.1518 Continuing Legal Education Program
(a) Annual Requirement. Each active member subject to these rules shall complete 12 hours of approved continuing legal education during each calendar year beginning January 1, 1988, as provided by these rules and the regulations adopted thereunder.
Of the 12 hours:
(1) at least 2 hours shall be devoted to the areas of professional responsibility or professionalism or any combination thereof;
(2) at least 1 hour shall be devoted to technology training as defined in Rule .1501(c)(17) of this subchapter and further explained in Rule .1602(e) of this subchapter; and
(3) effective January 1, 2002, at least once every three calendar years, each member shall complete an hour of continuing legal education instruction on substance abuse and debilitating mental conditions as defined in Rule .1602 (a). This hour shall be credited to the annual 12-hour requirement but shall be in addition to the annual professional responsibility/professionalism requirement. To satisfy the requirement, a member must attend an accredited program on substance abuse and debilitating mental conditions that is at least one hour long.
(b) Carryover. Members may carry over up to 12 credit hours earned in one calendar year to the next calendar year, which may include those hours required by paragraph (a)(1) above. Additionally, a newly admitted active member may include as credit hours which may be carried over to the next succeeding year any approved CLE hours earned after that member's graduation from law school.
(c) Professionalism Requirement for New Members. Except as provided in paragraph (d)(1), each active member admitted to the North Carolina State Bar after January 1, 2011, must complete the North Carolina State Bar Professionalism for New Attorneys Program (PNA Program) in the year the member is first required to meet the continuing legal education requirements as set forth in Rule .1526(b) and (c) of this subchapter. CLE credit for the PNA Program shall be applied to the annual mandatory continuing legal education requirements set forth in paragraph (a) above.
(1) Content and Accreditation. The State Bar PNA Program shall consist of 12 hours of training in subjects designated by the State Bar including, but not limited to, professional responsibility, professionalism, and law office management. The chairs of the Ethics and Grievance Committees, in consultation with the chief counsel to those committees, shall annually establish the content of the program and shall publish the required content on or before January 1 of each year. To be approved as a PNA Program, the program must be provided by a sponsor registered under Rule .1603 of this subchapter and the a sponsor must satisfy the annual content requirements, and submit a detailed description of the program to the board for approval at least 45 days prior to the presentation. A registered sponsor may not advertise a PNA Program until approved by the board. PNA Programs shall be specially designated by the board and no program that is not so designated shall satisfy the PNA Program requirement for new members.
(2) Evaluation. To receive CLE credit for attending a PNA Program, the participant must complete a written evaluation of the program which shall contain questions specified by the State Bar. Sponsors shall collate the information on the completed evaluation forms and shall send a report showing the collated information, together with the original forms, to the State Bar when reporting attendance pursuant to Rule .1601(e)(1) of this subchapter.
(3) Timetable and Partial Credit. The PNA Program shall be presented in two six-hour blocks (with appropriate breaks) over two days. The six-hour blocks do not have to be attended on consecutive days or taken from the same provider; however, no partial credit shall be awarded for attending less than an entire six-hour block unless a special circumstances exemption is granted by the board. The board may approve an alternative timetable for a PNA program upon demonstration by the provider that the alternative timetable will provide an enhanced learning experience or for other good cause; however, no partial credit shall be awarded for attending less than the entire 12-hour program unless a special circumstances exemption is granted by the board.
(4) Online and Prerecorded Programs. The PNA Program may be distributed over the Internet by live web streaming (webcasting) but no part of the program may be taken online (via the Internet) on demand. The program may also be taken as a prerecorded program provided the requirements of Rule .1604(d) of this subchapter are satisfied and at least one hour of each six-hour block consists of live programming.
(d) Exemptions from Professionalism Requirement for New Members.
(1) Licensed in Another Jurisdiction. A member who is licensed by a United States jurisdiction other than North Carolina for five or more years prior to admission to practice in North Carolina is exempt from the PNA Program requirement and must notify the board of the exemption in the first annual report sent to the member pursuant to Rule .1522 of this subchapter.
(2) Inactive Status. A newly admitted member who is transferred to inactive status in the year of admission to the State Bar is exempt from the PNA Program requirement but, upon the entry of an order transferring the member back to active status, must complete the PNA Program in the year that the member is subject to the requirements set forth in paragraph (a) above unless the member qualifies for the exemption under paragraph (d)(1) of this rule.
(3) Exemptions Under Rule .1517. A newly admitted active member who qualifies for an exemption under Rule .1517 of this subchapter shall be exempt from the PNA Program requirement during the period of the Rule .1517 exemption. The member shall notify the board of the exemption in the first annual report sent to the member pursuant to Rule .1522 of this subchapter. The member must complete the PNA Program in the year the member no longer qualifies for the Rule .1517 exemption or the next calendar year unless the member qualifies for the exemption under paragraph (d)(1) of this rule.
(e) The board shall determine the process by which credit hours are allocated to lawyers' records to satisfy deficits. The allocation shall be applied uniformly to the records of all affected lawyers and may not be appealed by an affected lawyer.
History Note: Authority - Order of the North Carolina Supreme Court, October 7, 1987, 318 N.C. 711.
Readopted Effective December 8, 1994
Amendments Approved by the Supreme Court: February 12, 1997; December 30, 1998; March 3, 1999; November 6, 2001; October 1, 2003; March 11, 2010; August 25, 2011; March 6, 2014; March 5, 2015; June 9, 2016; April 5, 2018; September 20, 2018