The Supreme Court of Georgia has mandated that all active Georgia lawyers complete one hour of Professionalism CLE each year [Rule 8-104 (B)(3) of the Rules and Regulations for the Organization and Government of the State Bar of Georgia and Regulation (4) thereunder]. The Commission recognizes the need to provide guidance to Professionalism CLE providers as to the Court’s expectations regarding professionalism training. In adopting these guidelines, the Commission intends that CLE providers and speakers understand the goals of the above-referenced requirement and the desired outcomes for professionalism training.
In 2019, the Commission recognized the need to provide updated guidance to CLE sponsors as to the Court’s high expectations regarding professionalism training, and therefore the Commission revised the Professionalism CLE Guidelines. The revised Professionalism Guidelines took effect on July 1, 2019. To see the revised Professionalism CLE Guidelines, click here.
The Commission on Continuing Legal Competency (CCLC) will now review all CLE hours for approval – including the professionalism hours (similar to what CCLC now does for trial and ethics). Questions about exemptions or written materials (as part of the approval process) should be directed to CCLC. CCLC has been asked to use the CJCP professionalism CLE guidelines as part of its approval process to the extent those guidelines are not inconsistent with other CCLC procedures. We note, however, that both CCLC and CJCP generally require written materials for CLE programs, even if CCLC does not require their submission as part of the approval process. Moreover, the revised CJCP guidelines require – at a minimum – that all CLE sponsors offering professionalism credit distribute A Lawyer’s Creed and the Aspirational Statement on Professionalism to the course attendees for every course offering professionalism credit, even if A Lawyer’s Creed and the Aspirational Statement on Professionalism are not submitted to CCLC during the approval process.
For information about a professionalism application approval status, please contact the State Bar’s CLE Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (404) 527-8710. For assistance with planning a professionalism CLE program that complies with the Commission’s revised Professionalism CLE Guidelines, please contact Karlise Y. Grier at the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism at email@example.com. or (404) 225-5040.
For information on the revised Professionalism CLE Guidelines and for numerous resources on planning a professionalism CLE program, see: https://cjcpga.org/cle-sponsor-resources/.
For information on the Professionalism CLE Guidelines that were in effect until June 30, 2019, see the 2018 ICLE Manual Excerpts with Professionalism Guidelines vJuly2018
For information on the application process, click here.
Last Revised on September 17, 2019
You may find sample professionalism CLE/CJE papers and presentations at the link here.
In March 1990, the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism adopted A Lawyer’s Creed and the Aspirational Statement on Professionalism. These two documents should serve as the beginning points for professionalism discussions, not because they are to be imposed upon Georgia lawyers or bar associations, but because they serve as words of encouragement, assistance and guidance. These comprehensive statements should be utilized to frame discussions and remind lawyers about the basic tenets of our profession.
Highlights of the Professionalism CLE Guidelines are as follows.
• The Professionalism CLE Guidelines require discussion of professionalism concepts as an integral and substantive part of the presentation;
• The Guidelines require written materials on professionalism;
• The professionalism segment should create a forum in which participants can explore the meaning and aspirations of professionalism and discuss the professional conflicts that confront judges and lawyers in their work;
• The seminar must contain an Evaluation specifically of the professionalism programming; and
• Submission should be made at least 30 days in advance of the date for which you are requesting approval. If you wish to advertise that a seminar is approved for Professionalism credit, leave sufficient time for submission and approval prior to publication of seminar registration brochures.
The following items may NOT be approved for Professionalism CLE credit.
• The Commission may not approve CLEs primarily devoted to activities such as meditation, journaling, yoga, nutrition, physical fitness or other similar activities for Professionalism CLE credit.
• The Commission may not approve trainings on substantive law for Professionalism CLE credit, except as provided in the revised Professionalism CLE Guidelines effective July 1, 2019.
• The Commission may not approve the provision of general information, data, or statistics regarding wellness or pro bono for Professionalism CLE credit.
• The Commission may not approve courses that primarily concern the rules of professional conduct (i.e. legal ethics) for Professionalism CLE credit
Last Revised on June 18, 2019