Changes to the State Bar CLE Rules: What You Need To Know

January 04, 2024   |   Bobby Bollinger

As the Workers’ Compensation Section Education Chair and a member of the NCAJ Education Committee, I took it upon myself this week to watch the State Bar’s webinar on its new CLE rules. Here are the high points:

  • The rules take effect on March 1, 2024. The new CLE year will run from March 1 to Feb. 28 rather than for a calendar year as it does currently.
  • 2023 annual reporting will be the last year of annual reporting, apparently, at least for anyone originally licensed in an even-numbered year. Excess 2023 hours carried over will transfer as “total hours” and will not count towards your specialization requirements in 2024. Bummer.
  • We will have a two-year reporting period, subject to the odd-year exception, to get 24 hours of CLE credit. All credits may be taken on-demand or virtually. There is no live-attendance requirement. If you get more than 24 hours, you can roll over the extra hours, but only for one year. (So, I guess you should take all your extra hours in the second year of your two-year window so that the extras roll over to your next reporting period.)
  • The odd-year exception is this: If you were licensed in an odd-numbered year – 2021, 2017, 2001, 1987, 1975, 1939, etc., – then the first year (2024) of this new scheme will require you to report your hours for the year and then the following year (the 2025 CLE year) you will start the two-year window in order to establish staggering, which I think is a work load management tool for the Bar. This explanation assumes that I understood it correctly, as the explanation was not a model of clarity. 
  • Of the 24 hours you need every two years, the minimum requirements are broken down like this: four hours of general ethics, one hour of “professional well-being” which replaces the substance abuse requirement, and one hour of technology, with the remaining 18 required hours being anything else.
  • The CLE requirements for specialists are unchanged.

Peter Bolac, Assistant Executive Director and Legislative Liaison at the North Carolina State Bar, is tasked with educating us on the CLE changes. He is available to speak at section meetings, CLE programs and other gatherings. You can take questions to Bolac at