Free Iowa Ethics CLE Programs


At my all-day continuting legal education programs, my goal is to include enough ethics credits so that the attorneys attending can satisfy their entire ethics obligation. This year, my program in Sioux City, Iowa, on October 20, 2017 didn't quite meet that goal. The program has been approved for 5 Iowa CLE credits, but that includes only 2.5 ethics credits, which might leave some attorneys short half a credit. This page lists courses by other providers that will allow you to complete your ethics requirement at no cost.

The current Iowa ethics CLE biennium is January 1, 2016, through December 31, 2017. This means that Iowa attorneys must complete three hours of ethics during this two year period. If you attended my 2016 Sioux City program, then your ethics requirement is taken care of. If you attended any other ethics program of at least thirty minutes in 2016 or 2017, then you will complete your ethics with my 2017 program.

If you did not take any other ethics program in 2016 or 2017, then you will need an additional half credit (30 minutes) of ethics before December 31, 2017. You can complete this requirement with any of the free programs listed on this page. These are programs by other CLE providers, and are approved for Iowa ethics credit. In addition, I will be offering free ethics conference call programs, and will be posting details of those programs.

All of the programs listed on this page are "unmoderated programs." On March 24, 2014, the Iowa Supreme Court amended the Iowa CLE rules to allow Iowa attorneys to receive up to six credits per year, including their ethics credits, with unmoderated programs. For more information, you can view the Supreme Court's Order or the Iowa CLE Commission's Guidelines.

If you are visiting this page near the end of the year because you need to finish your CLE credits, you're not alone. At my web page, I have other free and low-cost CLE options to finish your CLE requirements at the lowest possible cost. I am a CLE provider in Minnesota, and have numerous CLE opportunities for lawyers in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and other states.

The programs listed below will allow you to finish your Iowa Ethics credits at no cost:

Ethics of Representing Parents in Juvenile Cases

This is a free one-hour ethics program presented by the Iowa Children's Justice Initiative of the Iowa Judicial Branch. This one-hour webcast can be viewed at any time on your computer, and is approved for 1.0 ethics CLE credit through January 20, 2018. Therefore, you can take this free program any time before the end of the year to finish your ethics requirement.

As you can see from my certificate of completion, I took this course. Even though I don't practice in Juvenile court, I found it to be an excellent program that is relevant to an attorney's ethical obligations in a wide variety of contexts.

To take this program, you must first register for a free account with iLearn, the Iowa Judicial Branch Learning Management System. After you are registered, click on the "Register for Courses" link, and then search for the course number, ICJ-56. You will be given instructions to register for the class, and then you can immediately download the course materials and view the course.

After you view the program, your transcript on the iLeran site will be updated to show your completion, and you will have an opportunity to print a certificate of completion, as shown here.

Then, you simply report your attendance to the Iowa CLE Commission as you would with any other program, using activity number 266820. The program has been approved for 1.0 ethics CLE credit.

How to Become a Culturally Competent Attorney

How to Become a Culturally Competent Attorney is a free one-credit ethics program presented by PLI. This program has been approved for 1.0 Iowa ethics credit (Iowa activity number 247907 ), but must be taken on or before October 25, 2017 for Iowa credit. This program is also approved for Minnesota "elimination of bias" credit (Minnesota event code 228463) through October 2018.

I recently took this program for Minnesota credit, and it is also a good program. While it is geared toward attorneys who handle matters for low-income clients, it is relevant to almost any practice, and encourages attorneys to think about the cultural contexts of their interactions with clients in order to competently represent them. You can register and take this program from this link. If you do not yet have a PLI account, you can create one and take the program immediately. After completion, you will be sent a certificate of attendance similar to the one at the right. You then report your attendance with the Iowa CLE Commission as you would with any other program.

Representing Children in Immigration Matters 2016: Effective Advocacy and Ethical Best Practices

Representing Children in Immigration Matters 2016: Effective Advocacy and Ethical Best Practices is a 3.5 credit free on-demand program presented by PLI. It has been approved for Iowa credit, provided you take the class on or before November 21, 2017. It includes one ethics credit, and has also been approved for Iowa federal CLE credit. The Iowa activity number is 249513. To register and take the course online, simply visit this link.

Ethical Issues in California Pro Bono Representation 2017

Ethical Issues in California Pro Bono Representation 2017 is another free PLI on-demand program. While the program focuses on California law, it has been approved for 3.0 Iowa ethics credits (Iowa activity number 259654) through September 6, 2018. Therefore, you can take it any time before the end of 2017 to satisfy your ethics requirement for the 2016-17 biennium. PLI also indicates that they will apply for Iowa federal CLE credit upon request. To register and take the course online, visit this link.

Ethics Law for New Lawyers

Ethics Law for New Lawyers is a one-credit on-demand ethics program which is free for members of the Iowa State Bar Association. For non-members, the cost is $35. For full details, visit this link.


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Richard P. Clem, Attorney
PO Box 14957
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Phone: 612-378-7751
e-mail: clem.law@usa.net
Minnesota Attorney Registration Number 0192648