CLE Frequently Asked Questions

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For Attorneys: CLE Requirements

When did the new Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (CLE) requirements take effect?

What does the new CLE and Ethics requirement consist of?

What is the HSBA doing to help members meet their CLE requirement?

For Judges: CLE Requirements

Does the annual CLE credit requirement apply to full-time judges?

If a judge retires or resigns from the bench and returns to active status, does the CLE requirement apply to them that year?

For New Admits to the Bar: CLE Requirements

I am a newly admitted member of the Bar electing active status, must I comply with the CLE requirement this year?

Qualifying Activities to meet CLE Requirements

What activities qualify for CLE or Ethics credit?

State Reciprocity Agreements

I am an active member of another state's Bar that also has a mandatory CLE credit requirement. Can those credits be used to satisfy Hawaii's CLE credit requirement?

Records: Certificates of Completion

How do I certify to the Bar the total number of CLE credits I completed during the calendar year?

How long must I keep my certificates of completion/attendance?

What if I have not earned 3 credit hours of CLE during the calendar year?

I completed a HSBA CLE program. Where can I find my Certificate of Completion?

I completed a third-party (non-HSBA ) CLE program. Does the HSBA keep records of my Certificate of Completion?

I completed a HSBA Section CLE program. Does the HSBA keep records of my Certificate of Completion?

Annual Credits: Computation

I am an active member of another state's Bar that also has a mandatory CLE credit requirement. Can those credits be used to satisfy Hawaii's CLE credit requirement?

If I will be earning CLE "catch up" credits this year to fulfill my requirement from last year, can I use these "catch up" credits towards my requirement this year?

CLE Compliance Audits

I've been selected for a CLE audit. What do I need to do?

I've been selected for a CLE audit, but all the CLE programs I completed were sponsored or co-sponsored by the HSBA. Do I still need to submit my certificates?

I have been suspended for not completing my CLE requirement or reporting my CLE credit hours for the calendar year. What must I do to be reinstated to active status with the Bar?

I have been suspended for not completing my CLE requirement or reporting my CLE credit hours for the calendar year. Is there a review or appeal process?

Change of status: CLE Requirements

I am an inactive member now electing active status. What are my CLE requirements?

I am currently an inactive member and plan to elect status. Can CLE credit I completed while on inactive status apply towards my CLE requirement for electing active status?


For Attorneys: CLE Requirements

When did the new mandatory Continuing Legal Education (CLE) requirements take effect?

Rule 22 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of the State of Hawaii (RSCH) took effect on January 1, 2010 and subsequently revised on January 1, 2015. Rule 22 requires that active members of the Bar complete at least 3 credit hours of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) during each annual reporting period, and at least once every 3 years every active member shall complete 1 hour of approved ethics or professional responsibility education.

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What does the new CLE and Ethics requirement consist of?

Continuing Legal Education or “CLE” is any legal educational activity or program that is designed to maintain or improve the professional competency of lawyers or to expand an appreciation and understanding of the ethical and professional responsibility of lawyers and is approved for credit by the Hawaii State Bar. RSCH Rule 22(a)


Ethics or Professional Responsibility Education means those courses or segments of courses devoted to:
RSCH Rule 22(b)

(1) The Rules of Professional Conduct;
(2) The professional obligations of the lawyer to the client, the judicial system, the public and other lawyers;

(3) Substance abuse and its effects on lawyers and the practice of law; or

(4) Client trust account administration, bias awareness and prevention, and access to justice.

 

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What is the HSBA doing to help members meet their CLE requirement?

The HSBA is committed to ensuring that members will be able to fulfill their CLE requirement. A variety of live CLE courses are offered, as well as convenient webcasts that can be purchased for a reasonable cost and viewed at any time online. For available HSBA programs, go to hsba.org and click on the HSBA CLEtab.

HSBA also accepts credits from HSBA Accredited Providers, approved programs held in HSBA Approved Jurisdiction’s and programs approved by the HSBA including third party provider programs.  


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For Judges: CLE Requirements

Does the annual CLE credit requirement apply to fulltime judges?

Full-time federal judges, magistrate judges, bankruptcy judges, U.S. Court of Federal Claims judges and administrative law judges are exempt from the annual CLE credit requirement. However, full time state judges shall participate for at least 3 hours each year in a program of judicial education approved by the Committee on Judicial Education.  Full-time state judges shall report the number of approved judicial education hours attended on the judges’ annual financial disclosure form. RSCH Rule 22(h)

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If a judge retires or resigns from the bench and returns to active status, does the CLE requirement apply to them that year?

Yes. The CLE requirement applies to all active attorneys. However, judicial education credits earned that year may be applied toward the annual CLE credit requirement.

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For New Admits to the Bar: CLE Requirements

I am a newly admitted member of the Bar electing active status, must I comply with the CLE requirement this year?

The CLE requirement is waived for the calendar year that a member is admitted to the Bar. However, pursuant to RSCH Rule 1.14, this waiver does not modify the requirement that you must complete the Hawaii Professionalism Course mandated by the Hawaii Supreme Court no later than December 31 of the following year of election of active status.


As an added bonus, upon completion of the Hawaii Professionalism Course you will earn 4.5 CLE credits, 3 of which may be carried over into the next year to be used towards your annual requirement.  
RSCH Rule 22(j)


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Qualifying Activities to meet CLE Requirements

What activities qualify for CLE credit?

(1)  Attending approved courses or activities, including but not limited to, presentations conducted in-house for Inns of Court, bar sections, professional legal organizations, and the like;

(2)  Preparing for and teaching approved professional education or judicial education courses or activities.  Two hours of preparation time may be certified or reported for each 50 minutes of time spent teaching, i.e. 3 hours may be claimed for teaching a 50 minute course;

(3)  Completing approved professional education courses or activities; and

(4)  Writing scholarly legal articles that comply with Regulation 3 of the Continuing Legal Education Regulations of the State Board of Continuing Legal Education and are published in a bar journal, law review, book, bar association or similarly recognized journal, or other legal publication may qualify for 2 credit hours per 1500 published words per year.  Rule 22(e)

 

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State Reciprocity Agreements

I am an active member of another state's Bar that also has a mandatory CLE credit requirement. Can those credits be used to satisfy Hawaii’s CLE credit requirement?

Yes, in the following ways:

(1)  HSBA Accredited Provider:  Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits or ethics/professionalism credits from courses/programs/seminars taken from preapproved HSBA Accredited Providers. A list of Accredited Providers may be found at hsba.org under the MCLE tab.

(2)  HSBA Approved Jurisdiction:  Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits or ethics/professionalism credits approved by an Approved HSBA Jurisdiction may translate to Hawaii as CLE and/or ethics credit to help satisfy the annual requirement. A list of Approved Jurisdictions may be found at hsba.org under the MCLE tab.

(3)  Attorney Application:  Members may also receive credit from courses/programs/seminars not previously approved from out of state, alternate formats, and other sources to satisfy Hawaii’s CLE requirement by submitting an Attorney Application for CLE Approval.  An attorney application can be found at hsba.org under the MCLE tab.

 

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Records: Certificates of Completion

How do I clarify to the Bar the total number of CLE credits I completed during the calendar year?

Each active Bar member shall certify on the annual registration form whether the member is in compliance to RSCH Rule 22 by reporting the number of approved credit hours of Continuing Legal Education completed in the previous year, including the specific number of hours of ethics or professional responsibility education, and shall maintain certification records for the three most recent reporting periods.  These records shall be subject to audit by the Hawaii State Bar.  Non-cooperation with an audit shall be deemed noncompliance with this Rule.  RSCH Rule 22(d)

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How long must I keep my certificates of completion/attendance?

You are required to maintain certification records for the three most recent reporting periods.  RSCH Rule 22(d)  

What if I have not earned 3 credit hours of CLE during the calendar year?

You will be given a certified notice with a short grace period to cure your noncompliance, in addition to a late compliance fee, after which you may be administratively suspended from practicing law until you fulfill your annual 3 CLE credit hour requirement for the 2016 reporting period.  RSCH Rule 17(d)(4)(B)

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I completed a HSBA CLE program. Where can I find my Certificate of Completion?

You may download and/or print duplicate copies of your Certificates from your CLE Classroom.

 

1.     Login to your HSBA Account, and go to your "My Account" page

2.     Click on the words "CLE Account" 

3.     Click the "CLE CLASSROOM" button to access your CLE classroom

4.     Click "I Agree"

5.     Click on "My Credit" on the right side of the website

 

For additional assistance, contact CLE@hsba.org


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I completed a third-party (non-HSBA ) CLE program. Does the HSBA keep records of my Certificate of Completion?

Certificates of Completion for third-party CLE programs are not maintained by the HSBA. If you complete a program that is not sponsored or co-sponsored by the HSBA and require a duplicate certificate, please contact the original provider.

 

You are required to maintain records of all CLE programs you complete, both HSBA and third-party programs, for a minimum of 3 years. RSCH Rule 22(d)


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I completed a HSBA Section CLE program. Does the HSBA keep records of my Certificate of Completion?

CLE programs solely sponsored by HSBA Sections are considered third-party CLE programs, and therefore their Certificates of Completion are not maintained by the HSBA. If you complete a program solely sponsored by a HSBA Section and require a duplicate certificate, please contact the HSBA Section.

 

You are required to maintain records of all CLE programs you complete, both HSBA and third-party programs, for a minimum of 3 years. RSCH Rule 22(d)


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Annual Credits: Computation

I am an active member of another state's Bar that also has a mandatory CLE credit requirement. Can those credits be used to satisfy Hawaii’s CLE credit requirement?

Yes, in the following ways:

(1)  HSBA Accredited Provider:  Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits or ethics/professionalism credits from courses/programs/seminars taken from preapproved HSBA Accredited Providers. A list of Accredited Providers may be found at hsba.org under the MCLE tab.

(2)  HSBA Approved Jurisdiction:  Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits or ethics/professionalism credits approved by an Approved HSBA Jurisdiction may translate to Hawaii as CLE and/or ethics credit to help satisfy the annual requirement. A list of Approved Jurisdictions may be found at hsba.org under the MCLE tab.

(3)  Attorney Application:  Members may also receive credit from courses/programs/seminars not previously approved from out of state, alternate formats, and other sources to satisfy Hawaii’s CLE requirement by submitting an Attorney Application for CLE Approval.  An attorney application can be found at hsba.org under the MCLE tab.

 

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If I will be earning CLE "catch up" credits this year to fulfill my requirement from last year, can I use these "catch up" credits towards my requirement this year?

No. You must complete additional credits to fulfill your annual requirement for this year. 

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CLE Compliance Audits

I've been selected for a CLE audit. What do I need to do?

You are required to submit to the HSBA proof that at least 3 CLE and/or Ethics credit hours earned in the reporting period that is being audited. Proof may be submitted in the form of the Certificates of Completion you receive from the CLE programs you attend. RSCH Rule 22(d)


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I've been selected for a CLE audit, but all the CLE programs I completed were sponsored or co-sponsored by the HSBA. Do I still need to submit my certificates?

Yes. You are required to maintain records of your 3 most recent reporting periods and these records are subject to audit. RSCH Rule 22(d)


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I have been suspended for not completing my CLE requirement or reporting my CLE credit hours for the calendar year. What must I do to be reinstated to active status with the Bar?


To be reinstated you must:
RSCH Rule 17(d)(5)(B)

 

(1)  Prove that you have completed your CLE requirements by submitting certificate(s) of attendance/completion showing at least 3 CLE credit hours, including 1 ethics credit hour;

(2)  Submit the reinstatement fee; and

(3)  Pay all other required fees and dues, including a late compliance fee pursuant to the CLE Fee Schedule.


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I have been suspended for not completing my CLE requirement or reporting my CLE credit hours for the calendar year. Is there a review or appeal process?

Yes. You may petition the Hawaii Supreme Court for review of the HSBA's determination that you failed to complete your CLE requirement, or that the notice of the noncompliance was issued to you erroneously. However, a petition to the Supreme Court will not stay the effective date of your suspension.

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Change of status: CLE Requirements

I am an inactive member now electing active status. What are my CLE requirements?

You are required to complete and report to the HSBA 3 hours of approved CLE, including 1 hour of approved ethics or professional responsibility education, within 3 months of electing active status. Proof also requires submission of a signed CLE Certification form (available online at hsba.org under the MCLE tab) with the certificate of completion/attendance. RSCH Rule 22(i)


The Hawaii State Board of Continuing Legal Education has interpreted RSCH Rule 22(i) to apply to the election of active status from an inactive status (i.e. inactive voluntary, inactive pro-bono, suspended, etc.)


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I am currently an inactive member and plan to elect status. Can CLE credit I completed while on inactive status apply towards my CLE requirement for electing active status?

Yes. The Hawaii State Board of Continuing Legal Education has interpreted RSCH Rule 22(i) to allow for CLE and Ethics credit earned no earlier than 3 months prior to electing active status to also be applicable towards the CLE requirement for electing active status.

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For MCLE related inquiries please contact:


Blaine Kawakami
MCLE Administrator
Hawaii State Bar Association 
(808) 792-7348
bkawakami@hsba.org