CLE Binge: 3 Last Minute Ways to Complete Your Hours

By Jenny Tsay, Esq. on January 16, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The CLE reporting period is here again and lawyers are scrambling to find last minute courses to attend.

Depending on your jurisdiction, you may be safe this year, but several states schedule their reporting periods right after the new year. For instance, in California, lawyers in Group 3 with last names in the N-Z range need to report their CLE hours to the state bar before February 3, 2014.

For those who need to fill up their CLE hours in one sitting or just want to get it over with, here are three last minute ways to complete your CLE hours.

1. Attend live CLE marathons. If you continue to receive daily emails from your local bar associations or groups, you've probably seen advertisements for CLE marathons. CLE marathons are all day events that include two to four sessions and can sometimes cover a good chunk of your reporting period requirements. Check with your local bar association for more information on last minute CLE marathons. You know, like a House marathon on USA, but less fun.

2. Go to legal association conferences. Legal conferences can be seen as CLE retreats or even a mini-vacation for lawyers who want to check off the majority or all of their hours in a few days. CLE conferences usually take place at a swanky hotel and feature high-profile speakers, like judges, academics, and respected lawyers. They usually last for a few days and can offer 40 CLE sessions. CLE retreats are a great way to nab all of your hours and a tan.

3. Self-study using online courses. There are literally hundreds of online providers of CLE courses. Self-study is a good option for people who like to set their own schedules. These courses can be viewed on-demand and some are available as a live webcast. Either way, this option will allow you to complete your last minute CLEs in your pajamas. Score!

For lawyers who are still unable to complete CLE requirements by the deadline, most states allow you to ask for an extension. For New Yorkers, you can submit an extension form to the CLE board. If granted, your compliance period will be extended by 90 days. The stress of completing last minute CLEs is not ideal, so try to plan accordingly for the next period.

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