Yes, but only if you are no longer practicing law in any U.S. jurisdiction. To apply for inactive status, you need to complete the Request for Inactive Status form found on this website and mail it or send it to: email@example.com.
Before you resume the practice of law in any U.S. jurisdiction, you will need to make up any CLE missed during the last five (5) years. Failure to make up your CLE before you begin practicing law will result in your immediate suspension of your Tennessee law license. You will not be able to claim a CLE exemption for any of the years you were on inactive status with the Commission on CLE.
If you were eligible for an exemption (other than on the basis of age) on December 31, you may claim it for the entire year.
If you lost your eligibility for an exemption on or after September 1, you may still claim it for the entire year.
If you lost it before September 1, you must meet the entire requirement for that year.
If unusual circumstance apply, you may ask the Commission for exceptional relief. You must complete and submit the Request for Exceptional Relief form found by clicking View All Forms under the For Attorneys tab on our website: The form must be submitted to us by the 10th of the month to be considered by the Commission at its monthly meeting. Mail or email the form to: firstname.lastname@example.org. See Regulation 2A.
Yes. To become inactive with the CLE Commission your Tennessee law license must first be inactive with the Board of Professional Responsibility. You cannot be practicing law in any U.S. jurisdiction.
If you meet these criteria, you can complete the Request Inactive Status form on this website showing that you meet the qualifications and asking to be placed on inactive status.
If you decide to return to the practice of law in any U.S. jurisdiction, you must notify the CLE Commission and make up the last five years of CLE you missed before you resume your practice or you will be subject to immediate suspension of your Tennessee law license.
OUT OF STATE
Non-resident attoreny, licensed in Tennessee, but not practicing Tennessee law and living and working outside of Tennesssee. See Rule 21 § 2.03(d).
Federal Judges, Justices and Magistrate Judges.See Rule 21 § 2.03(g).
Certain restrictions apply. See Rule 21 § 3.01 & 3.02.
Elected Legislative or Executive Official prohibited by law from practicing law. See Rule 21 § 2.03(f).
If you were born before 1950, you can request the exemption the year after you turn sixty-five (65).
If you were born in 1950 or later, you can claim age exemption the year after you turn seventy (70). See Rule 21 § 2.03(c).
Active Duty with the Armed Forces of the United States. See Rule 21 § 2.03(b)
LAW SCHOOL PROFESSORS
Full-time law school professors who are not practicing law during compliance year. See Rule 21 § 2.03(e).
PRO HAC VICE
Non-resident attorney temporarily admitted to practice for a particular case or proceeding.See Rule 21 § 2.03(a).
INACTVE WITH CLE COMMISSION
Attorney who is no longer practicing law in ANY jurisdiction in the U.S. and who has placed his/her Tennessee license in inactive status with TN Board of Professional Responsibility can request exemption from CLE obligation. See Rule 21 § 2.03(h).
ALL EXEMPTIONS MUST BE CLAIMED ANNUALLY WITH EXCEPTION OF INACTIVE WITH CLE COMMISSION.
No, you are not exempt, but you are eligible to claim the non-resident exemption on the back on the Annual Report Statement mailed to you in February fololowing the close of the compliance year. If you do not annually claim the exemption for the compliance year, you will not receive the exemption and will be expected to complete your fifteen (15) hour requirement.
Attorneys born prior to 1950 are eligible to claim the AGE exemption.
Attorneys born during or after 1950 cannot claim the AGE exemption until the year after they turn seventy (70) (e.g., an attorney born in 1950 would be eligible to receive the age exemption beginning with the 2021 compliance year).
To receive the exemption the attorney must file a request with the Commission on CLE. The exemption form can be found in View All Forms under the For Attorney tab. See Rule 21 §2.03(c)
Yes. We have no way of knowing if your condition or situation has changed. When you receive exceptional relief, your relief is limited to one compliance year.
If you are receiving non-compliance notices from us you are only INACTIVE with the Board of Professional Responsibility.
You ARE NOT INACTIVE with the CLE Commission unless you have filed a request for inactive status with the Commission on CLE.
If you have sent the CLE Commission an inactive request and received a confirmation that you are inactive with us, then you MUST call us if you are receiving notices that you are not compliant.
If you are receiving notices then you are not coded as being inactive with us. This can be corrected with a quick phone call.
If you do nothing, you could be assessed fees and possibly have your law license suspended erroneously, and no one wants that to happen.
To become INACTIVE with the CLE Commission, you cannot be practicing law in any US jurisdiction. Your law license must also be inactive with the BPR.
Being inactive, does not eliminate your CLE obligation. It merely puts your annual CLE obligation on hold.
While on INACTIVE status you will not receive Progress Reports or Annual Report Statements. While on INACTIVE status you will not have any annual CLE reporting obligations. There is no length of time you can be INACTIVE with the CLE Commission.
If you are INACTIVE with the CLE Commission, before you can resume the practice of law in any US jurisdiction, you will be required to make up the CLE you missed while inactive, to a maximum of five (5) years. For example, if you were inactive for three compliance years, you will need to make up three years of CLE. If you were inactive for twelve compliance years, you would need to make up the CLE you missed during the last five compliance years.
The NON-RESIDENT EXEMPTION must be claimed annually on your Annual Report Statement before March 31st. following the close of the compliance year.
Failure to either annually report hours to the Commission or to annually claim an exemption could result in penalties being assessed and the suspension of your law license in Tennessee.
To claim the Non-Resident Exemption, you needed to live outside of Tennessee during the compliance year and you did not practice Tennessee law during the compliance year. Your status with the BPR is irrelevant. For example, your status with the BPR could be active, inactive or even suspended and you still may be able claim the Non-Resident Exemption if you qualified.
There is no restriction on practicing law in another state other than you cannot practice Tennessee law. We assume you are taking your CLE in your home state so you are not required to report CLE to Tennessee if claiming the Non-Resident Exemption.
There is no limitation on the number of years you can claim the Non-Resident Exemption and you do not need to make up CLE when you no longer qualify for the exemption.
You simply need to earn your CLE beginning with the year you were no longer eligible to claim the Non-Resident Exemption.
No. If you practiced Tennessee law you cannot claim the exemption for the year. It is not a question of how much your did, it is a question of if you practiced. Remember that providing counsel and advice counts as the practice of law.