Rules & Guidelines

For questions or comments regarding these guidelines, please contact the Kansas CLE.

Rules Governing CLE

For the most current version of the Kansas Supreme Court Rules for CLE, please visit:

Kansas Supreme Court Rules

and select the category for Continuing Legal Education and apply the filter.

Guidelines for Approval

  • Instructional Materials Printable GuidelinesOnline Guidelines
  • Definition of Instructional Materials

    Kansas Supreme Court Rule 804(h)(4) requires that "thorough, high quality, readable, useful, and carefully prepared instructional materials must be made available to all participants by the time the program is presented, unless the Board approves the absence of instructional materials. A brief outline without citations or explanatory notations will not be sufficient."
    This requirement must be satisfied by all courses, regardless of duration or format, in order for CLE credit to be granted. Exceptions to the requirement should be determined well in advance of the activity.

    Purpose of the Requirement:

    • Course Preparation - It insures thorough course preparation by the provider and presenter. Generally, the provider must furnish materials prepared specifically for the course and the subject matter addressed. The distribution of copies of cases or statutes without customized materials is not acceptable.
    • Useful Materials - It ensures that the attendees will receive materials that are useful after the course is completed. Materials provided should be sufficient to assist the attendee when questions regarding the covered subject matter are raised at a later date and to serve as a general resource after course completion.
    • Supporting Information for Accreditation - It allows theKansas CLE staff and the Board to evaluate the quality and nature of the course and the actual subject matter being covered. Occasionally, neither the title of the course submitted on an application nor the agenda for the presentation provides sufficient information about course content to allow evaluation. Review of the written materials provided to course attendees allows the Board to assess the quality and subject matter of the course and to ensure that the topics addressed are appropriate for accreditation purposes. The requirement to provide written materials can be satisfied by providing printed copies or copies stored on electronic media. It may also be satisfied by allowing attendees access to electronic copies available for downloading.
    • Delivery - The materials must be delivered to the attendee before or at the program.
    • Written Matierals - As stated above, written materials are considered an important part of the educational process. Lecture format programs are expected to provide traditional written materials. For interactive “"guided discussions,"Kansas CLE staff will work closely with providers to develop options for alternative materials so that the integrity of the rule is maintained. Providers should contactKansas CLE during the planning of the program to review possible alternatives.
  • Ethics Professionalism Printable GuidelinesOnline Guidelines
  • All actively licensed attorneys are required to complete a minimum of 2 hours of CLE in the area of ethics and professionalism by the end of each compliance period. Supreme Court Rule 803(a)

    • Ethics Definition - Ethics refers to the standards set by the Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct with which lawyers must abide to remain in good standing as members of the Kansas bar. Programming is accreditable when it instructs attorneys on compliance and duties under those rules.
    • Professionalism Definition - Professionalism is conduct consistent with the tenets of the legal profession as demonstrated by a lawyer's civility, honesty, integrity, character, fairness, competence, ethical conduct, public service, and respect for the rule of law, the courts, clients, other lawyers, witnesses, and unrepresented parties. Professionalism also includes lawyer well-being and the promotion of diversity and inclusion of minorities in the legal profession, including but not limited to race, religion, color, sex, disability, national origin or ancestry, familial status, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The general goal of including professionalism as accreditable CLE is to create a forum in which lawyers, judges and legal educators can explore and reflect upon the meaning and goals of professionalism in contemporary legal practice.
    • Well-Being Accreditation - Programs that address a broader scope of topics that are related to mental health, substance abuse, mindfulness, work/life balance and other similar topics that impact malpractice prevention and ethics will be considered for professionalism credit. These programs must be presented to an attorney audience and relate directly to the practice of law.
    • Ethics Issues in Another Topic - Ethics included as part of another topic does not qualify for ethics and professionalism credit. "Integration of legal ethics or ethics and professionalism issues into substantive law topics is encouraged, but integrated material does not count toward the two-hour minimum annual ethics and professionalism requirement." Supreme Court Rule 804(h)(6). To qualify, the session must focus on ethics and be clearly marked in a block of time on the agenda.
    • Non-Attorney Ethics - Programs pertaining to ethics generally but not to ethics and professionalism issues specifically applicable to attorneys may meet the requirements for general CLE credit, but are not eligible for ethics and professionalism credits.
      Examples - Topics and types of courses that do not qualify for ethics and professionalism credit:
      Mediation Ethics
      Ethics in Government - Programs that focus on standards of conduct applicable to non-attorney employees, even though presented to attorneys, including:
      • the ethical standards applicable to governmental employees, federal legislators, governmental contractors;
      • United States' employees' compliance with the Presidential Executive Order requiring a standard of conduct higher than bar ethical rules might require;
      • educating the government attorneys in these standards to enable that attorney to better advise a legislative and/or executive branch client on the applicable standards.
      Litigation Tactics - Programs that focus primarily on rules of evidence and rules of procedure and not on applicable rules of professional conduct or codes of ethics and professionalism.
      Ethics of Other Professions, such as business/corporate/medical ethics. Programs that, although presented to lawyers, focus on:
      • an analysis or the application of ethical standards governing members of a profession other than the legal profession, e.g. ethics for accountants, realtors, etc;
      • an analysis or the application of ethical standards appropriate for executives, corporate officers, and employees;
      • an analysis or the application of medical ethics, "bioethics," or "biomedical" ethics;
      • educating the lawyer in these standards to enable that lawyer to better advise a client on the applicable standards.
  • In-House Programs Printable GuidelinesOnline Guidelines
  • Kansas CLE allows credit for in-house programming under CLE Rule 806(i).

    • Definition - An in-house activity is defined as "a continuing legal education program given by, for, or to a select private audience from the same law firm, corporation or single governmental entity, not open for admission to other members of the legal community generally." When determining if a program is in-house,Kansas CLE looks at attendees and advertising, not the provider of the education or the location. The law firm, corporation or single government entity for whom the program is offered shall assume responsibility for gaining accreditation. For example, instructors may be provided by the National Institute for Trial Advocacy but the host of the seminar is responsible for submitting the application for approval of CLE activity and following correct procedures to meet the requirements for accreditation

    General CLE Information:

    • Application Deadline - A timed agenda and brief description of the program must be received with the Application for Approval of CLE Activity at least 21 days prior to the event.
    • Program Objective - To be considered for CLE credit, the program must have a primary objective of increasing a participant's professional competence as an attorney. The program must meet the standards set out by Rule 804.
    • Focus - The program must focus on primarily substantive legal issues directly related to the practice of law or related issues of legal ethics, civility, or professionalism. Ethics and professionalism issues must be in identifiable blocks of time on the agenda.
    • Webcast/ Satellite to Group Setting - Programs offered via satellite or webcast in a group setting are considered in-house unless advertised to a general attorney audience.
    • Limit of Credit - In Kansas, a CLE hour consists of 50 minutes of instruction. There is a cap of six (6) hours of in-house programming per compliance period. A program exceeding 6 hours will only be credited for the cap of 6 hours.
    • Advertising to General Attorney Audience - A CLE program will always be considered in-house, unless it is determined (through the submission of a brochure/course announcement/invitation and marketing information) that the program is open and advertised to a general attorney audience.

    Specific Responsibilities for Provider

    • Written Materials - Written materials for attendees must be available prior to or at the program. Distributing the power point presentation or other materials after the program is not acceptable.
    • Attendance Verification - It is the provider's responsibility to verify attendance. Late arrival and early departure times should be noted forKansas CLE.
    • Evaluations - Evaluations must be distributed to attendees.Kansas CLE may request the evaluation results.
    • Attendance Reporting - Providers are responsible for submitting the affidavits for programs held within the state of Kansas within 30 days of the activity. If the program is held outside the state of Kansas, it is the attorney's responsibility to return the executed affidavit toKansas CLE's office.
  • Distance Learning Printable GuidelinesOnline Guidelines
  • Live Telephone/Webinars - Webcast and teleconference programs as defined in Rule 801(l)(4) and 801(l)(5) are counted in the same manner as live, classroom attendance. However, the provider must meet the interaction and verification standards and guidelines listed here and make application for approval of the program. Application for approval will not be accepted from an individual attorney.

    Prerecorded Programming Definition - Prerecorded programming is defined in Supreme Court Rule 801(n) as a program accessed solely by an individual attorney including: audiotape, videotape, CD, podcast, CD-ROM, DVD, and other formats as approved by theKansas CLE Board. The provider must meet the interaction and verification standards and guidelines listed here and make application for approval of the program. Application for approval will not be accepted from an individual attorney. An attorney may receive CLE credit for up to 6 hours of prerecorded credit per compliance period.

    • Accreditation - The program must meet all standards for accreditation of programming. Rule 804(h).
    • Provider Verification - The provider must have procedures in place to independently verify an attorney's completion of a program. Verification procedures may vary by format and by provider. An attorney affidavit attesting to the completion of a program is not by itself sufficient. Independent provider verification is required and attendance must be reported by the provider. Login/logoff times are not sufficient.
    • Format and Interaction - The provider must consider the format in which a CLE program is offered in order to design an appropriate verification procedure.
      For example, verification procedures for a course in the DVD format for individual viewing may consist of an attorney reporting a course code to the provider after viewing a DVD, and attesting to completion of the program in an affidavit. The CLE provider would then verify the accuracy of the code before issuing a certificate of attendance. (For example, a code, such as '167,' may be spoken at some point during a recorded program and/or may appear briefly on the screen. A participating attorney would record the code, '167,' on the form provided by the provider and submit the form with course code to the CLE provider.) Note that CLE courses or programs presented in segments should have a separate and distinct code for each segment, and spaces on the verification form to report all codes.
      Other examples may be the use of pop-up boxes and time tracking or polling questions or codes announced during the program. The method must allow the provider the ability to independently verify that an attorney has completed an entire program. Certification of attendance may be issued only after the provider has established that the attorney completed the program in its entirety.Kansas CLE will consider approval of all methods of independent provider verification when determining accreditation of a CLE course.
    • Live Classroom Video Replay - In contrast, video replay programming is defined per Supreme Court Rule 801(l)(3) as a recorded CLE program presented in a suitable classroom setting or in a central viewing location advertised to a broad attorney population. The attorney must be able to contact the moderator, either in-person or by telephone or email, to comment or ask questions. As long as the program is advertised, there is no minimum attendance requirement. Based on the structure of the course, the program may be considered in-house under Kansas rules.
    • Reporting Attendance - Attendance should be reported by the provider in the manner prescribed by Rule 804(f)(3). Certificates of attendance will not be accepted from the attorney.
    • Shelf Life of Programming - Even though a program has been previously accredited, the content must remain current for a practitioner to receive credit. For example, a video replay from 1999 would not be accredited.
    • Self-Study - Self-study programming is not accreditable per Supreme Court Rule 806(k).
  • Law Practice ManagementPrintable GuidelinesOnline Guidelines
  • Definition - A practitioner may receive CLE credit for up to 2 hours of law practice management programming per compliance period per Supreme Court Number 806(i), provided:

    • Content - The course shall be presented by a person or persons qualified by practical or academic experience to present the subject and focus on the legal profession.
    • Possible Topics - Qualified programming includes: issues relating to the development and management of a law practice, including client relations and technology to promote the efficient, economical, and competent delivery of legal services.

    Ethics and Professionalism Credit - Programming accreditable under the ethics and professionalism requirement are not subject to the 2-hour law practice management cap. See the Guidelines for Ethics and Professionalism.

  • Interdisciplinary Programs Printable GuidelinesOnline Guidelines
  • Supreme Court Rule 804(d) allows for CLE credit to be earned for a program that crosses academic lines (e.g. accounting-tax) if it is pertinent to an individual attorney's practice.
    When such course applications are received from a sponsoring organization,Kansas CLE staff reviews whether the course is beneficial for practicing attorneys from an objective standard. Consequently, the course will not be approved by theKansas CLE Board unless it obviously pertains to a recognized legal subject or to the practice of law. The application may be returned to the sponsor with instructions that the program will be considered on an individual basis when submitted by an attending attorney.
    When an attorney seeks CLE credit for an interdisciplinary program, the attorney must submit an Application for Approval of CLE Activity pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 804(b) and include a statement describing how the program is beneficial to attorney’s practice.

  • Duplicate Programs Printable GuidelinesOnline Guidelines
  • Attendance at a program that an attorney has previously attended during the compliance period will not be accepted for continuing legal education credit. Supreme Court Rule 806(g). For example, an attorney attending a live CLE program on Elder Law will not receive credit if he or she attends the video replay of the program. Further, if a program sponsor offers repeat sessions of professional responsibility or CLE credit during a two-day program, the session may only be attended for credit one time.
    Provider Responsibility - It is the responsibility of the sponsor to monitor attendance at programming they provide. When duplicate programming is offered, notice should be provided to attendees that CLE credit will not be received for duplicate attendance.

  • Teaching Credit Printable GuidelinesOnline Guidelines
  • Kansas Supreme Court Rule 806(c) provides that up to 5 hours of CLE credit may be awarded for each 50 minutes spent teaching at an approved CLE program. Because teaching credit is awarded as an incentive to attorneys to benefit the legal profession, instruction must be directed toward an audience composed primarily of attorneys.

    • Audience - The makeup of the audience is determined by the number of attorneys in attendance at the program, not the audience the program is advertised to. The provider will be able to determine if the audience was primarily attorney.
    • Primarily Attorney Audience - Teaching directed to a non-attorney audience, while resulting in self-improvement as a form of self-study, does not qualify for teaching credit. If the attorney's participation in the program does not qualify for teaching credit, the participation may qualify for attendance credit.
    • Application - The applicant must file an application for approval of teaching credit which outlines program content, teaching methodology, and time spent in preparation and instruction. In determining the number of credit hours to award,Kansas CLE Board will calculate time spent in preparation and teaching. For example, an attorney who spends 150 minutes preparing a program and 50 minutes teaching it will be awarded 4 credit hours. One-half credit hour may be awarded for teaching at least 25 but less than 50 minutes. No credit may be claimed for smaller fractional units.
    • Repeat Presentation - A repeat presentation may qualify for additional credits, limited to time actually spent updating the presentation and teaching. This form should include both teaching time and attendance time for the same program.
    • Preparing Materials but Not Actually Teaching -Preparation of written materials for an accredited program but not teaching the program will not qualify for either teaching or authorship credit.