New York Courts dot gov
New York StateUnified Court System

FAQs for CLE Providers


Application for Accreditation Standards for Accreditation CLE Credit Calculations Obligations of a CLE Provider

Application for Accreditation


back to top

Q] How do I apply for accreditation of a course that my organization plans to offer in New York?

A] At least 60 days prior to the occurrence of the program, you should submit the CLE Board's Application for Accreditation of an Individual Course Activity. No other application form will be accepted. The application form includes a list of the required attachments. The standards for accreditation of an individual course may be found in section 8(A) of the CLE Board Regulations and Guidelines.


back to top

Q] Are faxed applications accepted?

A] No. Applications submitted to the CLE Board for accreditation must include an original signature and should be postmarked at least 60 days before the program takes place. Faxed copies of applications or application materials will not be accepted.


back to top

Q] What if we cannot submit the application within the 60-day deadline?

A] Applications postmarked less than 60 days prior to the occurrence of the program are not eligible for accreditation except in extenuating circumstances. Applications submitted after a program has occurred will not be eligible for accreditation except under extraordinary circumstances. A cover letter detailing the circumstances resulting in the late submission should be included with such applications. A late submission caused by a delay in the preparation of written materials for a program may be the basis for extenuating or extraordinary circumstances.


back to top


Q] What if our course is not in a classroom setting, but is in a nontraditional format such as audiotape?

A] You must submit an Application for Accreditation of an Individual Course Activity, along with a sample of the course in the nontraditional format and a description of your attendance verification procedures.


back to top

Q] What is "hybrid accreditation"?

A] The CLE Board offers hybrid accreditation where the sponsor intends to repeat its course over a period of time. The Board may approve such a course for a period of up to three years. The sponsor is responsible for notifying the Board of any changes to the course or to the course materials during the accreditation period. Additional information on hybrid accreditation may be found in section 8(C) of the CLE Board Regulations and Guidelines.


back to top
Q] Is there a special application form for hybrid accreditation?

A] No. You should complete the Application for Accreditation of an Individual Course Activity, and submit the application at least 60 days prior to the first occurrence of the program. Please indicate on the application or in your cover letter, the frequency with which you expect to repeat the course.


back to top
Q] What is an "Accredited Provider"?

A] An Accredited Provider is a "legal organization" that, among other things, has demonstrated a history of at least three consecutive years of sponsoring, organizing and administering CLE courses that meet New York’s standards. Once an organization has been granted Accredited Provider status by the CLE Board, its CLE courses are deemed approved by the Board for a period of three years.


back to top
Q] How do we apply for Accredited Provider status?

A] You should submit the CLE Board's Application for Accredited Provider Status. No other application form will be accepted. The application must include a list of all CLE courses or programs sponsored, organized and administered by your organization over the prior three years. The application must also include all the required attachments, including detailed information for one course or program offered in each of the prior three years. Please see section 8(B) of the Regulations and Guidelines for additional information.


back to top
Q] How do we find out if our application has been approved?

A] Applicants will be sent written notice of approval, conditional approval or denial of accreditation requests by first class mail to the contact person at the address provided on the application. The notice of individual course approval will indicate the number of credit hours approved and the breakdown of categories. If hybrid accreditation is granted, the period for which the course is approved will be indicated. Accredited Providers will be informed of start and end dates of the accreditation period.


back to top
Q] If our application is denied, is there an appeal process?

A] Yes. You may seek review of the Board's decision by sending a written request by first class mail to the CLE Board's Application Review Committee within 14 days following the date of the notice of denial. In the interim, you may notify registrants that you have appealed the denial. Any additional written information in support of the application should be included with the appeal. You will be notified by first class mail of the Committee's decision on the appeal.


back to top
Q] If we have applied for accreditation, but are awaiting the Board's decision, how may we advertise the course?

A] You may announce the following: "Application for New York [accreditation of this course or program][Accredited Provider status] is currently pending."


back to top
Q] If our course is held outside of New York State, must we apply to the New York State CLE Board for accreditation in order for New York attorneys to earn credit for attending?

A] If your live, classroom-format program is held outside of New York State, and it is accredited by a New York Approved Jurisdiction, members of the New York Bar may apply the CLE credit earned towards their New York CLE requirement, so long as they obtain the necessary documentation as outlined in section 6 of the Regulations and Guidelines. New York attorneys may claim credit for completion of nontraditional format programs (audiotape, videotape. online courses, etc.) only if they can provide proof of independent sponsor verification of their participation in the program along with the other required documentation. If your out-of-state program is not accredited by a New York Approved Jurisdiction, you may submit an Application for Accreditation of an Individual Course Activity to the New York State CLE Board as described above.


back to top

Standards for Accreditation


back to top
Q] What are the CLE Board's standards for accreditation of a course?

A] Among other things, the course must be offered in New York State (or outside of New York State and not accredited by a New York Approved Jurisdiction), written materials must be distributed prior to or at the course, and for any course offered for a fee, the provider must submit an acceptable financial aid policy. The standards for individual and hybrid course accreditation are set forth in detail in section 8(A)(4) of the CLE Board Regulations and Guidelines.


back to top

Q] What are the requirements for written materials?

A] Thorough, high quality written materials must be provided either before or at the time of a program. The written materials must be timely and must cover those matters that one would expect for a comprehensive and professional treatment of the subject matter of the course. Brief outlines without citations or explanatory notations are not acceptable. The standards for written materials are set forth in detail in section 8(A)(4)(e) and (f) of the CLE Board Regulations and Guidelines.


back to top

Q] May we distribute the written materials on disc?

A] Yes, you may distribute written materials on disc, so long as a printed copy is available at the course to anyone who wants it.


back to top

Q] If our courses are inexpensive, do we still need a financial aid policy?

A] While it is a requirement that all courses offered to New York attorneys have available financial aid for attorneys who are unable to afford the cost, the Board may suspend this requirement if the cost is nominal.


back to top

Q] May we charge an application fee to those who apply for financial aid?

A] No.


back to top

Q] What about registration fees? May we charge a higher fee to the attendees who are seeking CLE credit?

A] No, the CLE Board has determined that the registration fee must be the same for all attendees, whether or not they are seeking CLE credit for the program.


back to top

Q] We train our attorneys in the use of our e-mail and word processing software. May we issue CLE credit for this training?

A] You may not issue CLE credit for training attorneys in the general use of office computers, as these skills do not relate to the practice of law, nor is the primary purpose of such training to increase the professional legal competency of attorneys. However, training on the legal components of word processing software, such as pleading templates or tables of authorities, may be eligible for CLE credit.


back to top

Q] May we issue CLE credit for programs on marketing, networking and business development?

A] The CLE Board has determined that programs designed to teach attorneys marketing, networking and/or business development skills do not have as their primary purpose to increase a lawyer’s professional legal competency, that their subject matter does not fall into any of the CLE categories of credit, and that, therefore, they do not qualify for CLE credit. However, if a program, or a portion of a program, focuses on ethical aspects of business development, such as conflicts checks, that program, or that portion of it, may be eligible for CLE credit.


back to top

Q] What are the verification requirements for nontraditional format courses?

A] For accreditation (or re-accreditation) of courses given in any nontraditional format (e.g., audiotape, videotape, online course, teleconference) the CLE Board requires independent sponsor verification of an attorney's participation in the nontraditional format CLE activity. (New York Accredited Providers previously approved for nontraditional formats are required to provide sponsor verification of an attorney's participation for all nontraditional formats produced on or after January 1, 2003, and to submit a description of the verification procedure(s) to the CLE Board.)


back to top

Q] May we place an embedded code at the beginning or at the end of a tape/CD?

A] If you use an embedded code to verify participation in a nontraditional format course, the code should occur somewhere in the middle of each tape or CD of the program, not at the beginning nor at the end. In CD or DVD formats, the code may not occupy a track by itself.


back to top

Q] What are the standards for Accredited Provider status?

A] To be eligible for Accredited Provider status, an organization must be a "legal organization," and must have organized, sponsored and administered, during the preceding three years, at least eight separate and distinct CLE courses, in New York (or outside of New York but not accredited by a New York Approved Jurisdiction), that were specifically tailored to a legal audience and otherwise meet the standards for individual course accreditation. Eligibility requirements and the standards for Accredited Provider status are described more fully in section 8(B) of the CLE Board Regulations and Guidelines.


back to top

Q] If my organization co-sponsors a CLE program, may such a program count toward the eligibility requirements for Accredited Provider status?

A] In order to count a CLE program toward the eligibility requirements for Accredited Provider status, the organization must have sponsored, organized and administered the program, including, for example, arranging for the facility, advertising the program, coordinating the speakers and monitoring the sign-in process. If two organizations co-sponsor a program, only one may count the program toward its eligibility requirements for Accredited Provider status.


back to top

Q] What do you mean by "legal organization"?

A] A legal organization, for purposes of Accredited Provider status eligibility, is an organization whose courses are taught primarily by attorneys and designed primarily for attorney audiences.


back to top

Q] If Accredited Provider status is denied, will it be possible for our individual courses to be accredited by the Board?

A] Yes, even if Accredited Provider status is denied, your courses may be accredited individually if they meet the standards for individual course accreditation.


back to top

CLE Credit Calculations


back to top
Q] How are CLE credit hours calculated?

A] One CLE credit hour is awarded for each full 50 minutes of CLE instruction or other accredited CLE activity, exclusive of introductory remarks, breaks, meals or other noneducational activities. Credit is calculated in increments of 25 minutes (25 minutes equals .5 CLE credits). Less than 25 minutes is no credit, 25-49 minutes equals .5 credit hours, 50-74 minutes equals 1 credit hour, etc. (To calculate the credits to be awarded to a participant, divide the total accredited CLE minutes by 50, and round down to the nearest .5 credit hours. For example, a 70-minute course, with no breaks, earns one credit, not 1.4 credits.)


back to top
Q] Are CLE credit hours assigned particular categories?

A] Credit is awarded in "Ethics and Professionalism," "Skills," "Law Practice Management" and/or "Areas of Professional Practice." These categories of credit are defined in section 1500.2 of the Program Rules.


back to top

Q] What is a transitional course? A nontransitional course?

A] A transitional course is a course that is designed to help newly admitted attorneys develop a foundation in the practical skills, techniques and procedures that are essential to the practice of law. Newly admitted attorneys (those admitted to the New York Bar for less than two years) must fulfill their CLE requirement through attendance at transitional courses presented in traditional format. Nontransitional courses are those where the content has been determined to be appropriate only for experienced attorneys.


back to top
Q] When may we issue partial credit?

A] Sections 2(D)(1) and 3(C)(1) of the Regulations and Guidelines permit the issuance of appropriate credit in circumstances where the attendee has missed a portion of a presentation due to unforeseen events, provided the attendee received the full educational benefit of the portions of the presentation actually attended. Examples of unforeseen events might include unanticipated weather or traffic situations or a family health emergency that delays an attendee's arrival at the course, or requires an attendee to leave the course early. Common sense should be used by the provider; for example, missing two or three minutes of the introductory portion of a presentation would not provide sufficient grounds to deny full credit to an attendee where the attendee has received the full educational benefit of the presentation. Conversely, however, full credit should not be awarded where an attendee's absence precluded the attendee from receiving the full educational benefit of a presentation.


back to top
Q] May we give an attorney CLE credit for attending a program that he or she attended last year, if we have updated the course?

A] Yes. Where a CLE program has significant new content, such as revised or updated materials reflecting recent changes in the law, the attendee may receive CLE credit. It is the intent of the CLE Board to deny CLE credit only in situations where attendees seek CLE credit for repeat attendance at the same program where the content is essentially unchanged.


back to top
Q] How do I calculate speaker credit?

A] To calculate speaker credit, first determine the length in CLE credit hours of the speaker's presentation, and then multiply by 3 to determine the credit due the speaker. For example, a 70-minute presentation is equivalent to 1.0 CLE credit hour, so the speaker is due 3.0 credit hours. If the length of a presentation is 20 minutes, this is the equivalent of zero credit hours (as credit is awarded in increments of at least 25 minutes), and zero multiplied by three, is zero. Thus, a speaker who makes a 20-minute presentation earns no CLE credit.


back to top

Obligations of a CLE Provider


back to top
Q] Once my course is accredited, what are my obligations to the CLE Board and to attendees?

A] You must publish the existence of your financial aid policy (if the course is offered to New York attorneys for a fee) in all advertisements, brochures and announcements for the course, and also indicate whether the course is transitional and/or nontransitional. You must maintain an official attendance list of attendees, and, at the conclusion of the course, give each attendee an evaluation questionnaire to complete and provide certificates of attendance to all who completed the course. You must also fulfill certain reporting obligations. Please see section 10 of the Regulations and Guidelines for more details.


back to top
Q] What are my reporting obligations?

A] If you are not a "New York Accredited Provider,” but you have received Individual Course accreditation or hybrid accreditation, you must submit a completed Course Summary form for each course or program accredited by the CLE Board for which New York CLE credit is awarded to at least one attorney. Please see the Course Summary Instructions for more details.


back to top
Q] What are the reporting obligations of New York Accredited Providers?

A] Accredited Providers are required to complete and submit an Accredited Provider Year-End Report after the end of the calendar year. The Year-End Report includes, among other things, a CLE Activity Table containing data on each of the programs/courses presented during the year. Even if you do not present any CLE courses during the calendar year, you should submit a Year-End Report with your current contact information and an indication that you did not present any CLE courses during the year.


back to top
Q] What records should I keep?

A] All providers must retain, for a period of at least four years, for each program, the attendance list, a sample certificate of attendance and the completed evaluation questionnaires. Accredited Providers must retain, in addition to the above, a copy of the timed agenda, a course brochure or a copy of the advertisement, where applicable, and a copy of the course materials.


back to top
Q] Are timed agendas required for shorter CLE programs, for example, programs that run for 75 minutes or less?

A] Yes. Timed agendas are required for all CLE courses or programs. A timed agenda should indicate the start and end times for each session, the time allotted for breaks (if any) and a description of the content of each session. If there were multiple presenters, the timed agenda should indicate which speaker(s) participated in each segment.


back to top
Q] Is there a required Certificate of Attendance form?

A] Yes. Effective January 1, 2007, every provider of a course accredited by the New York State CLE Board is required to use the New York CLE Certificate of Attendance. Please note that all information on certificates of attendance must be completed by the provider. Certificates of attendance must be signed by the provider or an agent thereof. Please review section 10(B) of the Regulations and Guidelines for additional information on certificates of attendance.


back to top
Q] Does the CLE Board require specific information in brochures or advertisements for CLE programs?

A] Yes. If a fee is charged for a program, the provider must indicate the existence of a financial aid policy in all of its advertisements, brochures and announcements. The method for applying for financial aid must be clearly indicated in the materials. In addition, providers must indicate in their publications whether their course offerings are transitional (suitable for newly admitted attorneys), nontransitional (suitable for experienced attorneys) or appropriate for both newly admitted and experienced attorneys.


back to top
Q] How do we notify the Board of changes in our provider information?

A] The CLE Board should be notified within 30 days of any changes in provider information, including a change of address and/or contact person. This notification may be in writing to the Board at 25 Beaver St., Room 888, New York, NY 10004), or by e-mail to cle@nycourts.gov, or by fax to 212-428-2974).


back to top

Q] Does the Board notify us when a course is outdated and should no longer be offered?

A] No. It is the responsibility of providers to review their materials from time to time to make sure they are relevant and appropriate, even if the period of accreditation has not expired.


back to top

Q] How do we renew or extend our accreditation?

A] Sponsors of individual course offerings must submit a new application if they plan to offer the course again. A written request for extension of a hybrid accreditation must be received by the Board at least 45 days before the end of the accreditation period. Any request after that time period will be considered as a new application for course accreditation. Accredited Providers must request renewal of their status for an additional three-year period at least 45 days before the end of the accreditation period. If the renewal is not received timely, the status will terminate and the provider must submit a new application for Accredited Provider status.


back to top

Q] What if I have more questions?

A] You may find answers in the Program Rules or in the CLE Board Regulations & Guidelines, or you may e-mail your questions or comments to CLE@nycourts.gov. You may also contact us at (212) 428-2105, or toll free from outside of New York City at 1 (877) NYS-4CLE (697-4253).


back to top