Roll Over Hours
Fresh off of my vacation and I am not at my house in Winston-Salem but in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina for the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys (the Conference) Summer Conference. The North Carolina State Bar (the Bar), the governing body that allows me to practice law, mandates twelve hours of continuing legal education (CLE) each year. The State Bar is also nice enough to allow attorneys to roll over a few extra hours from one year to the next.
The Conference host two conferences each year where a prosecutor can receive all twelve CLE hours by attending either conference. Last year, I did not attend either conference and did not have any roll over hours left. I need all twelve hours this year. That means attending every session of the conference for three days or going to the fall conference in October.
Sound easy? It is. However, I am one of those pseudo soccer fans that go crazy when the World Cup comes on once every four years. England versus Italy – sounds intriguing. USA versus Ghana was a must see event! And I was not alone.
Many offices across the state use conferences as a place for team building. My office goes to a dinner together every year. I saw Cumberland County go on a group outing at the end of a day. Conferences are not just a place to learn, they are a place to bond with peers within and outside of the office. Which brings me to the point of this entry.
The Conference reports our CLE credits to the Bar. The conference also operates on an honor system of reporting. If an attorney misses a class they must fill out a partial credit form to deduct from the twelve hours the Conference would otherwise submit to the Bar.
Despite all the bad lawyer jokes that question our ethics and morals, most attorneys I know take the oaths we swear to seriously. An honor system means that you are not trustworthy if you lie and in the profession of law most attorneys take that kind of stuff seriously. Forget all the student loans that many attorneys accumulate, the extra years of school, and the stress of law school. Ethics matters.
Without any roll over hours, I made it to most of the sessions. I also got some credit for teaching at the new prosecutors school which means I will not have to attend the fall conference. I considered this conference a success. I learned some things, met some new people, laughed with some old friends, and I filled out my partial credit form.