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Waiver or Modification of CLE Requirement


All members of the New York State Bar are presumed to be practicing law in New York. However, if you did not practice law in New York, were retired or on full-time active military duty during all of your CLE reporting cycle, you may be exempt from the CLE requirement. See section 1500.5(b) of the Program Rules regarding exemptions from the CLE requirement. The Program Rules are available on our website at: www.nycourts.gov/attorneys/cle/programrules.pdf

If you did not practice law in New York for part of your CLE reporting cycle, you may have a prorated CLE requirement. For more information, please visit the CLE website at: www.nycourts.gov/attorneys/cle/notpracticinginny_info.shtml

You should apply for a waiver or modification of the CLE requirement only if, after review of the information on the CLE website, you determine that you are not exempt from CLE requirements and have not completed your required number of CLE credits, in the correct categories, within the applicable time period. Please note that CLE requirements for newly admitted attorneys (those admitted to the NY State Bar for 2 years or less) differ from those for experienced attorneys (those admitted to the NY State Bar for more than 2 years).

Newly admitted attorneys are required to complete a minimum of 32 credits - at least 16 credit hours of accredited transitional continuing legal education in each of the first two years of admission to the Bar as follows: three (3) hours of ethics and professionalism; six (6) hours of skills; and seven (7) hours of law practice management and/or areas of professional practice.

Experienced attorneys must complete a minimum of 24 credit hours of accredited continuing legal education in each biennial reporting cycle, at least four (4) credit hours of which must be in ethics and professionalism.

An application for a waiver or modification may be submitted to the CLE Board to seek either a waiver (completion of the CLE requirement is not required) or a modification (partial completion of the CLE requirement is accepted or other exception(s) to the CLE Program Rules are permitted). Please submit your waiver or modification application by only one method: either by sending it as an e-mail attachment to: cleoffice@nycourts.gov or by mailing the application to: New York State CLE Board, 25 Beaver Street, Room 888, New York, NY 10004. Faxed applications will no longer be accepted.

It will take approximately 30-45 days for your application to be processed. The Board may grant a waiver or modification of the CLE requirement, based on undue hardship or extenuating circumstances. The Board’s determination will be sent to you by either e-mail or regular mail to the address provided on the application.

Section C of the biennial attorney registration form contains a certification for attorneys who have applied to the CLE Board for a waiver or modification of the CLE requirement. Once you have applied for a waiver or modification, you may sign this certification and submit your biennial attorney registration form with the required fee. If your application is granted, you will have the opportunity to submit an “Attorney Registration Continuing Legal Education Update Form” to update your records.

September 2014

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