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MCLE Self-Assessment Test

MCLE in 3 simple steps

By Laura Ernde
Staff Writer

Three Steps MCLE illustrationAre you an attorney who thinks that completing your Minimum Continuing Legal Education simply means taking 25 hours of courses over three years?

You may want to think again.

There are actually three steps to successfully complying with the State Bar’s MCLE requirements, according to Robert McPhail, who oversees the State Bar’s annual MCLE compliance audits:

Step one, take the courses. Step two, report your compliance. Step three, keep the records.

Step one is what most attorneys think of when it comes to CLE. But before you take that course, McPhail also suggests that you make sure it qualifies for credit. That way you won’t find yourself later scrambling for make-up credit.

“There is this misconception that you can just read up on the law and claim credit,” McPhail said. “But approved self-study is actually narrowly defined.”

Read up on the education options.

Every three years, it’s time for step two – reporting your compliance. Even if you are exempt from the requirement, you still have to report compliance. The only time you don’t have to report is when you are officially listed as “inactive.”

And don’t forget about step three – record keeping. If you are audited, you will need to show proof that you took the courses and correctly reported your compliance.

If you follow all three steps, you should have no problems with compliance.