Wyoming CLE Requirements


Rule 4. Continuing legal education requirement.

(a)      A minimum of 15 hours of continuing legal education, including one hour of legal ethics, must be completed by each attorney in each calendar year.

(b)      Each new admittee to the Wyoming State Bar shall complete, within the first year after admission, a four-hour continuing legal education course which covers the following criteria:.

(1)      General procedures, with focus on Professional Conduct Rules 1.1 (competence), 1.3 (diligence) and 1.4 (communication). One hour.

(2)      Fees and trust account management, with focus on Professional Conduct Rules 1.5 (fees), 1.15 (safeguarding property) and 1.16 (terminating relationship). One hour.

(3)      Conflicts, with focus on Professional Conduct Rules 1.7, 1.8 and 1.9. One hour.

(4)      The function of the Wyoming State Bar and Bar Committees including, but not limited to, the mentoring program and the Lawyers Assistance Committee. One hour.

(5)      The continuing legal education hours required of new admittees, as described in Rule 4(b) subsections 1 through 4, will be counted toward the 15 hours of continuing legal education that must be obtained pursuant to this Rule.

(c)      Continuing legal education credit may be obtained by attending or participating in a continuing legal education activity accredited by the Board under these rules. Credits will not be granted for attending duplicate courses in the same calendar year.

(d)      Hours completed in any year in excess of the minimum number, including legal ethics credits, may be carried forward for two years.

(e)      Attorneys who lecture in an accredited continuing legal education activity will receive credit for three hours for each hour spent lecturing. If an attorney lectures as part of a panel, the total length of the lecture will be divided by the number of panelists and that portion will be multiplied by three for instruction credit. Credit will not be granted for instructing duplicate courses in the same calendar year unless substantive changes are made in the program.

(f)      The final published course schedule of an accredited continuing legal education activity shall be determinative of the number of hours of accredited continuing legal education available through such activity. In all other cases, the Board will determine the number of hours of accredited continuing legal education available through such activity.

(g)      A maximum of three hours of accredited continuing legal education credit may be granted to those lawyers who provide representation or mentoring activities as approved by the Wyoming Pro Bono Organization (WYPBO).

(1)      The attorney will receive one hour of continuing legal education credit for every five billable-equivalent hours. In the case of participation in the WYPBO program, the number of hours of credit is not to exceed three per year for civil case representation. Representation is defined as providing legal services to one or more clients in a single or series of related matters.

(2)      Upon completion of a WYPBO matter, the participating attorney shall receive a letter from the WYPBO director certifying the number of hours of credit earned for the representation. The attorney shall report this activity on the form referenced in Rule 4(h), and attach a copy of the certification letter

(3)      A WYPBO attorney who acts as a mentor to another attorney for a pro bono case will be awarded one continuing legal education credit per case and shall not be eligible to receive more than three continuing legal education credits for pro bono work in any one calendar year. Mentors will be assigned at the time of referral by indigent client and the mentor. Mentors shall be available to the attorney representing the indigent client for information and advice on all aspects of the case, but the mentor will not be required to file or otherwise enter an appearance on behalf of the indigent client. Mentors may not be members of the same firm or in association with the attorney representing the indigent client.

(4)      A WYPBO attorney who acts as a mentor for a law student who has successfully completed at least four semesters at an ABA accredited law school on a case will be awarded three continuing legal education credits and shall not be eligible to receive more than three continuing legal education credits for pro bono work in any one calendar year. Mentors will be assigned to law students at the time of referral by the WYPBO coordinator with the consent of the law student, the law school and the mentor. Mentors will be available to the law student for information and advice on all aspects of the case and mentor the law student on the case while supervising. However, the mentor will allow the law student to provide services with the direct supervision of the mentoring attorney. The mentor shall file or otherwise enter an appearance on behalf of the indigent client if an appearance is required in accord with Rule 12, Rules of the Supreme Court of Wyoming Providing for the Organization and Government of the Bar Association and Attorneys at Law of the State of Wyoming.

(h)      To obtain continuing legal education credit, an attorney shall submit a form approved by the Board for each continuing legal education activity for which credit is sought. The approved form should be submitted within a reasonable time following participation in the activity, but in no event later than January 30, of the year following the calendar year in which the attorney’s participation occurred.

(1)      For continuing legal education activities which have received prior accreditation under Rule 6, no further documentation is required other than the approved form.

(2)      For continuing legal education activities which have not received prior accreditation, the attorney shall submit to the Board the approved form and shall include a brief description of the activity, its dates, subjects, instructors and their qualifications, a copy of the activity outline, activity brochure and other documentation upon which the Board can make a determination as to the qualifications of the activity and the number of credit hours to which the applicant is entitled. Within a reasonable time after receipt of the written report and accompanying materials, the Board shall advise the attorney in writing by ordinary mail that the activity is not accredited or if the number of hours of credit approved is less than requested.

(i)       The Wyoming State Bar shall maintain a file (which may be a computer record) of the continuing legal education credits which have been accumulated for each attorney. Once each year, as soon after January 30 as is reasonably possible, or upon the request of an attorney, the Wyoming State Bar shall report to each attorney those continuing legal education hours credited to that attorney and such credits as may be carried forward into the two years next following that year for which the report to the attorney is made.

Rule 6. Accreditation of continuing legal education activities.

(a)      A sponsor may apply for accreditation of a continuing legal education program by submitting an application for accreditation on a form provided by the Board at least 30 days prior to the activity, along with an application fee of $50. The application shall state the dates, subjects offered, total minutes of instruction, names and qualifications of speakers and other pertinent information. Programs are approved for 12 months and must be re-submitted for approval, along with payment of an application fee of $50, every 12 months in order for the program to be accredited that year. The following organizations and other organizations, at the discretion of the executive secretary, may be exempt from paying the application fee:

(1)      The Wyoming State Bar, an agency co-sponsored by the Wyoming State Bar, a duly authorized committee or section thereof and county and local bar associations in the State of Wyoming;

(2)      The University of Wyoming;

(3)      The Wyoming Trial Lawyers Association;

(4)      The Defense Lawyers Association of Wyoming;

(5)      The Wyoming Public Defender;

(6)      The Wyoming Prosecutors Association; and

(7)      The Wyoming Pro Bono Organization.

(b)      Examples. The program’s purpose must be the education of professionals, including attorneys, on legal topics or on non-legal topics which nevertheless integrally relate to the practice of law, such as

(c)      Self Study Credit. Self study credit may be given for programs where audio, video or online material is used, subject to the following conditions:

(1)      Board approval is received prior to viewing or listening;

(2)      The audio, video or online material is from an accredited continuing legal education activity;

(3)      The audio, video or online material is accompanied by a paper, manual, or written outline which substantively relates to the subject matter of the materials;

(4)      Application for self study credit will be made on a form approved by the Board; and

(5)      The applicant has not previously applied for credit for viewing or listening to the same material; and

(6)      No more than five hours of self study credit may be earned during one calendar year. No hours may be carried over to any subsequent years.

Rule 7. Hardships or extenuating circumstances.

(a)      The Board may, in individual cases involving hardship or extenuating circumstances, grant waivers of the continuing legal educational requirements or extensions of time. Requests for waivers or extensions of time shall be submitted in writing to the Board prior to the end of the reporting period for which the request is being made. The Board shall have discretion to review an untimely request made pursuant to this section, or Rule 4(h), if the attorney shows good and sufficient cause as to why his request was not submitted within the time required by this rule, and if the untimely request is submitted to the Board before the matter has been referred to the Court.

(b)      Waivers of the continuing legal educational requirements may be granted by the Board for any period of time not to exceed one year. If the hardship or the extenuating circumstances upon which a waiver has been granted continue beyond the period of the waiver, the attorney must reapply for an extension of the waiver. The Board may, as a condition of any waiver granted, require the applicant to make up a certain portion or all of the continuing legal educational requirements waived by such methods as may be prescribed by the Board.

(c)      Extensions of time within which to fulfill the continuing legal educational requirements may, in individual cases involving hardship or extenuating circumstances, be granted by the Board for a period not to exceed six months immediately following expiration of the year in which the requirements were not met. Hours of continuing legal educational requirement completed within an extension period will be applied first to the continuing legal educational requirement for the preceding year and will be applied to the current or following year only to the extent that the hours are not required to fulfill the continuing legal educational requirement for the preceding year.

(d)      Determinations under this section shall be made by a quorum of the entire Board.

Rule 8. Exemptions

(a)      An attorney is exempt from the provisions of Rule 4(a) during the calendar year in which the attorney is admitted to practice law in Wyoming.

(b)      A member of the Wyoming State Bar who is honorary, inactive or retired, according to Article I, Section 3 of the Bylaws of the Wyoming State Bar, is exempt from the provisions of Rule 4, and is not required to obtain or report continuing legal education credit on a yearly basis.

(c)      An elected official may be exempt from the provisions of Rule 4 if written request for exemption is made each year the office is held.

Rule 10. Penalties for failure to satisfy continuing legal education requirement.

(a)      On or before March 31 of each year, the Wyoming State Bar shall serve each active attorney who has not complied with the continuing legal education requirement for the previous calendar year, a Notice of Noncompliance. On or before March 31 of each year, the Wyoming State Bar shall also give notice to each new admittee who has not taken the mandatory CLE class described in Rule 4(b) of these Rules. Delinquent attorneys and new admittees failing to comply with Rule 4(b) will have until April 30 to submit applications for adequate credits to cure the delinquency, along with payment of a $100 noncompliance fee, payable to the Board of Continuing Legal Education.

(b)      On or before May 1 of each year, the Wyoming State Bar shall serve each active attorney who failed to comply with the continuing legal education requirement for the previous year by March 31, a Final Notice of Noncompliance. On or before May 1 of each year, the Wyoming State Bar shall also give notice to each new admittee who has not taken the mandatory CLE class described in Rule 4(b) of these Rules. Delinquent attorneys and new admittees failing to comply with Rule 4(b) will have until May 31 to submit application for adequate credits to cure the delinquency, along with payment of an additional $200 noncompliance fee, payable to the Board of Continuing Legal Education.

(c)      On or before June 15 of each year, the Wyoming State Bar shall forward a Recommendation for Suspension for Noncompliance of continuing legal education Requirement to the Court for each active attorney who failed to comply with the continuing legal education requirement for the previous year by May 31, or for any delinquent attorney who has failed to pay the appropriate noncompliance fee. On or before June 15 of each year, the Wyoming State Bar shall also forward a Recommendation for Suspension for Noncompliance of continuing legal education requirements to the Court for each new admittee who has not taken the mandatory CLE class described in Rule 4(b) of these Rules by May 31, or for any new admittee who has failed to pay the appropriate noncompliance fee.

(d)      Upon receipt of the Recommendation for Suspension for Noncompliance of continuing legal education requirement, the Court shall issue an Order to Show Cause as to why the delinquent attorney’s or new admittee’s license to practice law in the State of Wyoming should not be suspended, sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the attorney at the official address listed with the Wyoming State Bar. The attorney has 30 days to cure the delinquency, along with payment of a $300 noncompliance fee, payable to the Board of Continuing Legal Education.

(e)      If an attorney fails to cure the delinquency within the allotted time period, the delinquent attorney’s or new admittee’s license to practice law in the State of Wyoming shall be suspended by order of the Court. The order of suspension shall be served by the Court by certified mail, return receipt requested.

(f)      If an attorney has not cured the delinquency within one year after the date of the order of suspension, upon notification from the Board to the Court, the delinquent attorney’s license to practice law in the State of Wyoming shall be terminated by order of the Court. The order of termination shall be served by the Court by certified mail, return receipt requested.

Rule 13. Fees.

Each active member of the bar must pay an annual fee of $5.00 to the Wyoming State Board of Continuing Legal Education. This fee will be collected by the Bar at the time of the collection of the annual license fee, but will constitute a fee to be used only to defray the costs of administering the rules and regulations for continuing legal education and issuing annual reports. This fee is payable October 1 of each fiscal year and will be considered late on December 1.