Frequently Asked Questions for Full-Time, Part-Time, and Retired Judges

Incorporating Amendments to Continuing Legal Education Rule for Attorneys and Judges, Effective January 1, 2014

  1. Why is continuing legal education for the judiciary required?
  2. What are the continuing legal education requirements for judges?
  3. Do Part-Time Judges and Retired Judges have the same continuing legal education and Judicial College requirements as Full-Time Judges?
  4. What are the compliance period deadlines to complete the CLE/Judicial College requirements?
  5. I am an Acting Judge. What are my continuing legal education requirements?
  6. How are CLE/Judicial College credit hours calculated?
  7. Other than in-person CLE activities, what types of credit may count toward my CLE requirement?
  8. What happens if I earn more CLE/Judicial College credit hours than are required for the two-year compliance period?
  9. Are there judges who do not have to report to the Commission on Continuing Legal Education?
  10. I am a newly appointed judge. How long do I have before I must comply with the Judicial College requirement?
  11. How do I find Judicial College courses?
  12. Should I keep a list of my CLE/Judicial College activities?
  13. What happens if I do not comply with my CLE/Judicial College requirements?
  14. If I find I am unable to complete my CLE/Judicial College requirements prior to the December 31 deadline, will you grant me an extension of time?
  15. I am unable to meet my CLE/Judicial College requirements due to illness. What can I do?
  16. How do I apply for an exemption from my duty to meet my CLE/Judicial College requirements?
  17. How can I obtain a copy of my CLE record?
  18. How can I find out more about my CLE and/or Judicial College requirements?

1. Why is continuing legal education for the judiciary required?

To serve the public interest that mandates the competent performance of the duties of judicial office in Ohio.

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2. What are the continuing legal education requirements for judges?

Pursuant to Gov.Jud.R, IV, full-time judges, part-time judges, and retired judges eligible for assignment, are required to earn 40 hours of continuing legal education, including 10 hours of instruction through courses offered by the Ohio Supreme Court Judicial College, every two years. As part of the 10-hour Judicial College requirement, a minimum of three hours of Judicial Conduct instruction must be completed. The requirements may be prorated  based on the date you take office or, if you are appointed, the date of your appointment, and your status at the end of the biennium.

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3. Do Part-Time Judges and Retired Judges have the same continuing legal education and Judicial College requirements as Full-Time Judges?

Yes. Effective Jan. 1, 2019, judges, including retired and part-time judges, are required to earn 40 hours of continuing legal education, including 10 hours of instruction through courses offered by the Ohio Supreme Court Judicial College, every two years.  Further, as part of the 10-hour Judicial College education requirement, 3 hours of instruction must be designated as “judicial conduct,” which may include courses on topics such as judicial ethics, judicial professionalism, and access to justice.

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4. What are the compliance period deadlines to complete the CLE/Judicial College requirements?

All Ohio judges have been permanently assigned to one of two compliance groups depending on their last name at the time of their admission to the practice of law in Ohio. Judges with last names beginning with the letters A through L will be required to earn all education hours by the end of each odd-numbered year. Judges with last names beginning with the letters M through Z will be required to earn all education hours by the end of each even-numbered year.

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5. I am an Acting Judge. What are my continuing legal education requirements?

Acting Judges are required to complete 24 credit hours of continuing legal instruction every two years, which shall include 10 hours of instruction provided by the Ohio Supreme Court Judicial College. As part of the 24-hour requirement, a minimum of 2.5 hours of attorney professional conduct must be completed.

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6. How are CLE/Judicial College credit hours calculated?

Thirty minutes of actual instruction or other approved activity equals one-half credit hour.

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7. Other than in-person CLE activities, what types of credit may count toward my CLE requirement?

Each compliance period, in addition to live, in-person CLE programs, a judge may apply the following credits toward their CLE requirement:

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8. What happens if I earn more CLE/Judicial College credit hours than are required for the two-year compliance period?

A judge who completes more than his or her CLE requirement in a compliance period, may carry over a maximum of 20 hours of CLE to the next compliance period.  Any carryover, including any Judicial College hours, will count as general credit only. Therefore, a minimum of 10 Judicial College hours, including 3 hours of Judicial Conduct, must be completed each compliance period.

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9. Are there judges who do not have to report to the Commission on Continuing Legal Education?

Yes. Pursuant to Gov.Bar R. X, Sec. 12 (D), United States judges appointed to office for life pursuant to Article III of the United States Constitution; United States bankruptcy judges; and United States magistrate judges, are exempt from the CLE requirements while in office.

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10. I am a newly appointed judge. How long do I have before I must comply with the Judicial College requirement?

When you first become a judge and become subject to Gov. Jud. R. IV, your judicial education requirements will be calculated on a pro rata basis during the first biennial compliance period. The pro rata calculation is based on the date of your appointment and your status at the end of the compliance period. You may review your requirements on the Attorney Portal at https://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/asw.

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11. How do I find Judicial College courses?

You may view a list of approved courses on the Judicial College website at http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/Boards/judCollege/. The Judicial College may be reached at 614.387.9445.

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12. Should I keep a list of my CLE/Judicial College activities?

Yes. You should maintain records sufficient to establish compliance with CLE requirements in the event of an error in your record.

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13. What happens if I do not comply with my CLE/Judicial College requirements?

If you fail to comply with the educational requirements of Gov.Jud. R. IV and Gov.Bar R.. X, the Commission will send you a notice of apparent noncompliance. The notice will specify the nature of the noncompliance and state that unless you come into compliance or file evidence of compliance that is satisfactory to the Commission by the date set forth in the notice, the Commission will issue an order imposing a sanction against you. As a condition of acceptance of late compliance, you will be required to pay a late compliance fee that accompanies your report of compliance.

If you submit evidence by the date set forth in the notice that establishes timely compliance or late compliance, the Commission will withdraw the notice of noncompliance and advise you of this action.

If you do not come into compliance or file satisfactory evidence of compliance, the Commission will issue a sanction order against you, consistent with Commission regulation.

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14. If I find I am unable to complete my CLE/Judicial College requirements prior to the December 31 deadline, will you grant me an extension of time?

There is no provision for extensions of time to comply with your CLE/Judicial College requirements. However, you will be provided with an opportunity to make-up the deficient hours as described above.

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15. I am unable to meet my CLE/Judicial College requirements due to illness. What can I do?

The Commission may grant a temporary exemption from the continuing legal education requirements of Gov. Jud. R. IV and Gov. Bar Rule X, under the following circumstances:

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16. How do I apply for an exemption from my duty to meet my CLE/Judicial College requirements?

The application for exemption forms can be found on the CLE website The application should be submitted, along with appropriate supporting documentation, to the Office of Attorney Services.

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17. How can I obtain a copy of my CLE record?

You may view your CLE record online at https://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/asw. To receive a certified copy of your CLE record, please send a written request containing your attorney registration number, and beginning and ending calendar dates.

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18. How can I find out more about my CLE and/or Judicial College requirements?

You may phone the Commission at 614.387.9320 or send an email to ccle@sc.ohio.gov.

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