CLE: Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is CLER?
CLER, or Continuing Legal Education Requirement, was adopted by the Supreme Court of Florida in 1988 and requires all members of The Florida Bar to continue their legal education.
2. What is the requirement?
Over a 3 year period, each member must complete 30 hours, 5 of which are in the area of ethics, professionalism, substance abuse, or mental illness awareness.
3. How can a program apply for CLER?
If interested in obtaining CLER accreditation for your program, please email email@example.com. The Events Office must receive a request 8 weeks prior to the event to avoid incurring extra rush and late fees.
4. How long does it take to obtain CLER credit(s)?
It takes 6-8 weeks to receive a CLER course code. There are options for rushing the process for a fee.
5. What is required from a department to apply for CLER?
Department will need to submit the following to the Events Office in order to apply for CLER.
* Program flyer or brochure
* Program Schedule
* Speaker List & BIOs
* A clear description of the program topic
* The departmental account number to charge for fees incurred
6. How many credits can a program expect to receive?
The Florida Bar grants 1 credit for every 50 minutes of presentation.
7. How can a program obtain Ethics credit(s), and is it important?
Ethics credits difficult to obtain and therefore very sought after. Florida Bar Ethics Credit topics include: Rules of Professional Conduct, Trust Accounting Rules, Advertising Rules, Attorney-Client Privilege, Attorneys’ Fees, Unethical Discovery Tactics, Electronic Discovery, Conflicts Involving Attorneys Changing Firms, Grievance, Malpractice.
To include an ethics component to a program, please visit the page Standing Policies of the Board of Legal Specialization and Education at The Florida Bar site and see 500 Course Approval - 5.04 COURSE AND CREDIT APPROVAL
8. What if materials are submitted late?
For an additional fee, an application can be rushed, however that does not guarantee that it will be approved prior to the event taking place.
9. Is an account number necessary to apply for CLER?
10. Is there a fee to apply for CLER?
Yes, fees vary. For a program that is free of charge for registrants, the application fee is $45. If charging guests a fee to attend, the cost is $150. There is an additional $75 for late applications, and $75 if a course code is needed within 10 business days.
11. How long does it take from the date of submission the CLER to receive a course code?
6-4 weeks, unless rush fees have been paid.
12. Is a sign in sheet required for attendees?
13. Is a certificate of completion required for attendees?
Not for Florida attorneys, however some out of state attorneys may request one.
14. Can guests be charged for CLER Credit?
15. What happens if a course code is not received PRIOR to my event?
If the course code is not received prior to the event, registrants can be logged and sent the course code once it is received.
16. Can one advertise CLER credits on marketing materials before receiving a course code?
Yes and no. It is not permitted to advertise that a program has been approved for CLER credits, but the following language may be included: “Florida Bar general CLE credits pending approval”
17. What are common questions an attendee may ask?
a. How do I receive CLE credit for a program not previously approved for credit?
Members may request CLE credit for attending or completing a program by submitting an application for course attendance credit. The completed application(s) may be submitted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or fax at 850/561-9421. See CLE Applications
b. Will I receive notice advising me that my reporting period is ending?
At least three months prior to the end of your reporting cycle, you will receive an email notifying you of your reporting requirements.
c. How do I post CLE credit for an approved CLE program?
You will need to report your completed courses online. See Post CLE Credits
d. What happens if I do not complete the required hours?
You run the risk of being deemed a delinquent member which prohibits you from engaging in the practice of Florida law.
e. Are there any exemptions from CLER?
Rule 6-10.3(c) lists all valid exemptions. They are:
1) Active military service
2) Undue hardship (upon approval by the BLSE)
3) Nonresident membership (see rule for details)
4) Full-time federal judiciary
5) Justices of the Supreme Court of Florida and judges of district, circuit and county courts
6) Inactive members of The Florida Bar
f. Other than attending approved CLE courses, how may I earn credit hours?
Credit may be earned by:
1) Lecturing at an approved CLE program
2) Serving as a workshop leader or panel member
3) Writing and publishing in a professional publication or journal
4) Teaching (graduate law or law school courses)
5) University attendance (graduate law or law school courses)
g. How may I find information on CLE programs sponsored by The University of Miami?
A list of CLE programs can be found on the University of Miami website.
h. Will out-of-state CLE hours count toward CLER?
Courses approved by other state bars are generally acceptable for use toward satisfying CLER. The completed application(s) may be submitted via email at email@example.com or fax at 850/561-9421. See Applications for Credit