Tennessee CLE credits are a requirement to practice law in the state. They’re designed to ensure attorneys are keeping their knowledge up to date and their skills sharp so they can deliver value for their clients.
Fitting these hours into an already hectic schedule isn’t always easy, but there are different ways to meet your Tennessee CLE requirements.
To help make sure you’re on top of your requirements, we’ve put together our How-to Guide to Tennessee CLE. With a recap of your requirements, an overview of the different ways to earn credits, and tips on how best to schedule your courses, you’ll find it much easier to plan your Tennessee CLE.
Tennessee CLE Requirements
The state of Tennessee requires attorneys to take 15 Tennessee CLE credit hours a year. Seven of these hours must be taken in-person, while the other eight hours can be taken online.
Of the fifteen credits, twelve hours should be general and three hours dedicated to ethics/professionalism.
New admittees to the BAR are exempt from these requirements during the calendar year they were committed, and some exemptions are available. The compliance year is the same as the calendar year, so it begins on January 1st and ends on December 31st.
If you’re not exempt, the failure to complete your hours before the deadline will result in a $1,000 non-compliance fee, and you will still be required to catch up with the courses.
What Courses Qualify for Tennessee CLE Credits?
The Tennessee Commission on Continued Legal Education allows you to gain your Tennessee CLE credits in 12 different ways. These aren’t just limited to courses, and allow you to pursue continued learning in the way that works best for you.
Traditional in-class courses – Maximum of 12 general credits and 3 ethics credits
Teaching at an approved CLE activity – Maximum of 12 general credits and 3 ethics credits
Teaching at an approved educational institution – Maximum of 12 general credits and 3 ethics credits
Pro Bono representation – Maximum of 3 ethics credits
Indignant defense representation – Maximum of 3 ethic credits
Published writing – Maximum of 6 general credits, 1.5 ethic credits
Formal enrollment at a postgraduate educational institution – Maximum of 12 general credits and 3 ethics credits for live classes, maximum of 8 credits for distance learning
Service as a bar examiner – Maximum of 12 general credits and 3 ethics credits
Service on the Board of Professional Responsibility – Maximum 3 ethics credits
Participation as a member of governmental commissions, committees, or other governmental bodies – Maximum of 6 general credits, 1.5 ethic credits
Completion of BAR Review course – Maximum of 12 general credits and 3 ethics credits for live classes, maximum of 8 credits for distance learning
Successful completion of a bar examination, specialist certification program, and/or examination for admission to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office – Maximum of 12 general credits and 3 ethics credits
Up to twelve general credits and three ethics credits can be carried over for one full year from their completion date.
Tips for Fulfilling Your Tennessee CLE Requirement
One of the most important things you can do for your Tennessee CLE requirements is to plan ahead. The last thing you want is to get to the end of the year and be under pressure to complete your hours.
If you’re looking ahead and planning for your CLE courses (bundling online CLE courses is a great way to do this), then you can plan them around your schedule and make your life a lot easier. Along with all your other commitments, it can be difficult to find time to fit in your CLE, so flexibility is also key.
This is where CLE online courses can be your best option. They allow you to work through your course at your own pace and fit the material around your existing obligations.
Make sure you choose a good provider like TRTCLE for maximum convenience. Many of these courses are run by government bodies which often operate with outdated technology, negating the convenience of taking the online course in the first place.
Tennessee CLE Online
Doing your Tennessee CLE online is a convenient way to meet your requirements.
Although you can only earn a maximum of eight credits online (this has been relaxed for 2021), many attorneys find it’s the easiest way to get started on their hours. The important thing to remember is that while these are required courses, you might as well get as much as you possibly can from them.
There are lots of different ways to complete your Tennessee CLE credits.
Although these are required hours, they can be of great benefit to your professional career, and choosing the right course makes a difference. For many busy attorneys, one of the most convenient options is to take online courses to earn the majority of their credits.
When looking at Tennessee CLE online courses, make sure you choose a provider like TRTCLE that’s geared to make your life easier. You want to be working with the latest software and not struggling with outdated technology that slows you down.
For the ideal combination of convenience and value, view our Tennessee CLE online course options!