MCLE Requirements for New Lawyers

Newly-admitted attorneys have special requirements for their first year of admittance. The choices include taking a Basic Skills course, participating in an approved mentoring program, or selecting other MCLE courses of interest.

Illinois lawyers must complete 30 hours of MCLE credit including 6 hours of PMCLE credit every 2 years. The reporting period starts July 1 and your reporting period is based on the first letter of your last name.

Find out more below.

Newly Admitted Attorneys MCLE Options

As a complimentary ISBA member during your first year of bar admission, you can select your compliance method through the ISBA at no cost!

MCLE Compliance and Reporting Deadlines

Answer these questions to determine your Newly-Admitted Attorney MCLE compliance and reporting deadlines:

Your last name1 starts with:


When must I complete the newly-admitted attorney MCLE requirements?

Requirements must be completed by the last day of the month that occurs one year after the newly-admitted attorney’s admission to practice in Illinois. (S. Ct. Rule 793(b))

When must I certify to the MCLE Board that I completed my requirements?

Within 31 days after the end of your reporting period you must certify your compliance to the MCLE Board. (S. Ct. Rule 796(a))

When does my initial 30 hour/two-year reporting period begin? (S. Ct. Rule 793(e))

The newly-admitted attorney’s initial 30 hour/two-year reporting period begins, following the deadline to complete the newly-admitted attorney requirement:

  • On the next July 1 of an even-numbered year for lawyers whose last names begin with a letter A through M.
  • On the next July 1 of an odd-numbered year for lawyers whose last names begin with a letter N through Z.
Is it possible to carry over hours from one reporting period to another?

Newly-admitted attorneys may carry over up to 15 hours including up to 6 hours of PMCLE credit, earned between date of bar admission and first day of your first 30 hour two year reporting period. (Note: Carryover hours must be in excess of the 15 hours required for newly-admitted attorneys (S. Ct. Rule 794 (c)).

All other attorneys may carry over up to 10 hours from their previous reporting period.

1What if my last name has changed since my admission date?

If admitted on July 1, 2006, or later, use your last name on file with the ARDC on your admission date. Your reporting group does not change even if your name does.

All Illinois attorneys must report according to the following schedule.

First Letter of Last Name Reporting Period
A through M Two-Year Period Beginning July 1 of Even Numbered Years
30 hours required, including 6 hours PMCLE credit
N through Z Two-Year Period Beginning July 1 of Odd Numbered Years
30 hours required, including 6 hours PMCLE credit
  • Professional Responsibility MCLE (PMCLE) must be in the area of professionalism, diversity, mental illness and addiction, civility or legal ethics.
  • Up to 10 MCLE credits earned prior to the beginning of your reporting period can be carried into your two-year reporting period, including professional responsibility credits. Newly-Admitted Attorneys may carry over 15 hours and should refer to the MCLE Board website for details regarding carrying over MCLE credit.
  • Different rules apply to newly-admitted attorneys subject to the Basic Skills requirement.

Reporting

You must report MCLE requirement compliance to the MCLE Board. Failure to report in a timely manner will result in late fees and the risk of having your name removed from the Master Roll of Attorneys. Also, the Illinois Supreme Court requires ISBA to report your certified CLE hours to the MCLE Board on a monthly basis. Find out more at mcleboard.org.

Certificates of Attendance

You must retain your MCLE Certificate of Attendance for individual courses (including all courses taken to satisfy the 15 hour requirement for newly admitted attorneys) for 3 years after the end of the reporting period in case you are audited.