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March 15, 2018
Board proposes a change to professionalism CLE credit

The Florida Bar Board of Governors has signed off on a proposed rule change that would eventually require every lawyer in Florida to earn a continuing legal education credit for “professionalism.”

The board voted unanimously at its recent meeting in Tallahassee to forward the proposal to the Supreme Court for final approval. The proposal would not increase the 33 total CLE credits that must be earned every three years to remain an active Bar member.

However, it would amend Rule 6-10.3 to require that one hour of CLE be in professionalism.

The proposal originated with the Florida Supreme Court’s Commission on Professionalism and Civility, which is chaired by Justice Fred Lewis. It was endorsed by the Board of Legal Specialization and Education, which oversees CLE compliance, and the board’s Plan Appeal Committee, which reviews BLSE policies.

The board voted unanimously to approve the measure, but not until after some concerns were expressed about training for the Bar’s 18,000 out-of-state members. Rebecca Bandy, new head of The Florida Bar’s Henry Latimer Center for Professionalism, assured the board that out-of-state members can already access professionalism training online.

“We are in the process of developing new CLEs and possibly podcasts . . . so that we can offer more of a variety in our CLE selections . . . that will be pertinent to people out of state as well,” Bandy said. “We’re working on that, and we hope to add at least one to two in the next year as we continue to build our library.”

[Revised: 03-23-2018]