MCLE Courses and Credits
The MCLE program provides many ways to obtain credit, often at little or no cost. In addition to MCLE coursework, attorneys may obtain MCLE credits through:
- Attendance at bar association or professional association conferences and meetings at which substantive law, matters of practice and professionalism are presented;
- Teaching a course accredited for MCLE credit;
- Part-time teaching of a law course at a law school, university or college;
- Writing a law review article or other substantive legal publication; and
- Judging law school moot court competitions.
Also, course providers are required to have a financial hardship policy to assist attorneys who are unable to afford the registration fees for courses or activities.
Please see MCLE Rule 795 for more information.
Establishing MCLE - Number of MCLE Credits Required
In general, the MCLE Rules require that Illinois attorneys obtain 20 MCLE credit hours, including at least four credit hours in the area of professional responsibility/ethics during the attorney’s first two-year reporting period. The initial two-year reporting period is either July 1, 2006 - June 30, 2008 (for last names beginning A through M) or July 1, 2007 - June 30, 2009 (for last names beginning N through Z). For the second two-year reporting period, the required MCLE credit hours increase to 24 credit hours. Then, for subsequent two-year reporting periods, the required MCLE credit hours increase to 30 credit hours. Attorneys admitted to practice on January 1, 2006 and thereafter must first fulfill the Basic Skills Course requirement within one year of admission to the Illinois bar.
MCLE Courses - Obtaining Credits by Attending
In order for a course to qualify for MCLE credit, the course provider must apply to the MCLE Board to accredit the course. At the present time, the MCLE Rules do not allow attorneys to apply for course accreditation on their own. The MCLE Board is accepting applications from providers for Accredited CLE Provider status and for individual course accreditation. Before enrolling in a course for which credit is anticipated, the attorney should confirm with the provider that it has applied or plans to apply to accredit the course with the MCLE Board.