So, You Missed Your MCLE Deadline. What’s Next?
by: The Knowledge Group
It’s not unusual for attorneys to miss their Continuing Legal Education deadlines. Here we discuss how attorneys handle missed deadlines—and offer some pointers for staying out of the penalty box.
What Are the Typical MCLE Grace Periods?
Your bar association website shows you state’s late filing process. Within a certain period, your state might accept late submissions without imposing penalties. If you must submit a non-compliance report, you might still receive extra time to complete your course work.
Often, there are extra fees for late submissions, which you or your firm will have to cover.
Are Lawyers Ever Suspended for Blowing the MCLE deadline?
It’s possible. Consider Texas. As a Texas attorney, you get your birth month as the grace period for completing and reporting 15 hours of CLE and getting back in compliance without a fine. Otherwise, you’re fined each month during the next three months. After that, Texas will suspend you from the practice of law.
In New York, attorneys self-report. If an audit catches you out of compliance, you must contact the Appellate Division, which can issue suspensions. Following that, an attorney must deal with the burden of a full reinstatement proceeding.
How Do You Stay on Top of This Stuff?
Use your smartphone calendar. Alert yourself several weeks in advance of your reporting date. CLE credits are easy to schedule and calendar, and keeping records is easy, too, with online CLE. Bank carryover credit where permitted.
If you were admitted recently—normally in the past two years—you’ll need to check for “newly admitted attorney” requirements.
Make time now to register for online credits, and get through MCLE gracefully. The Knowledge Group will help you stay on top of it—and ensure your valuable time is spent on useful, interesting material.