Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) Requirements
Each active member of the Idaho State Bar shall complete a minimum of thirty (30) credit hours of accredited continuing legal education activity in each and every three (3) year period following the date of his or her admission to the practice of law in this state.
Beginning with those lawyers scheduled to report on December 31, 1993, and thereafter, at least two (2) credit hours of continuing legal education shall be in courses on legal ethics or professional responsibility approved by the Board of Commissioners or its designee.
Lawyers holding themselves out as specialists or certified specialists, as provided in Section X of these Rules, shall complete a minimum of thirty (30) approved credit hours of continuing legal education activity in each specialty field during the reporting periods described above.
The MCLE Rules state the Idaho State Bar must review CLE activities and approve activities consistent with the following standards:
- The activity shall have significant intellectual or practical content, and the primary objective shall be to increase the participants professional competence as a lawyer and his ability to deliver quality legal services in an efficient, competent manner.
- The activity shall constitute an organized program of learning dealing with matters directly related to the practice of law, professional responsibility, or ethical obligations of attorneys.
- Activities in which materials are utilized are to be prepared by and the activity conducted by an individual or group qualified by practical or academic experience in the subject or subjects to be covered.
- The activity shall be conducted in a setting physically suited to the educational activity. Video, motion picture, sound tape, computer programs or presentations, and correspondence courses may be used.
- Materials utilized in the activity shall be thorough, of high quality, readable, and carefully prepared. The materials should be distributed to all participants at or before the time the activity is offered.
- In-house programs, and self-study programs which meet all of the requirements of subsections (1) through (5) of this Rule, may be used.
- Credits for self-study programs applicable to the requirements for mandatory self-study shall be limited to 15 during every three year reporting period.
An organization or attorney may apply for accreditation of a CLE activity. To apply for credit, submit an Application for Approval of Continuing Legal Education Activity. Allow 2-4 weeks for processing. All applications for accreditation of CLE programs submitted by organizations, including those from presumptively accredited organizations, must be accompanied by a $40 application fee. When a particular course has been approved, the number of hours of credit assigned to the course reflects the maximum that may be earned through attendance at the course. Credit awarded to individual attorneys may differ depending on the actual number of hours an attorney is in attendance at the course.
Visit our MCLE Accreditation Information page for the answers to common questions about the accreditation process.
All active members (with some limited exceptions) must report their MCLE credits every three years. For most attorneys, their first reporting period began on the date of admission to the Bar and ended on December 31 of the third full year following admission. After the initial reporting period, the reporting periods continue in three (3) year cycles. If an attorney transfers from active status to affiliate or inactive status and then returns to active status, his or her reporting period will change. You can check your reporting period by checking your MCLE attendance records. Your reporting period will be listed along with your attendance records. Questions about reporting periods should be directed to the MCLE Department at (208) 334-4500 or e-mail Annette Strauser.
MCLE - Completing the Requirements (information on extensions, self-study credit and course approval.)
A written report of attendance at accredited MCLE courses must be provided to the Idaho State Bar at the end of each 3 year reporting period. The reporting form is the MCLE Certificate of Compliance. Certificate of Compliance will be provided to each reporting attorney at the end of their reporting period. All courses in the attorney's current MCLE reporting period will be preprinted on the certificate. Any additional courses added to the MCLE Certificate of Compliance must have prior accreditation by the Idaho State Bar. No credit shall be applicable to any reporting period other than that during which the credit was actually earned.
Only time spent in actual educational activities may be counted in the hours of credit received for participating in a program. One (1) credit hour is given for each hour actually spent in attendance at an accredited course. No credit shall be given for the following activities: time spent in introductory remarks, coffee and lunch breaks, business meetings or speeches presented at lunches and banquets.
Three (3) credit hours shall be given for each hour actually spent teaching in an accredited course. No teaching credit is given for time spent in preparation or for time spent teaching in a program that is directed primarily to persons preparing for admission to the practice of law or to persons who are non-lawyers. To apply for teaching credit, submit an Application for MCLE Teaching Credit.
Attorneys can claim only fifteen (15) credits of self-study during each reporting period. Self-study credits may be earned via video, motion picture, sound tape, computer programs or presentations, and correspondence courses. All self-study credits must be applied for and approved before the credits can be counted toward meeting the MCLE requirement. The application forms and process are the same for all courses regardless of whether or not they are self-study.
According to Rule 402 (f) of the Idaho State Bar Commission Rules, each attorney is required to attend a practical skills seminar within twelve months of admission to the Idaho State Bar.
Reciprocal Admission Credits
According to Rule 206(d) of the Idaho State Bar Commission Rules, attorneys who have been admitted pursuant to the Reciprocal Admission Rules must attend at least fifteen hours of continuing legal education on Idaho practice and procedure and ethics requirements, in courses administered by and/or approved by the Idaho State Bar no later than six months following the applicant’s admission.
Lawyers holding themselves out as specialists or certified specialists, as provided in Section X of the Idaho Bar Commission Rules, shall complete a minimum of thirty (30) approved credit hours of continuing legal education activity in each specialty field during their reporting period. These credits may or may not be included in the thirty (30) credits required by IBCR 402(a)(1).
Idaho attorneys whose principal practice of law is in the states of Washington, Oregon or Utah may elect to meet the MCLE requirements in that other state and use that state's MCLE compliance as compliance in Idaho. Idaho Bar Commission Rule 410 describes the requirements of this provision. Please contact the MCLE Department at (208) 334-4500 to see if you qualify.
If your primary practice is in Oregon, Utah or Washington and you want to designate one of these states as your MCLE reporting State, a PDF copy of the Designation of MCLE Reporting State Form is available for you to use.
As a courtesy to our members who are licensed in Oregon, Utah or Washington, below please find links to CLE seminar information in those states. Please remember that the multi-state compliance (comity) agreement does not mean that courses approved in the participating states are automatically approved for MCLE credit in Idaho. Courses must be approved in Idaho before being counted toward meeting the Idaho MCLE requirement. Please check the Upcoming Courses page or contact Annette Strauser at (208) 334-4500 to find out if a course has been approved in Idaho.
It is the responsibility of each attorney to maintain records of his or her attendance at approved MCLE activities for purposes of the three-year reporting period required by the Idaho State Bar. The Idaho State Bar does keep record of organizations and attorneys who have applied for credit for a MCLE activity along with the attendance verifications received from the course sponsors. The MCLE Attendance Records are available online and are updated weekly.
The Idaho State Bar does not have to receive any form of attendance verification for an attorney to count an approved course toward meeting the MCLE requirements. Courses must be approved for Idaho MCLE credit, but inclusion of on the attendance records is not required. Adding Approved Courses to the Attendance Records.
Attorneys who cannot get a certificate of attendance from a course sponsor can file an Attorney Self-Verification of Attendance Form. The MCLE Attendance FAQs page also answers many attendance questions.
If you have questions, please contact the MCLE Department at the Idaho State Bar, PO Box 895, Boise, ID 83701 (208) 334-4500.