Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE)
Attorneys on “Active” status are required to complete Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) requirements.
When do I report my MCLE?
Attorneys complete their MCLE requirements on a three-year cycle. Upon admission, you will be permanently assigned to an MCLE group as follows. (Changing your name later does not change your group.)
*Attorneys who have been licensed for less than four months within their compliance period are not required to report compliance for that first period.
What is the MCLE requirement?
The requirement is 25 hours every three years. The courses taken must be State Bar of California-approved education. The requirement is less if you are not on Active status for the entire three year period. Formal exemptions exist in very limited circumstances. Go to Attorney Exemptions for more information.
You will likely have a proportional requirement for your first compliance period. For example, an attorney who was admitted in January 2019 with the last name Hayes (H-M, or “Group 2”), and with 25 months on Active status (Jan. 2019−Jan. 2021), will owe a total of 18 hours of MCLE by Feb. 1, 2021. An attorney admitted in December 2019 with the last name Norris (N-Z, or “Group 3”) with 2 months of Active status (Dec. 2019–Jan. 2020), will not owe MCLE and is not required to report.
For help in calculating your proportional requirement, see the Proportional Requirement Table.
What is the New Attorney MCLE Requirement?
As a new attorney, you are also required to complete the State Bar’s New Attorney Training Program. This consists of 10 hours of free online instruction provided exclusively by the State Bar. You MAY count the New Attorney Training hours towards your regular MCLE requirement if you complete them during your compliance period.
What are “subfield” requirements?
Your MCLE requirement will always include Legal Ethics hours, as well as one Elimination of Bias hour and an hour on Competence issues (e.g., substance abuse or mental health). You can find more details at MCLE Requirements.
How do I report my MCLE compliance?
It is extremely important to understand that compliance with MCLE does not just entail completing the required courses. At the end of each cycle you must file a declaration of compliance that you have met your MCLE requirements. You do this by logging into My State Bar Profile and completing an online attestation. You will receive instructions on how to set up your profile once you have been assigned a bar number. Failure to report compliance can result in your being ineligible to practice law, even if you’ve completed the courses. You must maintain proof of compliance (certificates of attendance) for at least one year after reporting compliance. In the event of an audit you will need to produce these records.
NEW ATTORNEY TRAINING PROGRAM
Newly admitted California attorneys must complete the 10-hour online New Attorney Training Program. The training must be completed within one year of an attorney’s admission to the State Bar. This training consists of a specific program of instruction created by the State Bar of California.
How long do I have to complete the program?
You will have one year from the last day of the month in which you were admitted to complete the training. For example an attorney admitted on December 1, 2019 must complete the training by December 31, 2020.
How do I access the training?
You can only access the online program after you have set up your My State Bar Profile. You will receive instructions on how to set up your profile shortly after submitting your oath card.
What is the training?
The New Attorney Training Program is a series of online courses which can only be accessed through My State Bar Profile. There are nine courses which make up the 10-hour requirement. You may log out at any time and your progress will be saved. The courses include 4 hours of legal ethics, three hours of basic skills, 1.5 hours on competence (substance abuse and mental health issues), and 1.5 hours on the elimination of bias.
How much do the courses cost?
There is no charge to take these courses. They are only available to newly admitted attorneys who are required to take them.
Can I use the New Attorney Training courses towards my regular MCLE requirement as well?
You may also use these courses to fulfill your regular MCLE requirement, provided that the courses are taken within the appropriate MCLE compliance period.
Do I need to keep records of my course completion?
After completing each course, you will receive a certificate that you should save in order to document your completion. Be aware that course materials and certificates of completion must be printed or saved within 30 days of course completion. After that they are no longer available.
What happens if I do not complete the New Attorney Training?
If you do not complete the training by the one-year deadline, you will be assessed a late penalty of $75. If you fail to complete the training by your next regular MCLE deadline following your New Attorney Training deadline, you will be placed on involuntary inactive status and be ineligible to practice law until you complete the requirement and pay any outstanding penalties.