If you have an unusual situation that makes it difficult for you to
attend Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) activities, you can
file a request for a “good cause modification” to allow you to meet your
There are some cases that warrant these kinds of requests:
In these cases you can make a special request for an extension to the
deadline to comply with the MCLE requirement, or to complete all 25
MCLE hours as self-study credits.
Whatever your situation, you must show good cause for your request. Not all requests are granted. See a list of caveats below.
To request a good cause modification, you must contact the MCLE Program to request an application and pay a $75 nonrefundable processing fee. The application is not available online. You
must make the $75 payment payable to the State Bar of California. In
your request, you can also ask for certain fee reductions:
If you can comply by June 30, there is no need to request an
extension of time, although you must pay a $75 late fee if you have not
filed your MCLE report by the deadline.
Limited practice, "retired," fees scaled or waived
Attorneys on voluntary inactive status do not have to comply with the
MCLE requirement. But if your license status is listed as active on
the State Bar's website, you are expected to comply.
Here are some requests that the State Bar does not consider “good cause”:
It is extremely unlikely that you will be granted an exemption if you
are on active status. A request for modification of the requirement is
more likely to be granted (i.e., request an extension of time to
complete the requirement or request that you be allowed to fulfill the
entire 25-hour requirement using the self-study options listed under
Rule 2.83 of the MCLE Rules and Regulations).
If you are not practicing law, consider transferring to inactive status. Find the form to transfer to inactive status for more information.