New Mandatory CLE Requirements as Illinois Lawyers’ Deadline Looms

by: The Knowledge Group

April 03, 2019


New Continuing Legal Education rules are in effect in the Land of Lincoln this year.

Illinois lawyers still need 30 hours of online audio-visual CLE courses every two years—but these now must include at least:

  • 4 hours of legal ethics education;
  • 1 hour of diversity and inclusion education; and
  • 1 hour of mental health and substance abuse education.

This is an odd-numbered year, so the deadline is only for people with last names starting with the letters N through Z. Alternatively, a lawyer can complete a year-long mentoring term.

Other CLE courses must be in the subjects of professionalism, civility, or legal ethics. Different requirements, to include basic skills, apply to new lawyers.

The state’s MCLE Board ( details the requirements, and how carry-over credits apply in the reporting year.

Illinois attorneys must complete the 30 required hours by June 30 and report IL MCLE compliance by July 31.

Illinois CLE Rules: Fewer Exemptions, Stricter Reporting in 2019

As regular followers of our blog will recall, an order of the Illinois Supreme Court dated January 29, 2019, tightened CLE-related rules.

Effective March 1, 2019, judges, magistrates, and clerks whose professional responsibilities sideline them from law practice must nevertheless sign up with the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission and actually qualify as exempt. There is no more partial-year exemption.

Moreover, effective July 1, CLE course providers must record attendance and report the name and registration number and CLE hours attended—including the new professional responsibility hours—for each Illinois-licensed attorney. Bar or professional association conferences can offer CLE credits, but they are now capped at one credit hour. The setting must be free of distractions.

The Knowledge Group thanks our readers, faculty, and clients for supporting continuing legal education and other continuing professional education.