It’s getting close to the reporting time, and I don’t have enough CLE to meet the requirement. What happens if I fall short?

If a member who wants to renew as an Active or Associate member does not comply with the requirement to obtain the 6 hours of CLE by May 31 of the renewal period, that person must reapply for membership using the current membership application to continue as an Active or Associate member of the Division.  Use the menu above to begin the membership application process via MEMBERSHIP > Applications.

Note that an Active member of the Paralegal Division who is no longer working as a paralegal can renew as an Emeritus member.  No CLE documentation is required for Emeritus membership.  Emeritus status is only available as an option for a current Active member of the Paralegal Division during the membership renewal process between May 1 and July 31.

What qualifies as “self study CLE” for paralegals?

Self study is defined (by the State Bar of Texas as acceptable for self-study for attorneys) as:

[R]eading materials specifically prepared for an accredited CLE activity, reading legal articles, digests, advance sheets, cases, treatises, statutes and regulations. You will also be able to claim self-study credit for attending non-accredited legal education activities and non-legal professional education activities that are relevant to specific areas of law or to the legal practice. How these activities are attended (via a live program or by listening to or watching a prerecorded presentation) will be up to each individual [attorney].

Source of definition:  HERE

How do I locate documentation for my CLE attendance?

It is the member’s responsibility to track MCLE-Approved and document Non MCLE-Approved activities.  Read the CLE Attendance Recording page for the details of the process.

As a reminder, do NOT discard your certificates of attendance.  You should maintain a personal CLE file with copies of the seminar brochures and certificates of attendance in case any clarification is needed as random audits are performed by the Division’s CLE Committee.

Can I carryover hours of CLE credit from one reporting period to the next?

Yes. Substantive continuing legal education completed during any membership year in excess of the minimum six (6) hour requirement for such period may be applied to the following membership year’s requirement. The carryover provision applies to one (1) year only.  Self-study hours cannot be carried over.

What type of CLE seminars will count toward the requirement? How do I find out if a course I would like to take will count before I take it and/or after?

The Division will accept substantive law CLE presented or approved by the MCLE Department of the State Bar of Texas, the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, the National Association of Legal Assistants, the National Federation of Paralegal Associations, and/or presented by the Paralegal Division, local bar associations, paralegal associations, or law firms for credit towards the Paralegal Division mandatory membership renewal CLE requirement. If the CLE course is not accredited by any of the above-referenced groups, the Paralegal Division will accept a seminar, if it is a substantive law course offered by a qualified presenter that would qualify for approval if submitted to one of the above organizations. “Substantive Law Course” means an organized program of legal education dealing with: 1. substantive or procedural subjects of law, 2. legal skills and techniques, 3. legal ethics and/or legal professional responsibility, or 4. alternative dispute resolution. Additionally, law office management programs accredited by the State Bar of Texas will be accepted. A “Qualified Presenter” means an attorney, judge, or legal assistant/paralegal that is familiar with the topic presented, or an expert in the particular subject matter comprising the course. Speaking and writing credit will be considered for approval under the same criteria as (a) and (b) above.

I would like to continue as an active Division member, but I cannot fulfill the CLE requirements. What can I do to stay involved?

If the 6 hours of CLE credit is not obtained by the Active or Associate member by May 31 of the year in which membership expires, a member must reapply using a current membership application in order to continue as a member of the Division.

Note:  Members with extenuating circumstances who are not able to meet all the requirements for renewal of their membership may apply for a waiver of the requirements.  Such extenuating circumstances may include a pro-longed medical disability, military deployment to a remote location, or some other serious hardship which would make it impossible to meet the requirements.  A request for waiver of the renewal requirements should be directed to the President, the President-Elect, and the PD Coordinator, and include a detailed explanation of the member’s circumstances with appropriate evidence to support the request.  For example, evidence for members with medical circumstances may include a letter from a doctor, and military members should include a copy of their deployment orders. Each request will be reviewed by the Board of Directors and decided on its own merit.  The decision of the Board of Directors shall be final.

My firm does in-house seminars and training. Will this count toward the Division requirement?

It depends. If the in-house seminar or training is accredited by one of the above-listed organizations, it will count toward the Division requirement. If it is not accredited, but meets the criteria for acceptance (generally, a substantive law course offered by a qualified presenter, that would qualify for accreditation), in-house seminars and training will count toward the Division requirement. (See: What type of CLE seminars will count toward the requirement? question above).