Navigating CLE Compliance: Mastering New York Year-End Reports and California’s New CLE Rules

Wed 03 Jan 2024

For law firms in New York, the Year-End Report to the NYS CLE Board is more than just a routine submission – it's a meticulous task requiring precision and attention. The deadline for submission, January 31, 2024, looms large, and understanding the intricacies of the process is crucial.

In a recent educational webinar led by our CLE compliance experts, Adam Stein, Senior Product Advisor, and Erick Romaniszyn, Product Owner, participants gained valuable insights into the changes affecting CLE reporting in New York and California. Here's a recap of the key points covered:

What's new in the Year-End Report?

The Year-End Report summarizes counts of specific types of CLE programs offered in the preceding year, including details of each program in an activity table. Automating this process, Litera's CE Manager simplifies CLE compliance and accredited provider reporting, populating forms in the report.

The recent changes include cosmetic updates and revised questions, particularly focusing on cybersecurity, privacy, and data protection requirements. A major highlight is the modification to Question 8, which now includes counts for the total number of programs offering credit for "cybersecurity ethics" and "cybersecurity general." Moreover, the Activity Table introduces two additional line items for each program, automatically populated based on credit data in CE Manager.

Important Information to Keep in Mind

While not new, it's essential to understand the different types of formats in the activity table:

Also, when turning in your report be sure to include the following:

  • The CLE Activity Table, which can be exported from CE Manager For every format in which your organization is approved to present CLE Programs, including the traditional live classroom format)
  • A description of your attendance verification procedures, along with any relevant forms
  • If there is a fee charged for any of your programs, a detailed description of your org's financial aid policy
  • A sample program. Select one program presented by your org in 2023 that's representative of the type and caliber of program your org provides to NY attorneys. Please include ALL of the following: 
    • A brochure or announcement
    • Timed agenda
    • Speaker biographies
    • Complete set of written materials distributed to attendees
    • Attendee list Sample evaluation questionnaire
    • Sample of completed NY CLE Certificates of Attendees—one for an attendee and one for a faculty member

California's New CLE Rules

California, segmented into three compliance groups, introduces changes effective beyond January 31, 2025. These changes include an additional hour in competence (now 2), an extra hour in prevention and detection, and new credit types like "technology in the practice of law" and "civility in the legal profession."

There are also new regulations for all groups, including:

  • One optional hour in wellness as part of competence hours
  • Excess credits applied strategically, with implicit bias credits benefiting recognition and elimination of bias

Tracking these rules is made easy with CE Manager, presenting a clear chart of credit types and required credits. Understanding how credits are applied ensures compliance, with excess credits reducing general hours, preventing unused or unearned credits. However, it's essential to note that California no longer allows carry-over hours.

To delve deeper into these changes and receive a step-by-step demonstration of report submission, watch our full on-demand webinar below.

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