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Orzeske: How to stay in good standing with your CLE requirements

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Indiana Lawyer Focus

By Julia Orzeske, John D. Ulmer and Shontrai Irving

Indiana’s attorneys are subject to a mandatory continuing legal education requirement. Each attorney, in order to stay active and in good standing on the Indiana Roll of Attorneys, must complete a minimum of six hours of CLE per calendar year and a minimum of 36 hours by Dec. 31 of the third year of repeating three-year education periods. Newly admitted attorneys must complete six hours of an Applied Professionalism Course that counts toward both their annual and three-year requirement. These newly admitted attorneys who successfully complete a three-year education period are then considered veteran attorneys: the applied professionalism requirement is replaced by a three-hour ethics requirement which must be completed at any time in repeating three-year education periods.

Every year, before Sept. 1, attorneys are sent a transcript showing their continuing legal education activities for the current year and three-year education period. Once this is received, the attorneys are responsible for correcting any errors and completing any unfulfilled requirements before Dec. 31 of the current year.

The transcript is sent to the attorneys at the address designated by the attorney on the Roll of Attorneys’ portal. It is wise to check information early in the summer (now) because the annual attorney registration fee process will soon begin. If an attorney’s contact information is not kept current, there is a possibility the registration fee information will be sent to the wrong email address for the attorney and that the CLE transcript will be sent to the wrong home or work address. It is important to note that it is solely the attorney’s responsibility to enter, verify and monitor this contact information, and “a failure to do so is a waiver of notice involving licenses as attorneys and/or disciplinary matters.” Admission and Discipline Rule 2, Sec. (a). Please take the time now to review your contact information on the Roll of Attorneys portal at https://courtapps.in.gov/rollofattorneys.

The Commission for Continuing Legal Education has a searchable database on www.in.gov/judiciary/cle/ to help attorneys choose courses that have already been approved by the commission. If there is a course an attorney is interested in attending that is not listed, the attorney should complete an application for accreditation to the commission to receive an approval decision before spending substantial time and resources on the course. The commission currently has about a 30-day turn around on course applications.

There are also FAQs on the website. The commission deals with questions that arise in its areas of responsibility addressed by Admission and Discipline Rule 28 (Continuing Judicial Education), Admission and Discipline Rule 29 (Continuing Legal Education), Admission and Discipline Rule 30 (Attorney Specialization) and the Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules (Mediation training and registry). Please contact the commission with any questions at 317-232-1943 or cle@courts.in.gov.•

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Julia Orzeske has been executive director of the Commission for Continuing Legal Education since 1994. John D. Ulmer is chair of the commission and of counsel with Yoder Ainlay Ulmer & Buckingham LLP in Goshen. Shontrai Irving is a commission member and an attorney with State Farm. The opinions expressed are those of the authors.

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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