Hawaii CLE Requirements

Rule 22, Mandatory Continuing Professional Education and Voluntary Continuing Legal Education.

(a) Mandatory Continuing Professional Education. Except as otherwise provided herein, every active member of the Bar shall complete at least 3 credit hours per year of approved Mandatory Continuing Professional Education (MCPE). Qualifying professional education topics include the Hawaii Rules of Professional Conduct, legal ethics and related topics, law office management, client trust account administration, bias awareness and prevention, access to justice, case and client management, and malpractice insurance and prevention.

(b) Voluntary Continuing Legal Education. In addition to MCPE, all active members of the Bar are encouraged to complete 9 or more credit hours per year of approved Voluntary Continuing Legal Education (VCLE).

(c) Carry Forward of Credit Hours. A member may carry forward from the previous reporting period a maximum of 3 excess MCPE credit hours.  To be carried forward, the credit hours must have been earned during the calendar year immediately preceding the current reporting period.

(d) Mandatory Certification, Reporting, and Record Keeping. Each active Bar member shall annually:

1) Certify the number of approved MCPE hours completed during the preceding year or earned forward, and

(2) report the number of approved VCLE hours completed during The preceding year, specifying the number of such hours, if any, satisfied by section (c)(4) of this rule. A member shall maintain records of approved MCPE credit hours and of approved VCLE credit hours for the 2 most recent reporting periods, and these records shall be subject to audit.

(e) Courses and Activities. The requirements of this rule may be met, subject to prior approval as set out in sections (f) and (g) of this rule, by:

(1) attending approved courses or activities, including but not limited to, presentations conducted in-house or for Inns of Court, bar sections, professional legal organizations, and the like;

(2) Preparing for and teaching approved professional education courses or activities. Two hours of preparation time may be certified or reported for each hour of time spent teaching, i.e. 3 hours maybe claimed for teaching a 1 hour course;

(3) studying approved audio, video, or other technology-delivered professional education courses or activities; and

(4) with regard to the VCLE standard of this rule up to 3 hours of that standard may be satisfied by providing pro bono service- as defined in Rule 6,1 of the Hawaii Rules of Professional Conduct.

(f) Approved Courses or Activities. Courses and activities sponsored by the Hawaii State Bar Association (HSBA) or the American Bar Association, and classified by the HSBA as MCPE or VCLE, qualify for credit under this rule.

(g) Approval and Accreditation Authorization. The HSBA is authorized to approve or disapprove:

(1) other educational courses and activities for mandatory or voluntary credit and

(2) applications by an entity for accreditation as a course or activity provider. Approved courses and activities may include, but are not limited to, courses and activities conducted in-house or sponsored by Inns of Court, bar sections or other professional legal organizations. Accreditation shall constitute prior approval of MCPE and VCLE courses offered by the provider, subject to amendment, suspension, or revocation of such accreditation by the HSBA. The HSBA shall establish the procedures, minimum standards, and fees for approval of specific courses and activities or accreditation of providers and for revocation of such approval or accreditation.

(h) Full-time Judges. Federal judges are exempt from the requirements of this rule. Full-time state judges shall participate for at least 3 hours each year in a program of judicial education approved by the Committee on Judicial Education. Full-time state judges who are unable to attend, in person, a program approved by the Committee on Judicial Education or who are excused from that program shall comply with this requirement by such other means as the Supreme Court approves. Full-time state judges shall report the number of approved judicial education hours attended on the judges1 annual financial disclosure form,

(i) Inactive members. Inactive members of the Bar who subsequently elect active status shall complete and report 3 hours of MCPE within 3 months of electing active status.

(j) Newly licensed members– Each person licensed to practice law who elects active status in the year in which he or she is licensed shall not be required to comply with the requirements of section (a) of this rule for that year, provided that nothing herein shall modify the obligations imposed by Rule 1.14 of these rules.

(k) Effective Date; Reporting Period. This rule is effective January 1, 2010. The initial reporting period will be the calendar year beginning January 1, 2010, and reports for that year shall be submitted in accordance with section (d) of this rule.

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