Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Comes To New Jersey

Starting January 1, 2010, New Jersey joins 42 other states by requiring continuing legal education for every lawyer licensed to practice in the State, including judges, law school professors and in-house counsel. Under a newly adopted court rule, Rule 1:42, New Jersey lawyers must take a minimum of 24 hours of continuing legal education courses every two years. 12 credit hours can be carried over from one cycle to the next, except for courses in ethics, which must make up 4 of the requisite 24 credits in every cycle. Reciprocal credit will be given for courses taken from other jurisdictions. Compliance will be on the honor system, with lawyers required to certify every two years that they have fulfilled their obligation. The self-monitoring will cost lawyers $4 per year, which will be added to the annual attorney registration fee. The Court also abolished the Skills and Methods Course for new attorneys.  See Notice To The Bar dated December 21, 2009.