Policy #10


Continuing Legal Education

(This Policy was extended by the Council until June 30, 2013, pending discussion with the district bars, sections, committees, and Minnesota CLE.)



Continuing legal education is a major service the MSBA provides to its members.  CLE programs are offered by Minnesota CLE, an MSBA division, district bar associations, and the MSBA itself.  The goal of the MSBA is to provide stable, high-quality educational programs.  Minnesota CLE was established as the main focus of the MSBA’s educational efforts.  While educational programs are offered by MSBA sections and committees and district bar associations, the MSBA delegates and supports the primary responsibility to Minnesota CLE.  The purpose of this policy is to define the overlapping authority.


Committees and Sections

Committees and sections of the MSBA may sponsor, independently of Minnesota CLE, an unlimited number of accredited CLE programs of three or fewer credit hours. No MSBA committee or section may cosponsor an accredited CLE program with any CLE organization other than Minnesota CLE.  Surpluses or deficiencies of programs conducted by Minnesota CLE shall remain with Minnesota CLE and not go to any participating MSBA section or committee.


This policy may be waived to permit an MSBA committee or section to sponsor an accredited CLE program which would not otherwise conform to the policy’s limitations. At least 90 days prior to the proposed date of the CLE, a request for such a waiver must be made in writing by the committee or section to the MSBA Executive Director. The request shall contain:


a.    The proposed title and a description of the topics and subject matter to be covered.

b.    The proposed date, time and location.

c.    The number of hours for which credit will be sought.

d.    Any groups or persons other than members of the sponsoring committee or section who will be invited or permitted to attend.

e.    The tuition or fee to be charged, and the budget of revenues and expenses for the program.

f.     The name and role of any other participating organization.

g.   The reasons for requesting a waiver of the policy.


Any request for waiver made less than 90 days prior to the proposed date of the CLE program shall be considered at the discretion of the MSBA Council.


Upon receipt of the request for waiver, the MSBA Executive Director shall forward a copy to the Minnesota CLE Executive Director for review and comments. If Minnesota CLE does not object to the request, it may be approved by the MSBA Executive Director. If Minnesota CLE has objections or comments, said objections or comments shall be in writing, shall include a statement of reasons, and shall be submitted to the MSBA Executive Director and the requesting section within ten working days after receipt of the request for waiver. Additionally, if Minnesota CLE objects to the request, it shall be submitted to the MSBA Council at its next regularly scheduled meeting. Prior to the meeting, the section requesting the waiver shall have the opportunity to respond to Minnesota CLE’s objection. The decision of the MSBA Council shall be final.


The decision by the MSBA Council to grant or deny a waiver shall be based on all relevant considerations, including the following:


a.    The educational value and quality of the proposed program.

b.    Whether Minnesota CLE had been offered the opportunity to sponsor the program for which a waiver is requested.

c.    The coverage of the subject matter in other programs scheduled or planned by Minnesota CLE.

d.    Any scheduling conflicts between the proposed program and Minnesota CLE programs.

e.    The financial impact on Minnesota CLE.

f.     Other unique circumstances that the MSBA Council may consider relevant, presented by the committee or section in its request for waiver of this policy.


A waiver ordinarily will not be granted if:

·        A primary objective of the program is to generate revenues or profits for the sponsor.

·        Minnesota CLE is willing to cosponsor the program or offer a similar program meeting the educational objectives of the program.


District Bar Associations

District bar associations have an interest in delivering value to their members by providing legal information through educational programs and in generating non-dues revenue from CLE programs.  A district bar association may obtain contact information from the MSBA regarding its members at a published rate.  A district bar association may obtain contact information on MSBA members who are members of other districts for the purpose of marketing CLE programs of three hours or less at the law-related organization rate.


The MSBA adopts this policy for district bar associations with the assumption that the CLE programs developed by the district bar associations are for the benefit of members.


Adopted by the Board of Governors in March 1976, amended in October 1980, April 1997, and September 2001; affirmed by the Assembly in December 2005 and amended in April 2006.