With a few exceptions, all attorneys who are actively practicing law in California must complete ongoing legal training referred to as Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE). The State Bar establishes and monitors compliance with the MCLE requirements for California licensees. Currently, attorneys are required to complete 25 hours of MCLE every three years. These hours must include education in legal ethics, competence issues, and elimination of bias.
Attorneys are required to report their training to the State Bar every three years according to a schedule determined by the first letter of last names. The State Bar audits compliance with MCLE requirements.
In January 2019, the Board of Trustees updated the State Bar’s 2017–2022 Strategic Plan to include an objective focused on modifying the current elimination of bias MCLE curriculum and increasing the number of hours.
Concurrently, the California State Legislature advanced AB 242, adding Business and Professions Code section 6070.5 to require the State Bar to enact rules incorporating the topic of implicit bias and bias-reducing strategies into its MCLE curriculum for all attorneys.
Subsequently, rule 2.72 of the Rules of the State Bar of California, related to attorney MCLE requirements, was amended effective September 24, 2020, to incorporate this new implicit bias education requirement. As such, on and after January 1, 2022, while all attorneys will still be required to complete 25 hours of MCLE every three years, the total hours must now include no less than seven hours as follows:
Specifically, this new implicit bias education requirement will begin applying to attorneys in MCLE compliance group 3 who must report compliance for the period ending on January 31, 2023.
For questions, please email the MCLE Program at MCLE@calbar.ca.gov.