding your attorney's Delaware CLE requirements, please contact Arms_CLE@delaware.gov.
Commission on Continuing Legal Education of the Supreme Court of Delaware
The Renaissance Centre
405 North King Street, Suite 500
Wilmington, DE 19801