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CLE

When is the time period within which I must accumulate fifteen credit hours?

Attorneys must attend programs between January 1 and December 31 of a calendar to count toward their annual CLE requirement. If you are short hours for that calendar year, then you'll need to apply for a CLE extension.

When is my CLE report due?

The report is due March 10 each year in order to report the hours obtained during the previous calendar year.

What if did not obtain my required CLE hours for a given year?

In certain instances involving hardship or extenuating circumstances, you may be able to obtain a limited extension of time to complete your CLE hours and file your report.  Each extension request received after January 15 of the year following the year in which the alleged hardship occurred is accompanied by a $100 fee.  In the event your extension is approved, you will be notified how long you have to complete your remaining CLE hours. You may ask for an extension by logging in to the Office of Professional Regulation website and clicking on the “File for Regular CLE Extension” button.

What if I obtained more than the required number of CLE hours for a given year?

Hours in excess of the minimum requirements may be carried over subject to specific restrictions.  Generally, an attorney may carry forward a maximum of 30 hours per year. Please note that you will no longer be able to carry forward ethics hours (other than as general CLE) and will need to attend one hour of legal ethics CLE and one hour of CLE accredited for attorney wellness OR for diversity/inclusion.

I cannot find a program that I attended in order to put it on my transcript. What should I do?

Attorneys may submit CLE programs that they have attended for accreditation at no charge through the Commission’s website. Find out more on the CLE page.

Am I required to file a CLE report the year I am admitted to practice in Iowa?

Yes. You are required to fill out a report for the year you are admitted to practice in Iowa.  However, you are not required to attend any CLE hours in the year in which you are admitted to practice in this state.  If you do attend any CLE events during the year you have been admitted, you should include those hours on your transcript as long as the hours were attended after you were sworn in as an attorney.  You may carry forward hours to the following reporting year subject to specific restrictions.

Am I limited on the number of unmoderated (or “on-demand”) programs I can attend in a calendar year?

No. The six hour cap on unmoderated CLE has been permanently removed.

Can I receive CLE credit for programs at which I am a presenter?

Yes.  If you present at a program, you may claim credit for the event in the same manner as if you were an audience member, as long as the program is accredited.  Additionally, you may claim one hour of preparation credit for each hour of accredited continuing legal education for which you prepare written materials and present, up to a maximum of 3 hours per calendar year.  Preparation credit counts against the regular attendance requirement of fifteen hours per calendar year, but not against the attendance requirement for legal ethics.  Hours of preparation credit in excess of 3 do not carry over to a subsequent year. 

Preparation credit may not be claimed if:

  • you prepare written materials but do not make the presentation or serve on a panel of speakers;

  • make a presentation or serve on a panel of speakers but do not prepare written materials;

  • prepare a course directed primarily to persons preparing for admission to practice law;

  • or if you receive compensation, other than reasonable expenses, for preparing or presenting the continuing legal education.

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