After a year long study by the Commission on Continuing Legal Education, the Ohio Supreme Court has adopted a number of changes to the CLE and CJE Requirements. These changes will go into effect January 1, 2014. Some of the more noteworthy ones are
- It will now be ok to eat and do CLE at the same time!
- The standard ethics/professionalism/substance abuse trio has been replaced with Professional Conduct Credit Hours, which now requires two and a half hours of instruction on one or any combination of the following topics:
- Legal ethics, which shall include instruction on the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct;
- Professionalism, which shall include instruction on the role of attorneys in promoting ethics and professionalism among attorneys by facilitating compliance with the requirements of the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct, “A Lawyer’s Creed,” “A Lawyer’s Aspirational Ideals,” and the “Statement Regarding the Provision of Pro Bono Legal Services by Ohio Lawyers” adopted by the Supreme Court;
- Alcoholism, substance abuse, or mental health issues, which shall include instruction on any of their causes, prevention, detection, and treatment alternatives, as applicable;
- Access to justice and fairness in the courts and how these issues impact public trust and confidence in the judicial system and the perception of justice in Ohio, which shall include instruction on one or any combination of the following topics: interacting with self-represented litigants; encouraging pro bono representation; accommodating language interpretation; assuring fairness in matters of race, ethnicity, foreign origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, socio-economic status, or other relevant topics.
- Lawyers can now earn CLE credit for approved pro bono activities.
- Lawyers can get more CLE instruction online (hopefully from ABA approved teleconferences and webinars, from which Ohio has been conspicuously absent in allowing credit despite the fact that many of these are superior to standard local fare.)