Proposed New MCLE Rule

The MCLE Task Force has completed its review of APR 11, the mandatory continuing legal education rule.  The Task Force has submitted its report and recommendations together with a rewrite of APR 11 to the Board of Governors for discussion at its July 25, 2014 meeting.  The proposed new APR 11 will then be scheduled for approval by the Board of Governors at its September meeting so that it can be submitted to the Washington Supreme Court in October in accordance with the standard rule making process as set forth in GR 9.

Task Force Recommendations

A summary of the key recommendations are listed below. 

  1. Expand the purpose to include not only competence, but also character and fitness and protection of the public.
  2. Eliminate the “live” credit requirement.
  3. Keep the minimum ethics requirement at 6 credits per three-year reporting period.
  4. Require a minimum of 15 credits per reporting be earned by attending courses in law and legal procedure—traditional black letter law and procedure CLE.
  5. After completing the 21 credits in ethics and law courses, permit the remaining 24 credits to be earned in any of the approved course subject areas approved activities for credit.
  6. Eliminate all caps on approved activities and course subjects.
  7. Expand approved course subjects to include:
    • Professional development (including leadership, career development and presentation skills),
    • Personal development and mental health (including depression and stress reduction), 
    • Practice development (including marketing and responsibilities when opening or closing an office)
    • Improving the legal system (including legal education, regulation of the practice of law and access to justice).
  8. Provide credit for mentoring when the program has been approved by the MCLE Board.
  9. Require reporting period compliance by comity be complete by February 1 or be subject to a late fee for failure to meet requirements by the deadline.
  10. Restrict petitions for extension, modification, or waiver to lawyers who are experiencing undue hardship (e.g. serious illness, extreme financial hardship, or disability) that affects the lawyer’s ability to meet the education or reporting requirements.
  11. Permit the Association to audit an individual lawyer’s compliance certification to substantiate participation in the activities listed on the certification.
  12. Require all sponsors to submit course approval application forms (Form 1s) no later than 15 days prior to the start or availability of the program.
  13. Accredited sponsors have the same deadlines as sponsors.
  14. Eliminate the MCLE regulations by incorporating them into a single clear, concise rule.

Feel free to contact Kathy Todd, staff liaison to the MCLE Task Force, at kathyt@wsba.org with any questions or comments.

APR 11 – Updated Draft (6/20/2014)

MCLE Task Force Report