This is not a joke. This is a good thing. Beginning in the compliance periods with deadlines in 2015 all Pennsylvania lawyers will be required to obtain 2 ethics credits during each year in order to maintain our licenses. Our total CLE hours will remain twelve per year. These changes were adopted by Regulation changes by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board this month. In addition, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has by Order changed Pa.R.C.L.E. Rule 108(e) to provide that Lawyers may obtain six credits via alternative means (rather than live in-person) rather than four. This allows half the CLE credits to be obtained through distance learning and/or computer based education.
The CLE Board Chair Kenneth Argentieri states "We hope that these changes will help lawyers to better serve their clients and the administration of justice in our Commonwealth. Ethics and professionalism is the heart of what we do."
As an ethics instructor I wholeheartedly agree. Although I do not agree with the lawyer jokes, and I am of the opinion that lawyers are more ethical than we are given credit for, more ethics credits will not hurt anyone and will hopefully help Pennsylvania lawyers avoid future ethical issues.If you have any questions about ethics or are in need of a presenter please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.