By: Omar Issa

How to Receive CLE Credit Through Online Courses

Between life, work, and everything else, it’s not always easy to fulfill your CLE requirements. And if you’re on the move, traveling, or just plain busy, it can be even more difficult to earn the CLE credits you need. But with online CLE courses, you can meet your CLE requirements regardless of where you are or what you’re doing, especially if you like to study and do work whenever you have a free minute.

In fact, online CLE courses can give you the freedom and flexibility to satisfy your continuing education requirements while you gain the knowledge needed to build up your foundational base. That can make it much easier to keep up with mandated requirements on top of everything else you have on your plate — the convenience of online CLE means that you can get back to your other obligations without skipping out on your important CLE responsibilities.

The Ways To Earn CLE Credits

Because there’s no national CLE standard, specific CLE requirements are governed and decided on separately by each state. That means you’ll have to be licensed in a given state to enroll and receive valid CLE credits, and it’s all on you to pick the right online CLE course to meet your CLE requirements.

Additionally, the varying requirements by state also mean that what counts as CLE in a given state may not meet the requirement in another, and it even extends to how you can earn CLE. That can mean the difference between getting credit for those online CLE courses and wasting your time, so it’s important to plan accordingly and ensure that your preferred CLE method is approved by your state before you get started.

That said, it’s not like there is an infinite number of ways to earn CLE credits — there are only three main ways to earn CLE credits, and you’ll still have to verify that your preferred CLE method is accepted by your state.

Pro Bono Work

The first approach that may satisfy a CLE requirement is to engage in pro bono work. However, according to the American Bar Association, it only satisfies the CLE requirement in just a few states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Louisiana, Minnesota, New York, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

If you practice in one of those states, you’re in luck. Otherwise, you’ll have to seek out another satisfying CLE method in your state. Additionally, you’ll only be able to do an average of about three hours of pro bono work per year, with about five hours of service equaling one CLE credit. Some states may allow more or less, so it’s important to check the CLE requirements in your state.

Legal Conferences

Another avenue for obtaining CLE credits in many states is to attend legal conferences. While the pandemic has canceled many in-person events, you may be able to satisfy the requirement with a virtual conference, which comes with the added benefit of no travel time. But with in-person gatherings opening up and the CDC issuing new guidance for vaccinated people, those in-person conferences may be just around the corner.

Even if not, it’s true that virtual events have come a long way since the beginning of the pandemic. Online CLE webinars and other training is easier and more ubiquitous than ever, and that can help you satisfy your CLE requirements while in-person are still trying to find their footing in the post-COVID world.

Online CLE Courses

The third — and best! — way to earn CLE credits is to take online CLE courses. Not only have a lot of states embraced online learning in recent years, but you can meet your CLE requirements for many states from the comfort of home or wherever you happen to be. It’s also a convenient way to satisfy those CLE prerequisites before the end of your CLE deadline.

Of the myriad ways that you can earn your CLE credits, CLE online courses represent quite possibly the simplest approach, and it’s also a snap to figure out if it’ll meet your state’s CLE requirements — the enrollment process for most CLE schools will ask for your state, allowing you to browse courses that you know will meet the CLE requirement.

Other Ways to Earn CLE Credits

If you happen to live in certain states, you may also be able to earn CLE credits via other activities, such as mentoring, publishing professional articles, teaching law, or moderating competitions in law school.

But the problem with many of the ways that you can earn CLE credits is that it’s rarely on your own time — you’ll often have to take time out of your day to be somewhere else, and that means scheduling even more time before and after for travel and other considerations.

Online CLE and Your Schedule

That’s where CLE courses online come into play. Instead of burdening your schedule with obligations that can wreak havoc on your day or your week, online CLE courses allow you to earn CLE credits without having to leave your home. If you have some extra time this week, you can knock out those credits without all that planning you’d need to attend a conference or engage in some pro bono work.

With a couple of extra hours during the week, you can watch a course or soak up some knowledge whenever you have a free minute or two — and that can really help you optimize your time during the week. If you want to double back and refresh on just about any topic, you can do that, too. Learning isn’t limited to the hours between 9 and 5, and online CLE courses enable you to meet your CLE requirements and brush up on the skills and information you need to do better work on your schedule, not the schedules of others.

Online CLE from TRTCLE

If you’re ready to start meeting your CLE requirements at home in your spare time, there’s no better time to start than the present — and no better CLE institution than TRTCLE. Just head on over to our online CLE page and pick your state to see the approved CLE courses that will meet your state’s CLE requirements.

Once you select a state, you can then filter by credit type and practice area, enabling you to easily drill down to the exact courses that you need to meet your state’s CLE guidelines. CLE courses are offered a la carte, and you’ll also see how many credits you’ll receive by completing each course. You can also purchase bundles or unlimited access to take advantage of the breadth of our CLE catalog.