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.
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.
Student members are not required to obtain six hours of CLE each year.
There are many ways to earn continuing legal education. Many local paralegal associations and bar associations offer free or low cost, lunch time CLE. The Division website lists many of these CLE offerings. In addition, the State Bar of Texas offers online CLE through its website, http://www.texasbarcle.com . Many seminars are offered on weekends or after hours, at affordable rates. Finally, the Division offers affordable online CLE through our website http://txpd.inreachce.com/. Most are available to Division members at $40 per credit hour. The CLE may be taken in the convenience of your home or office, with up to three months to complete a course. The Board of Directors is sensitive to those paralegals whose firm does not support or pay for CLE for its paralegals. However, the Board came to the decision to mandate CLE for members after a thorough review of continuing education requirements for national, state, and local paralegal associations. We believe that this is a move that maintains the Division’s position as a leader in professional paralegal organizations nationwide. By establishing this standard for continuing education, our members will be better prepared to assist both the attorneys, for whom we work, and the public, for whom we provide valuable services.
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).
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.
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
Non-participatory CLE (self-study) will be accepted for up to two of the six required hours. The Division will accept teaching or speaking credit on the same basis as participatory credit (i.e., teaching or speaking credit will be granted for those substantive law courses accredited or presented by one of the above-listed organizations).
If the CLE is approved by the MCLE Department of the State Bar, you may purchase the audio CLE and listen for whatever credit is offered. If a member of the Paralegal Division takes a course that is accredited by the MCLE Department of the State Bar and records their membership number, their attendance will be reported electronically to MCLE the following Monday. All courses found at www.texasbarcle.com with 9-digit MCLE course numbers, regardless of format, are approved.
In addition, many of the Paralegal Division’s Online CLE at txpd.inreachce.com are recorded to be downloaded as audio podcast and the Paralegal Division allows one hour CLE credit for each topic. If you register for an audio CLE and receive a Certificate of Attendance, you may claim as CLE. If you listen to a substantive legal CLE audio tape and have not registered for the CLE, you may claim as self-study. To determine if a CLE is accepted as credit to renew membership in the Paralegal Division, view HERE.