NM New Mexico MCLE     An Agency of the Supreme Court
Minimum Continuing Legal Education
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> Article 1: Committees Rules
> Article 2: Requirements Rules
> Article 3: Reporting Rules
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MCLE Rules

ARTICLE 2. Continuing Education Requirements
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  • 18-201. Minimum educational requirements
    • A. Hours required. Every active licensed member of the state bar shall complete twelve (12) hours of continuing legal education during each year as provided by these rules. One hour of continuing legal education is equivalent to sixty (60) minutes of instruction. This rule sets forth the requisite hours and categories of continuing legal education. Rule 18-204 NMRA sets forth the means by which the hours may be acquired.
    • B. Legal Substantive credits. Ten (10) of the required twelve (12) hours may include legal subjects or subjects which relate to the individual attorney’s practice of law. The hours shall be defined as general credits.
    • C. Legal Ethics and Professionalism credits. At least two (2) hours of the twelve (12) hours shall be devoted to board approved subjects dealing with legal ethics and professionalism. Excess ethics and professionalism credits shall be applied as follows:
        1. first, to any deficit in general credits in the current compliance year;
        2. second, to the next compliance year as carry-over ethics and professionalism credits; and
        3. third, to the next compliance year as carry-over general credits, subject to the limitations set forth in Paragraph D of this rule.
    • D. Carry-over. Any member may carry up to twelve (12) hours of excess credits earned in one (1) compliance year over to the next compliance year only. Only two (2) hours of ethics and professionalism credit may be carried over as part of the twelve (12) hours of credits. Excess ethics and professionalism credits can be converted to be used toward the substantive (general) requirement. Self-study credit hours cannot be carried over. No credit may be carried over for more than one (1) compliance year.
    • E. Judges. Judges, retired judges who are active licensed members of the state bar, domestic violence special commissioners and domestic relations hearing officers shall be required to complete the same number of hours of continuing legal education as other active licensed bar members. The means by which these individuals may satisfy their continuing legal education requirements are set forth in Rule 18-204 NMRA.

    [As amended, effective January 1, 1990; November 1, 1991; February 1, 1992; March 23, 1998; January 1, 2001; as amended by Supreme Court Order 05-8300-07, effective January 1, 2006; by Supreme Court Order 06-8300-33, effective January 1, 2007; by Supreme Court Order No. 11-8300-020, effective May 1, 2011 for compliance year ending December 31, 2011, and subsequent compliance years.]

  • 18-202. Exemptions and waivers
    • A. Inactive members. An inactive member of the state bar shall be exempt from continuing legal education and reporting requirements of these rules.
    • B. Extensions and Waivers.
      1. (1) Upon petition and a finding by the board of special circumstances constituting undue hardship, the board may provide an extension of time to complete the credit requirements of these rules.
      2. (2) Upon a finding by the board of special circumstances constituting undue hardship and with approval by the Supreme Court, the board may grant a waiver to an active licensed member from the credit requirements of these rules.
    • C. U.S. military active duty. An active licensed member of the state bar who is in the armed services of the United States and who serves one hundred eighty (180) days or more in any year on full-time active duty is exempt from the minimum education requirements of Rule 18-201 NMRA during such year. In order to be eligible for this exemption, the member must provide to the board a certification of the military service and dates.

    [As amended, effective May 1, 2011 for compliance year ending December 31, 2011 and subsequent compliance years.]

  • 18-203. Accreditation; course approval; provider reporting
    • A. Accreditation. The board shall:
      1. (1) accredit institutions that have a history of providing quality continuing legal education;
      2. (2) approve individual programs of continuing legal education. The content of the instruction provided may include, but not be limited to, live seminars, participation in education activities involving the use of computer-based resources, audiotapes and videotapes; and
      3. (3) periodically review accredited institutions.
    • B. Accredited institutions and program provider requirements. Accredited institutions and program providers shall:
      1. (1) assure that each program addresses the ethical or code of professional responsibility and professionalism implications where appropriate; provided, however, that only those portions of a program specifically approved or specified as granting ethics and professionalism credit shall be used to fulfill the attorneys' ethics and professionalism requirements;
      2. (2) assure that the course has significant intellectual or practical content and that its primary objective is to increase the participant's professional competence as an attorney;
      3. (3) assure that the curriculum offered relates to legal subjects or subjects which relate to the individual attorney's practice of law, including professional conduct, legal ethics, and professionalism or law office management;
      4. (4) assure that presenters for all programs are qualified by practical or academic experience to teach the subject to be covered;
      5. (5) assure that legal subjects are normally taught by attorneys;
      6. (6) assure that program faculty includes at least one lawyer, judge or full-time law professor;
      7. (7) assure that thorough, high quality, current, readable, carefully prepared written materials are distributed to all participants at or before the time the course is offered; and
      8. (8) assure that a level of activity is noted on the promotional materials following the guidelines listed below:
        1. (a) Advanced. An advanced continuing legal education course should be designed for the practitioner who specializes in the subject matter of the course;
        2. (b) Intermediate. An intermediate course is designed for the practitioner experienced in the subject matter, but not necessarily an expert. A survey course in which there have been recent, substantial changes will be deemed intermediate. In an intermediate course, some segment may be low intermediate or basic and others high or advanced. In those instances, the course taken as a whole will be considered intermediate;
        3. (c) Basic. A basic course is designed for the practitioner with no experience or limited experience in the area of law with which the course deals. A survey course will be considered basic unless there are recent, significant changes in the law.
    • C. Announcement of approval. Providers shall announce, as to a program that has been given approval, that: "This course has been approved by the New Mexico Minimum Continuing Legal Education Board for _____ hours of credit".
    • D. Provider attendance lists. Pursuant to practices and procedures adopted by the board, all continuing legal education providers must, as a condition of accreditation or program approval, agree to provide the board a list of all New Mexico attorneys and judges who attended the continuing legal education program and the number of hours claimed by each participant. Such list, and any required credit filing fees, shall be provided within thirty (30) days of the program being held.

  • [As amended, effective May 1, 2011 for compliance year ending December 31, 2011 and subsequent compliance years.]

  • 18-204. Earning Credits; Credit Types
    • A. Scope. This rule sets forth the means by which a member may acquire the credits required by Rule 18-201 NMRA.
    • B. Live program credit.
      1. (1) Credit for attending approved live programs shall be based on one (1) hour of credit for each sixty (60) minutes of actual instruction time, which may include the following:
        1. (a) lecture;
        2. (b) panel discussion;
        3. (c) question-and-answer periods;
        4. (d) film presentation; or
        5. (e) time spent viewing videotapes or listening to audiotapes at an organized open enrollment program at which there is a moderator assigned to supervise the program and to foster discussion among participants, and provided that this program is approved as provided for in these rules.
      2. (2) The individual seeking live program credit must not have previously received credit for the same program.
    • C. Self-study credit.
      1. (1) Self-study general, ethics and professionalism credits may be given for viewing videotapes or listening to audiotapes or participating in educational activities involving the use of computer-based resources, provided:
        1. (a) board approval is received prior to viewing, listening or participating;
        2. (b) the self-study course is from an accredited provider and was produced within five (5) years from the date of viewing, listening or participating; or
        3. (c) the self-study course is from an approved program and was produced within five (5) years from the date of viewing, listening or participating.
      2. (2) Absent prior board approval in exceptional circumstances, no more than four (4) hours of credit may be given during one (1) compliance year for self-study activities.
      3. (3) The individual seeking self-study credit must not previously have received self-study or live program credit for the same program.
      4. (4) Self-study credits may be applied only to the continuing legal education requirements for the year in which they are earned, and may not be carried over to subsequent year requirements or backward to prior year requirements.
    • D. Speakers. Speakers who participate at an accredited providers' program or an approved program may receive credit for preparation time and presentation time, including credit for repeated presentations, within the following parameters:
      1. (1) Speakers may receive credit for the actual presentation time.
      2. (2) Speakers may receive up to three (3) hours of credit for preparation time for each presentation hour.
      3. (3) For repeat presentations, the speaker may only receive credit for presentation time.
    • E. Publications.
      1. (1) Credit for one (1) hour may be earned for each sixty (60) minutes spent authoring or co-authoring written material that is actually published in a legal periodical, journal, book or treatise approved by the board, provided that:
        1. (a) the material substantially contributes to the legal education or competency of the attorney and other attorneys; and
        2. (b) the work is not done in the ordinary course of the attorney's practice of law or the performance of regular employment.
      2. (2) Credit is given in the year the work is accepted for publication, or in which publication actually occurs.
      3. (3) The maximum number of credits an attorney can earn for a publication is ten (10) general credits.
    • F. Other attorney reporting procedures. An attorney wishing to obtain approval for a program, for which the provider has not sought accreditation or has not properly reported attendees, shall comply with the practices and procedures established by the board.
    • G. Judges.
      1. (1) In addition to other means set forth in this rule, judges, retired judges who are active licensed members of the state bar, domestic violence special commissioners and domestic relations hearing officers may satisfy the continuing legal education requirements of Paragraph F of Rule 18-201 NMRA by attending judicial education programs:
        1. (a) provided by the Judicial Continuing Education Committee;
        2. (b) approved by the Minimum Continuing Legal Education Board;
        3. (c) provided by the Judicial Education Center; or
        4. (d) approved by the Administrative Office of the Courts pursuant to the Rules Governing Judicial Education.
      2. (2) Annual training for metropolitan, district and appellate court judges, domestic violence special commissioners and domestic relations hearing officers shall include appropriate training in understanding domestic violence, as determined by the Judicial Continuing Education Committee.

    [As amended, effective May 1, 2011 for compliance year ending December 31, 2011 and subsequent compliance years.]

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