The State Bar seeks public comment for proposed rule change, which will require MCLE providers to electronically report MCLE course attendance to the State Bar of California.
Deadline: January 14, 2019
The Strategic Plan calls for the State Bar of California to “[b]egin auditing attorney compliance with MCLE requirements in the most cost effective and efficient manner no later than December 31, 2020.” To accomplish this goal, staff is developing a system that allows MCLE providers to transmit attendance information electronically in lieu of simply having attorneys self-report compliance of their triennial requirements. The State Bar can use these electronic records to effectively, efficiently and comprehensively audit attorney compliance with MCLE requirements using automated methods. The attendance information supplied by the providers could also be used to provide licensees with access to ongoing progress reports to assist them in tracking their own compliance. Requiring providers to supply attendance data requires changes to the current MCLE rules for providers and the MCLE rules for attorneys.
The State Bar conducted a review of the MCLE audit process. After reviewing the process, State Bar staff determined that a more efficient and effective way of auditing MCLE compliance is to require MCLE providers to supply the State Bar with their course records directly. This will allow the State Bar to audit every licensee’s MCLE compliance and provide independent verification of courses taken.
The State Bar met with providers, created a focus group and surveyed all active MCLE providers to gather information on what methods of attendance reporting work best for providers. Based on the knowledge gained during the review practice the State Bar is working on the specifications for a platform that providers could use to electronically provide attendance records. The platform would allow the providers to select form multiple uploading options designed to accommodate the differences in size and technical resources amongst providers. Based on the research completed, staff has determined that provider reporting of attendance is a feasible solution and is proposing the rule changes that would be required to implement this solution.
The rule proposal would require MCLE providers to report course attendance within 30 days of the completion of the course. Other small wording changes are proposed to preserve the internal consistency of the rules. In addition, a minor change was made to reflect that the California Young Lawyers Association, now part of the California Lawyers Association, does not participate in State Bar audits of MCLE providers.
Funding for the development of the reporting system has been included in the State Bar’s budget. While the provider MCLE reporting system will require staff administration and oversight, this new workload should replace the existing work required to perform the audits. Implementation of the system will likely also result in increased call center volume from licensees and providers, particularly during its implementation.
Programs Committee Agenda Item with proposed rule changes
January 14, 2019
Office of Attorney Regulation and Consumer Resources
State Bar of California
180 Howard St.
San Francisco, CA 94105
Please reference the specific item in your comments.