I'm going to take a break from the planned series of the rules by map (I will return to the topic later this week) in order to update a recent post: "New Jersey Amends Their MCLE Rules - Effective Immediately" from August 4, 2011.
In the post I stated:
This means that newly admitted attorneys who have a one-year period as their first compliance period (those in Group 1 in even-numbered years and Group 2 in odd-numbered years) - will not be required to fulfill the newly admitted 15 credit requirement immediately. Instead, these attorneys will be required to complete 12 credits, including two ethics (one half of the "regular" requirement). Then, in their second compliance period (their first two-year compliance period), they will complete the newly admitted requirement.
Then I gave an example where an attorneys with a one-year compliance period completes only general and ethics credits, no new admittee topic credits, during the one-year period and completes all 15 new admittee topic credits during her first two-year period.
While a new admittee can certainly fulfill the requirements in this way, he or she is not limited or required to do so.
The new rule states that a new admittee must complete fifteen of his or her required credit hours in five of nine subject areas "[b]y the end of...[his or her]...first two-year compliance period" (emphasis added).
This creates a two-tier requirement for those attorneys having first a one-year compliance period.
The first requirement is that the attorney complete 12 credits (at least two of which must be ethics) in his or her first compliance period and 24 credits (at least four of which must be ethics) in his or her second compliance period.
The second requirement is that the attorney must complete at least 15 credits (in at least 5 of 9 topic areas) of new admittee topic credits by the end of the second compliance period.
I have updated the previously linked chart - adding color and additional information - to make this distinction more clear. Again, feedback is certainly welcome!