The Commission on Continuing Legal Education administers a program established by the court which requires attorneys to attend continuing legal education (CLE) classes each year.
Policies on Approval of CLE Events for Credit
Basic standards on accreditation of CLE events are contained in Iowa Court Rule 42.3:
A continuing legal education activity qualifies for accreditation if the commission determines that the activity complies with all of the following:
a. It constitutes an organized program of learning (including a workshop or symposium) that contributes directly to the professional competency of an attorney.
b. It pertains to common legal subjects or other subject matters that integrally relate to the practice of law.
c. It is conducted by attorneys or individuals who have a special education, training, and experience by reason of which said individuals should be considered experts concerning the subject matter of the program, and preferably is accompanied by a paper, manual, or written outline that substantively pertains to the subject matter of the program.
d. It is presented in the form of moderated programming, or in the form of unmoderated programming approved the commission in its guidelines.
No activity will be accredited that involves solely self-study, including television viewing, video or sound recorded programs, or correspondence work, except as may be allowed pursuant to rule 42.5.
In addition, the Commission has adopted policies regarding accreditation of CLE events (PDF), based on Iowa Court Rule 42.3 and its experience.
Program Accreditation Application Instructions for Sponsors
Online filing of your continuing legal education (CLE) applications for accreditation is available over at the professional regulation website (www.iacourtcommissions.org). Sponsors are encouraged to use the online filing option in lieu of traditional paper filing. Internet filing of your applications will significantly reduce the overall time required for transmission and processing of your applications, avoid the need to prepare paper checks to pay accreditation fees, and place a more complete set of program information on the commission website for viewing by prospective lawyer attendees.
There is a $50 application fee per program submitted electronically by a sponsor if that sponsor charges attendees any amount to attend the CLE event above and beyond the actual cost of any meals that are provided. If the sponsor does not charge attorneys to attend the event, there is no fee to the sponsor to submit the event for accreditation on the Commission website. The fee increases to $65 if you submit your accreditation request on paper.
The crucial item for submitting a CLE program of accreditation will be a document which corroborates the information you enter into the database. This is often an agenda or flyer from the CLE activity. The document needs to contain the following information:
- The name of the sponsor
- The name of the activity
- The date(s) of the activity
- The duration of the activity (e.g. 1pm – 2pm)*
- The format of the CLE activity (e.g. webinar)
*Please note: if your event has multiple sessions, you will need to submit an agenda that shows the breakdown of the time for each segment of the event.
Once you have that information, you will need to log into your account at Iowa Court Commissions . You can then submit your CLE program by clicking on the Submit CLE Program button:
You will then be taken to the submission page. While this page is pretty much self-explanatory, there are a couple of issues which frequently arise. First, you cannot cut and paste into the text fields. You need to type in the information. Second, to upload your attachment you need to first select browse (#1) and after you have located the document, then click on upload (#2). The “Uploaded Files” section to the right of that button will show the name of the file once it is uploaded. Lastly, all fields need to be completed. Once the information is submitted, press the Continue button. If there is anything missing the system will let you know.
Once you have submitted the CLE activity for accreditation, our staff will review it and let you know if it has been approved, denied, or if we need additional information. Additional information may include a more detailed agenda (for example, one showing the times) or a copy of the written presentation or powerpoint materials. There is no need to submit this information at the outset so long as you have uploaded a document per the earlier description. Most of the time we are able to accredit CLE activities based on the initial submission, but if we need more we will let you know. Also, we strive for a 48 hour turnaround on CLE accreditations, but can’t guarantee it.
Previously-Approved CLE Events
Searchable Database of Approved CLE Events: You may perform basic and advanced searches of all the CLE events approved by the Commission at this page on the Professional Regulation Online Services website.
Commission on Continuing Legal Education
Judicial Branch Building
1111 East Court Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50319