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.1520 Requirements for Program Approval

Note: The following regulations of the Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Program were amended by the North Carolina Supreme Court on June, 14, 2023, and October 18, 2023. The new regulations will not be enforced until March 1, 2024.

The former text of the CLE regulations can be found on this page

(a) Approval. CLE programs may be approved upon the application of a sponsor or an active member on an individual program basis. An application for such CLE program approval shall meet the following requirements:

(1) The application shall be submitted in the manner directed by the Board.

(2) The application shall contain all information requested by the Board and include payment of any required application fees.

(3) The application shall be accompanied by a program outline or agenda that describes the content in detail, identifies the teachers, lists the time devoted to each topic, and shows each date and location at which the program will be offered.

(4) The application shall disclose the cost to attend the program, including any tiered costs,

(5) The application shall include a detailed calculation of the total CLE hours requested, including whether any hours satisfy one of the requirements listed in Rules .1518(b) and .1518(d) of this Subchapter, and Rule 1.15-2(s)(3) of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

(b) Program Application Deadlines and Fee Schedule.

(1) Program Application and Processing Fees. Program applications submitted by sponsors shall comply with the deadlines and Fee Schedule set by the Board and approved by the Council, including any additional processing fees for late or expedited applications.

(2) Free Programs. Sponsors offering programs without charge to all attendees, including non-members of any membership organization, shall pay a reduced application fee.

(3) Member Applications. Members may submit a program application for a previously unapproved out of state, in-person program after the program is completed, accompanied by a reduced application fee. On-demand program applications must be submitted by the program sponsor.

(4) On-Demand CLE Programs. Approved on-demand programs are valid for three years. During this initial three-year term, sponsors shall pay an annual renewal fee each year in the amount set by the Board. After the initial three-year term, programs may be approved annually in a manner approved by the Board that includes a certification that the program content continues to meet the accreditation standards in Rule .1519 and the payment of a program recertification fee.

(5) Repeat Programs. Sponsors seeking approval for a program, or portion of a program, that was previously approved by the Board within the same CLE year (March 1 through the end of February) shall pay a reduced application fee.

(c) Program Quality and Materials. The application and materials provided shall reflect that the program to be offered meets the requirements of Rule .1519 of this Subchapter. Sponsors and active members seeking credit for an approved program shall furnish, upon request of the Board, a copy of all materials presented and distributed at a CLE program. Any sponsor that expects to conduct a CLE program for which suitable materials will not be made available to all attendees may be required to show why materials are not suitable or readily available for such a program.

(d) Online and On-Demand CLE. The sponsor of an online or on-demand program must have an approved method for reliably and actively verifying attendance and reporting the number of credit hours earned by each participant. Applications for any online or on-demand program must include a description of the sponsor’s attendance verification procedure.

(e) Notice of Application Decision. Sponsors shall not make any misrepresentations concerning the approval of a program for CLE credit by the Board. The Board will provide notice of its decision on CLE program approval requests pursuant to the schedule set by the Board and approved by the Council. A program will be deemed approved if the notice is not timely provided by the Board pursuant to the schedule. This automatic approval will not operate if the sponsor contributes to the delay by failing to provide the complete information requested by the Board or if the Board timely notifies the sponsor that the matter has been delayed.

(f) Denial of Applications. Failure to provide the information required in the program application will result in denial of the program application. Applicants denied approval of a program may request reconsideration of such a decision by submitting a letter of appeal to the Board within 15 days of receipt of the notice of denial. The decision by the Board on an appeal is final.

(g) Attendance Records. Sponsors shall timely furnish to the Board a list of the names of all North Carolina attendees together with their North Carolina State Bar membership numbers in the manner and timeframe prescribed by the Board.

(h) Late Attendance Reporting. Absent good cause shown, a sponsor’s failure to timely furnish attendance reports pursuant to this rule will result in (i) a late reporting fee in an amount set by the Board and approved by the Council, and (ii) the denial of that sponsor’s subsequent program applications until the attendance is reported and the late fee is paid.

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 27, 2003; March 3, 2005; October 7, 2010; March 6, 2014; April 5, 2018; September 25, 2019; June 14, 2023; October 18, 2023

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