How to Earn CLE Credit for Pro Bono Service

Effective January 1, 2014, attorneys may receive one credit hour of continuing legal education for every six hours of pro bono legal service they perform, up to a maximum of six hours for service performed during a biennial compliance period.

For purposes of receiving continuing legal education credit, “pro bono” means legal service provided by an attorney to either a person of limited means or a charitable organization in which the legal service is assigned, verified, and reported to the Commission by an organization recognized by the Commission.

Volunteer attorneys may not seek CLE credit for their pro bono legal services on their own. They must seek such credit through application with the pro bono sponsor, which is responsible for submitting CLE credits to the Commission.

How to Apply for CLE Credit for Pro Bono Legal Services

Process for Seeking CLE Credit for Volunteer Attorneys

If the pro bono program needs to be recognized by the Commission as providing pro bono programs or services in Ohio (see, Gov. Bar R. X, Sec. 5(H)(5)), the program must first complete a Form 21. If, after review of the Form 21, the program is recognized by the Commission, the program then should submit a Form 22 for accreditation of its specific pro bono program.

Pro bono programs that wish to seek CLE credit for their volunteer attorneys must complete a Form 22 for submission to the Commission. If the application is approved, the pro bono program will be provided with an Activity Code that the program will use to submit attorney attendance credits to the Commission. The program approval will be for one calendar year. Pro bono programs must resubmit a Form 22 for each year in which it seeks CLE credit for its attorneys.

Reporting Pro Bono CLE Credit to the Commission

Attorneys who wish to receive CLE Credit for their pro bono legal services should complete Part I of Form 23 for submission to the pro bono program. The pro bono program should review the information provided by the attorney for completeness and accuracy. After the sponsor has verified the information submitted by the attorney in Part I of Form 23, the sponsor should complete Part II of Form 23 to calculate the number of CLE Credit hours to which the attorney is entitled. The pro bono program is responsible for submitting these credit hours to the CLE Commission through the Sponsor Portal. Sponsors should retain the originals of Form 23 for two years.

Pro Bono Credit Forms
Form 21 - Application to be Recognized as an Organization Providing Pro Bono Programs or Services in Ohio (PDF | DOC)
Form 22 - Application for Accreditation of Continuing Legal Education Activity (PDF | DOC)
Form 23 - Application for CLE Credit for Pro Bono Legal Services (PDF | DOC)

Recognized Pro Bono Organizations

The following list includes organizations that have been recognized as providing pro bono programs or services in Ohio for which attorneys may be eligible to receive continuing legal education credit for performance of certain pro bono legal services. Attorneys should contact the organizations directly to determine what specific pro bono programs or services offered by the organization qualify for continuing legal education:

List of Recognized Pro Bono Organizations

"How to Earn CLE Credit for Pro Bono Service"
(Publication issued jointly by the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation and the Supreme Court of Ohio)

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