by Maureen R. Braley
Introduction to Mandatory Continuing Legal Education
The Idaho State Bar Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (“MCLE”) Department administers the rules governing accreditation of CLE programming in Idaho and monitors Idaho attorneys’ compliance with MCLE requirements.
A program must meet the accreditation standards set forth in the Idaho Bar Commission Rules to be approved for CLE credit in Idaho. The MCLE Department receives over 6,000 accreditation applications annually. Individual Idaho lawyers do not pay an application fee. Commercial course providers pay a $40 application fee.
Idaho attorneys must complete at least 30 Idaho-accredited CLE programs every three-year reporting period, including at least three ethics credits. No more than 15 of the 30 credits can be “self-study,” which refers to an attorney watching a recorded program on their own schedule. Live CLE programs include in-person classes as well as live webcasts. Attorneys can earn three hours of CLE credit for each hour spent teaching a CLE. Attorneys can also earn up to six CLE credits per reporting period for published legal writing.
Every year, approximately 1,750 Idaho attorneys (one-third of the Active members of the Idaho State Bar) are required to report their MCLE compliance to the Idaho State Bar. The MCLE Department verifies Idaho attorneys’ compliance with the MCLE requirements.
Resolution to Amend MCLE Application Fees
The Board of Commissioners of the Idaho State Bar is proposing a resolution to increase the MCLE accreditation application fees. Idaho lawyers will continue to be able to submit applications for free. The proposal would raise the application fee to $75 for commercial CLE course providers and provide for a $50 application fee for Idaho-based legal affinity groups. The resolution will be submitted to Idaho State Bar members for a vote in November 2023.
Spotlight on MCLE Department Staff
The Idaho State Bar is fortunate to have experienced and talented staff in the MCLE Department. Kim Wilson, Nelda Adolf, Calle Belodoff, and Carissa Carns skillfully handle a high volume of applications, field phone calls and emails from course providers and attorneys, and help attorneys navigate the MCLE compliance process. I am fortunate to work with them and appreciate their hard work.
Maureen R. Braley
Maureen R. Braley is the Associate Director of the Idaho State Bar and the Idaho Law Foundation. Her job duties include overseeing MCLE accreditation and compliance in Idaho. She clerked for Chief Justice Gerald F. Schroeder of the Idaho Supreme Court and practiced law for six years in Boise before joining the Idaho State Bar staff in 2011. Maureen is a “double Zag,” having earned an undergraduate degree in history and a law degree from Gonzaga University.