Per Rule 6.05 (f) of the new State Bar Administrative Rules: A lawyer may obtain one credit hour for every three completed hours of pro bono legal service which satisfies Rule 6.1 of the West Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct and is performed during the reporting period through one or more of the following approved pro bono organizations:
(1) Legal Aid of West Virginia;
(2) the State Bar’s West Virginia Free Legal Answers Program;
(3) the State Bar’s Tuesday Legal Connect Program; and
(4) the West Virginia University College of Law Center for Law and Public Service.
The approved pro bono organizations shall report each lawyer’s pro bono service hours by June 1 of each year in the format required by the Commission.
Credits obtained under this subsection are subject to the limitation set forth in Rule 6.05(c) and are not credited as live instruction under Rule 6.05(a). A maximum of six hours of mandatory continuing legal education credit for approved pro bono service hours may be obtained for any two-year reporting period, and no additional service or credit hours may be carried over to the next reporting period. The Commission has the authority to review a lawyer’s pro bono service hours to ensure compliance with this rule.
While the majority of Rule 6 is not effective until the July 1, 2020-June 30, 2022 reporting period, the pro bono service rule is effective July 1, 2019.
The CLE Commission has been asked to interpret the phrase “[a] lawyer may obtain one credit hour for every three completed hours of pro bono legal service…,” as contained in Rule 6.05(f) of the State Bar’s Administrative Rules. The Commission has interpreted the phrase to mean that no partial credit will be given for pro bono work. An attorney must complete three full hours (or multiples thereof) in order to earn the associated one CLE credit.