Arkansas requires its legal practitioners to comply with 12 units of mandatory legal education every year. Fortunately, compliance is not difficult with a host of accredited CLE providers that allow lawyers to take the courses at their own pace through traditional, online and downloadable courses. The State allows its lawyers to complete all 12 units online, making compliance easier even for the busiest of legal practitioners.
Arkansas CLE Courses
Arkansas CLE courses usually focus on updates on legal issues and jurisprudence. These can range from topics on virtual currency and its tax implications to lawyering for small businesses, immigration reforms and updates on international law. All accredited programs must have at least 1 Ethics course.
How is compliance determined?
Accredited providers are required by the Arkansas State Rules to monitor attendance and completion. Lawyers who choose to comply through online courses must click on randomly selected pop-up ads to confirm that they are actively viewing the course.
Providers offering downloadable courses use numeric codes to determine compliance. At the end of each course, the student must write the numbers down and enter all the codes to obtain the course certificate once all the courses are finished.
Requirements for New Attorneys
State law provides that new lawyers are exempt from taking Arkansas CLE courses for the year that they are admitted to the bar. They are required to comply in the next reporting period, which is the reporting period after the period of admission to the bar.
Reporting to the Arkansas CLE Board
Most programs do not report the completed course to the ACLEB (Arkansas Continuing Legal Education Board). They simply provide a record of all courses and certificates which users can access from their websites.
To report completed courses to the Board, users must send in their certificates through email or regular mail to the Supreme Court of Arkansas Office of Professional Programs.
Effect of Non-compliance
CLE programs send users a mailed final report of the previous reporting cycle before July 31. If the user is in full compliance, he or she does not need to take any additional steps. Otherwise, he or she must send in the acknowledgement of deficiency form and comply with requirements by December 1.
Lawyers found to be non-compliant may be subjected to suspension. They may also be ordered to pay delinquent fees and penalties. However, lawyers are given ample time to either submit proof of compliance or correct the deficiencies before proceedings for suspension are initiated.