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August 31, 2022

Self-Study CLE Cap To Be Eliminated, Effective January 1

Starting Jan. 1, lawyers will no longer have a limit on the amount of continuing legal education (CLE) requirements they can fulfill through approved self-study courses.

Self-study is individualized learning outside a standard classroom or seminar setting. This may be live, interactive educational style including real-time video conference, teleconference, and on-demand courses online.

Continuing legal and judicial education is required to maintain and improve the quality of legal and judicial services in the state of Ohio.

The Supreme Court of Ohio waived the self-study cap during the pandemic. The change now becomes permanent, allowing flexibility for attorneys to fit CLE into their schedules while managing the cost of time and travel for in-person programs.

“With thousands of certified on-demand courses, this [rule] amendment makes it easier for lawyers to focus on their clients and practices while also maintaining their educational requirements,” said Gina Palmer, the Supreme Court Director of Attorney Services.

In Ohio, attorneys must complete at least 24 hours of CLE during every two-year compliance period. Previously, lawyers were limited to half the requirement – 12 hours – as self-study.

Judges and magistrates will also benefit from the adjusted CLE requisites effective Jan. 1, 2024. Of the 40 hours necessary for judicial officers each two-year cycle, 20 will be permitted through approved self-study courses. The changes will reduce individual travel and expenses to courts, while allowing more time for managing dockets and other duties.

For more information regarding the CLE amendments, please review the FAQs. Attorneys, judges, and magistrates are encouraged to confirm that self-study courses have been accredited in Ohio prior to attending a course in person or online.

The Columbus Bar has over 100 self-study courses on a wide variety of topics

A list of approved self-study courses and live interactive webinars can be found on the Columbus Bar Association website.

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