Illinois Attorney: Continuing Legal Education
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Real Estate Institute an approved provider of Illinois MCLE?
Yes. The Illinois MCLE Board has approved Real Estate Institute as an Accredited CLE Provider. As a result, CLE programs offered by Real Estate Institute are presumptively approved for general MCLE credits. Any courses offered for professional responsibility or ethic credit are separately approved by the Commission on Professionalism of the Supreme Court of Illinois.Last Updated: 3/30/2015
If I am a newly-admitted attorney, how many hours of continuing legal education ("CLE") do I have to complete?
Illinois Supreme Court Rule 793, establishes that all attorneys admitted on or after October 1, 2011, in the first year after their admission date, are exempt from the 30-hour continuing legal education requirement. During this period, they are required to complete the following:
- An approved 6-credit-hour Basic Skills Course, or an approved mentoring program;
- At least nine additional hours of Illinois-approved CLE including any amount of professional responsibility credit; and
- Report to the MCLE Board by the last day of the month that occurs one year after the newly-admitted attorney's admission to practice in Illinois.
Newly-admitted attorneys' compliance with the MCLE general 30-credit-hour requirements begin after the completion deadline for the newly-admitted attorney requirement. This reporting period begins according to your last name.
Please see the chart below for your requirement:
to the Bar
Newly-Admitted Course Completion Deadline
Two Year Reporting Period Begins
A through M November 2015 November 30, 2016 July 1, 2018 May 2016 May 31, 2017 July 1, 2018 November 2016 November 30, 2017 July 1, 2018 May 2017 May 31, 2018 July 1, 2018 November 2017 November 30, 2018 July 1, 2020 N through Z November 2015 November 30, 2016 July 1, 2017 May 2016 May 31, 2017 July 1, 2017 November 2016 November 30, 2017 July 1, 2019 May 2017 May 31, 2018 July 1, 2019 November 2017 November 30, 2018 July 1, 2019Last Updated: 8/10/2017
How many hours of continuing legal education (CLE) are required for Illinois attorneys?
Illinois Supreme Court Rules 790 through 797 establish Minimum Continuing Legal Education ("MCLE") requirements for Illinois attorneys. Each attorney admitted before October 1, 2011 is required to complete 30 hours of CLE activity, including 6 hours of professional responsibility credit, during the current two-year reporting period in effect in Illinois. Hours need not be allocated evenly over the two-year reporting period.
Please see the chart below for your requirement:
Last Name 2-Year Reporting Period CLE Required Begins With: N through Z 7/1/2017 through 6/30/2019 30 Hours Begins With: A through M 7/1/2016 through 6/30/2018 30 HoursLast Updated: 8/10/2017
May I carry over CLE hours from one reporting period to the next?
Yes. If you were admitted before July 1, 2008, you may carry over a maximum of 10 credit hours; however professional responsibility hours carry over as general hours. These 10 hours may be carried over only to satisfy the next consecutive period’s requirements.
If you were admitted on or after July 1, 2008, you may carry over a maximum of 10 credit hours, including professional responsibility hours. These 10 hours may be carried over only to satisfy the next consecutive period’s requirements.Last Updated: 3/30/2015
How do I earn credit for one of your online CLE courses?
Once you enroll in an online CLE course, you will receive a username and password that provides access the online presentation(s) and written course materials. After viewing the course in its entirety, you must submit an affidavit of course completion to Real Estate Institute.
The affidavit may be submitted online, at which time you will be required to state that you have viewed the entire presentation as of the date of submission. All affidavits must be submitted to Real Estate Institute within thirty (30) days of course completion. Once we receive the affidavit, we will process the information and issue a certificate of completion for the course within two (2) business days. Certificates of completion will be delivered to attorneys by e-mail and U.S. Mail.Last Updated: 3/30/2015
How can I report my MCLE compliance to the Illinois MCLE Board?
The MCLE Board will mail you a copy of the MCLE Certification Form. You can either return this by mail or complete the form online.Last Updated: 3/30/2015
As an Illinois attorney, what must I do to prove that I satisfied my MCLE requirements?
As required by the MCLE Rules, attorneys must maintain their own certificates of attendance and other proof of MCLE compliance. At the end of the reporting period, attorneys must report whether they have complied with the MCLE Rules, have not complied with the MCLE Rules, or were exempt from the MCLE Rules during the reporting period. Before the end of an attorney's two-year reporting period, the MCLE Board will mail the reporting form to the attorney's address on file with the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. Each attorney who is not exempt is responsible for filing the reporting form with the Board, even if the attorney does not receive the form by mail.
Newly-admitted attorneys admitted on or after October 1, 2011, are required to report to the MCLE Board by the last day of the month that occurs one year after the newly-admitted attorney's admission to practice in Illinois.
Individual attorneys should not mail, e-mail or fax their certificates of attendance or other MCLE-related documentation to the MCLE Board unless they are notified by the Board that they are being audited. Attorneys need to keep their proof of MCLE compliance for three years after the two-year reporting period ends, so that the attorney can respond if audited by the MCLE Board.Last Updated: 3/30/2015
What happens if an attorney fails to submit an MCLE certification or otherwise fails to complete the required CLE?
Attorneys who fail to submit an MCLE certification within 31 days of their reporting date, or who file an MCLE certification stating that they have not complied with the CLE requirements during the reporting period, are notified by the Director of their non-compliance. They are then given until September 30 of that year to achieve compliance and file a certification stating that they have complied with the CLE requirements or are exempt (and pay $100 late fee if you reported non-compliance by July 31, or $250 if you fail to report or complete by July 31.)
Attorneys who do not achieve compliance and file a certification with the MCLE Board will be removed from the Master Roll of Attorneys authorized to practice law. To be reinstated, attorneys are required to complete the CLE credits from each reporting period for which they were deficient and submit a reinstatement fee for each of those reporting periods.
Note: Fees above reflect MLCE increase effective July 1, 2015.Last Updated: 3/30/2015
Are certain attorneys exempt from the MCLE requirements?
Yes. You may be completely exempt from the MCLE requirements if you meet an exemption on the last day of the reporting period or for at least 365 days of the period . You are able to claim a partial exemption of half of the CLE required hours, if you meet an exemption for more than 60 days during the reporting period but less than 365 days. The exemptions are:
Last Updated: 3/30/2015
- Inactive or Retired: All attorneys while on inactive or retirement status under Supreme Court Rules 756(a)(5) or (a)(6). If an attorney chooses to return to active status, the attorney must complete the deferred CLE requirement within 24 months of resuming active status. (Rule 791(e).)
- Disability Inactive: All attorneys on disability inactive status under Supreme Court Rules 757 or 758. If an attorney chooses to return to active status, the attorney must complete the deferred CLE requirement (Rule 791(e).)
- Judicial: All attorneys serving in the office of justice, judge, associate judge, or magistrate of any federal or state court.
- Certain Attorneys Working or Employed in the State or Federal Judiciary: All attorneys who by virtue of their office or employment in the state or federal judiciary, are prohibited by the Supreme Court of Illinois or the federal judiciary from actively engaging in the practice of law.
- Military: All attorneys licensed to practice law in Illinois who are on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States, until their release from active military service and their return to the active practice of law.
- Out-of-State: Certain out-of-state attorneys are exempt if they meet specific exemption requirements. Click here for more information.
- MCLE Board Exempted: Attorneys exempted temporarily by the MCLE Board due to extreme hardship in the form of illness, financial hardship, or other extraordinary or extenuating circumstances beyond the attorney’s control.
May I earn credit for CLE courses that I have completed in the past?Yes, but Illinois attorneys may not earn credit for the same course within one year (365 days). Credit may be earned for the same course after one year has passed.Last Updated: 3/30/2015
What are the technical requirements for viewing your online, on-demand courses?
Our recorded audio/video presentations require a high-speed internet connection and are compatible with most modern web browsers on desktop, laptop, and tablet devices.
The presentations may also be played on some small-screen mobile devices (like smartphones), but we strongly discourage use of these devices because your playback experience can be affected by device limitations.
You are not required to load special apps or other software components.Last Updated: 5/2/2015
Can I download recorded presentations and view them while my computer is "offline"?
No. Our presentations are online, on-demand presentations that may only be viewed while your computer or mobile device is connected to the internetLast Updated: 3/30/2015
How can I obtain more information about Illinois MCLE requirements?
For additional information, please visit the frequently asked questions section of the Illinois MCLE Board website at http://mcle.custhelp.com/appLast Updated: 3/30/2015
Is there a professional responsibility or ethics requirement?
Yes. A minimum of six of the total CLE hours required for the two-year reporting period must be in the area of professionalism, issues involving diversity, mental illness and addiction issues, civility or legal ethics. (This requirement increased from four hours, beginning with the reporting periods ending on June 30 of either 2012 or 2013.)
Attorneys admitted after October 1, 2011, in the year after their admission date, must complete an approved 6-hour Basic Skills Course and 9 additional hours which may include any amount of professional responsibility credit. Click here for our newly-admitted attorney package.
In addition to general continuing legal education, Real Estate Institute offers specific courses approved for total or partial professional responsibility credit. Click here for our course list.Last Updated: 3/30/2015