Continuing Legal Education (CLE)


Contact Laura Brockington for questions about CLE planning and credit.

In addition to the degree programs for law students, Duke Law School offers conferences, symposia, and other events throughout the academic year to attorneys as a way to fulfill their Continuing Legal Education requirements.  These events and courses cover topics addressed by leading experts, and provide an engaging way for attorneys to keep current on new laws, cases, and trends in a variety of practice fields.

Information for Duke Law Student Groups, Centers, and Offices Hosting a CLE Event

Most conferences and symposia presented by journals and other student groups, as well as Duke Law Centers and Offices, qualify for Continuing Legal Education credit for attending attorneys, as well as for those attorneys participating as speakers or panelists.  In addition to offering CLE credit for live presentations at Duke Law School, online CLE programs also are provided through West LegalEd Center.  For the online webcasts, West handles multi-state accreditation and marketing, while Duke Law provides the program content.

To obtain CLE accreditation for live talks, conferences, symposia, and workshops

  1. Apply for CLE accreditation to the North Carolina Board of Continuing Legal Education 50 days prior to the date of the event using the Accredited Sponsor’s Application for CLE Credit form.  Provide as much documentation as possible, particularly for ethics credit, and be sure to include a timed agenda, a list of the presenters and their biographies, a synopsis of the event, and materials to be handed out.  Note that the NC Board of CLE uses the times listed on the agenda to determine the number of CLE credit hours to award.
  2. At the event, collect the names and bar numbers from attending attorneys on the Report of Attendance form.
  3. Provide a Partial Credit Certification form for those who did not attend the entire presentation.
  4. Provide a Uniform Certificate of Attendance to attorney attendees seeking CLE credit from states other than North Carolina.
  5. Provide a Uniform Application for Accreditation to attorney attendees seeking CLE credit from other states. (In most cases, Duke Law does not seek accreditation in states other than North Carolina, so the attorney seeking CLE credit in the foreign jurisdiction must assume that responsibility.)
  6. Provide an Application for Teaching Credit to those presenters who request it.
  7. After the event, submit the Report of Attendance form and payment to the State Bar.

To obtain CLE accreditation for West’s online, webcast CLE programs

  1. For live webcasts through West LegalEd Center
    • File for accreditation with the NC Board of Continuing Legal Education 50 days before the event.
    • Submit written materials (speaker biographies, agendas, papers, outlines, PowerPoints, handouts) and West’s Live Webcast Submission Template to the West LegalEd representative 30 days before the event; also send copies to the Duke Law Coordinator of CLE.
    • Send a request to Duke Law’s Media Services to tape the presentation.
    • Notify Media Services and the Duke Law Coordinator of CLE about the webcast.
    • Obtain a signed release from all presenters and moderators.
    • Designate a student to monitor a webpage for comments and questions from West registrants during the event.
  2. For on-demand CLE
    • On-demand CLE is created automatically following a live webcast.
    • If a live webcast is not offered, make sure the presentation will be taped and send copies of all written materials to the Coordinator of Continuing Legal Education.

Information for Staff Assistants Seeking CLE Credit on Behalf of Professors, Adjuncts, and Lecturers

Please select from the forms listed below to assist your professor in filing for North Carolina CLE credit.  If your professor is seeking CLE credit in a state other than North Carolina, please review the document “How to Receive CLE Credit for this Program” to ascertain the CLE requirements in other jurisdictions.  Provide your professor with the Uniform Certificate of Attendance and the Uniform Application for Accreditation.  If your professor is applying for teaching credit, note that the manner in which teaching credit is calculated varies greatly from state to state. 

CLE Forms (forthcoming)

The following forms and documents are available through Duke Law’s Coordinator of Continuing Legal Education and should be used when applying for accreditation, as well as during and after the event:

  • Accredited Sponsor’s Application for CLE Credit (to be used for the NC Board of CLE)
  • Fax Transmission Cover Sheet for Accreditation Materials
  • Report of Attendance at a CLE Program
  • Attendance Fee Payment Agreement
  • Certificate of Attendance (for attendees seeking NC CLE credit)
  • Teacher’s Application for CLE Credit
  • Partial Credit Certification Form
  • Uniform Certificate of Attendance (for out-of-state CLE requests)
  • Uniform Application for Accreditation (for out-of-state CLE requests)
  • “How to Receive CLE Credit for this Program” (a state-by-state guide to applying and receiving CLE credit in jurisdictions outside North Carolina)
  • West LegalEd’s Live Webcast Submission Template

Frequently Asked Questions for Conference/Event Planners:

I would like to offer a live webcast of my event.  Who do I contact?

You will need to contact and coordinate with three groups – Duke Law’s Continuing Legal Education Coordinator, WestLegalEd (the online provider), and Duke Law’s Media Services.  Duke Law’s CLE Coordinator will work with you to ensure you have the necessary forms and documentation required to submit to WestLegalEd, and will help you with questions regarding coordinating both with WestLegalEd and Media Services. 

Help! I applied for accreditation, have not heard back from the North Carolina CLE Board, and my event starts tomorrow.  What do I do?

First, contact the State Bar CLE Board and inquire about the status of your event.  Then, if you do not receive a prompt response from the CLE Board, and if you have the time, indicate on the written materials that the event is being held “Accreditation Pending”.  Inform the attendees before the event begins that the event is being held with accreditation pending.

I am helping a professor at Duke Law School plan a CLE course in another state.  To which state CLE Board should I apply for accreditation?

First, check to determine if that state will accept a CLE course approved by the North Carolina CLE Board.  Next, apply to the North Carolina CLE Board so that all North Carolina attorneys who attend can receive credit.  Then, if you anticipate that a significant number of attorneys from the state where you are holding the event will be attending, apply for accreditation to that state’s CLE Board as well.

Frequently Asked Questions for Attorneys:

What is the minimum amount of CLE credit I may receive for attending an event?

In North Carolina, you may receive partial credit for the portion that you attend, with a minimum of 15 minutes, or .25 hours of CLE credit.  For obtaining less credit than that offered by the course you are attending (for example, if the course is one hour long, and you attend 45 minutes), please use the Partial Certification Form.

How do I get CLE credit in North Carolina for events I attend at Duke Law School?

At the CLE-accredited event, you will be asked to provide your signature and bar number as a record of your attendance.  We will file this record of your attendance with the NC State Bar CLE Board.  In addition, after the program concludes, we will provide you with a certificate stating the time, date, location, title, and the amount of North Carolina approved CLE credit earned for the activity.  Retain this document as proof of your attendance.

How do I get CLE credit in states other than North Carolina for CLE events I attend at Duke Law?

At the CLE-accredited event, you will be asked to provide your signature and bar number as a record of your attendance.  After the program concludes, we will provide you with a Uniform Certificate of Attendance stating the time, date, location, title, and the amount of North Carolina approved CLE credit earned for the activity, a Uniform Application for Accreditation, and a hand-out on filing for CLE credit in your state. You will then need to check with the CLE Board for the state in which you are seeking CLE credit to determine their requirements and procedures, and then file both the Certificate of Attendance and the Application for Accreditation.

I attended a CLE activity at Duke Law School and forgot to pick up my certificate.  What do I do?

Duke Law can send you a copy of your certificate.  Just email us at  with the following information:

  • Your name as you signed it on the registration sheet.
  • The name and date of the event you attended. 

We will confirm your attendance at the event and send you the certificate in the mail or by email.

I am a judge. How do I apply for CLE credit?

Judges who are required to take Continuing Judicial Education courses are allowed to take an exemption from regular CLE pursuant to 27 NCAC 1D, Rule .1517 which states in part that “Members of the state judiciary who are required by virtue of their judicial offices to take an average of twelve (12) or more hours of continuing judicial or other legal education annually and all members of the federal judiciary are exempt from the requirements of these rules for any calendar year in which they serve some portion thereof in such judicial capacities”.

Can I receive CLE credit in North Carolina for teaching a CLE seminar?

Yes. You are entitled to one hour of CLE credit for every ten (10) minutes of actual instruction.  You may not include time spent on introductory remarks. To report your instruction time to the CLE Board, complete the “Request for Teacher Credit of an Approved Continuing Legal Education Activity".  To receive CLE credit in jurisdictions other than North Carolina, please check with that state’s CLE/MCLE Board.

CLE Credit Requirements

According to the North Carolina State Bar website:

“The annual CLE requirements in North Carolina are 12 hours of approved CLE.

Of these 12 hours, 2 must be in the area of professional responsibility or professionalism or any combination thereof. If a lawyer takes more than the required 12 hours in a calendar year, up to 2 additional hours of professional responsibility and up to 10 additional hours of general education may be carried over to the next calendar year. There is no provision to carry hours over multiple years.

At least once every three calendar years, each lawyer must complete an additional hour of professional responsibility devoted exclusively to instruction in substance abuse awareness or debilitating mental conditions, and a lawyer’s professional responsibilities.

Lawyers licensed before July 1, are subject to all CLE requirements for that calendar year. Lawyers licensed on or after July 1 of any year do not have CLE requirements until the next calendar year.

The CLE rules also require every active lawyer, regardless of exempt status, to file an annual written report of his/her CLE activity for the preceding year. To facilitate that filing, the CLE office mails each lawyer an Annual Report Form in January. The report includes a transcript of all the CLE activity for the previous calendar year reported to our office by CLE sponsors. It is the lawyer’s responsibility to review that transcript, to make any necessary changes, to verify the CLE activity, to pay any outstanding attendee fees ($3.00 per credit hour), and to return the form to us by the last day of February.

All active members admitted to the North Carolina State Bar after January 1, 2011, must complete the New Admittee Professionalism program in the year the member is first required to meet CLE requirements. Credit for the program is applied to the annual mandatory requirements. If you were licensed in another state for 5 or more years at the time you were admitted to the NC Bar, you are exempt from the requirement; however, you must notify the State Bar of the exemption in the first annual report form sent to you. Click here to view FAQs about the New Admittee Professionalism Program

See 27 NCAC 1D, Sections .1500 and .1600 for the CLE rules and regulations.”