Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Requirements in North Carolina

as listed on 

Questions?  Please contact us at 704/375-8624 or the NC State Bar CLE Department at 919/733-0123.

The annual CLE requirements in North Carolina are 12 hours of approved CLE.  Of these 12 hours, 2 must be in the area of professional responsibility or professionalism or any combination thereof. If a lawyer takes more than the required 12 hours in a calendar year, up to 2 additional hours of professional responsibility and up to 10 additional hours of general education may be carried over to the next calendar year. There is no provision to carry hours over multiple years.

At least once every 3 calendar years, each lawyer must complete an additional hour of professional responsibility devoted exclusively to instruction in substance abuse awareness or debilitating mental conditions, and a lawyer’s professional responsibilities.

Lawyers licensed before July 1, are subject to all CLE requirements for that calendar year. Lawyers licensed on or after July 1 of any year do not have CLE requirements until the next calendar year.

The CLE rules also require every active lawyer, regardless of exempt status, to file an annual written report of his/her CLE activity for the preceding year. To facilitate that filing, the CLE office mails each lawyer an Annual Report Form in January. The report includes a transcript of all the CLE activity for the previous calendar year reported to our office by CLE sponsors. It is the lawyer’s responsibility to review that transcript, to make any necessary changes, to verify the CLE activity, to pay any outstanding attendee fees ($3.50 per credit hour), and to return the form to us by the last day of February.

All active members admitted to the North Carolina State Bar after January 1, 2011, must complete the New Admittee Professionalism program in the year the member is first required to meet CLE requirements. Credit for the program is applied to the annual mandatory requirements. If you were licensed in another state for 5 or more years at the time you were admitted to the NC Bar, you are exempt from the requirement; however, you must notify the State Bar of the exemption in the first annual report form sent to you. FAQs about the Professionalism for New Admittees program.

Attorneys may take up to six (6) hours of CLE credit through online courses for each compliance year.  If an attorney takes more than six (6) online hours in one compliance year, any hours over the six allowed will be applied to the following compliance year and may result in compliance problems.

See 27 NCAC 1D, Sections .1500 and .1600 for the CLE rules and regulations.

Mecklenburg County Bar CLEs

The MCB is an accredited provider of CLE and reports your attendance at all of our courses to the NCSB.  Should you have questions regarding your cumulative annual CLE credit hour totals please contact the NCSB CLE department at 919/733-0123.

Annual reports (received by you in January) should reflect all the CLE hours that the NCSB has on file for you for the entire preceding calendar year regardless of the sponsor.  Sign the form and return to NCSB by the last day of February to avoid penalty. 

If the form is incorrect, you may note corrections directly on the form prior to returning it to the NCSB. Courses taken in January and/or February to correct a preceding year deficit can simply be added to the form by the attorney. 

Interim reports are received in September.   Corrections can be made directly to the form before submitting the report to NCSB. The interim report reflects activity recorded by the NCSB through June 30 of the current calendar year.

You may contact the NC State Bar Continuing Legal Education department in the following ways:

The North Carolina State Bar
ATTN: North Carolina Continuing Legal Education
PO Box 26148
Raleigh, NC 27611

Phone: 919/733-0123
Fax: 919/821-9168

Debra Holland - 
Lori Nicolicchia - 
Emily Oakes -
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