In-House CLEs

Frequently Asked Questions for Lawyers

In-House Rules and Regs Effective January 1, 2009

When did the changes take effect?

The "in-house" regulations that went into effect on November 8, 2005, were replaced with new MCLE rules and regulations that went into effect on January 1, 2009.

The in-house regulation amendments that went into effect on November 8, 2005, will apply to the 2006–2008 reporting group. This is because the 2006–2008 reporting period ended prior to the effective date of the new amendments. Therefore, the rules and regulations in effect until December 31, 2008, apply to that reporting group.

Lawyers in the 2006–2008 reporting group can earn no more than 15 credits from courses sponsored by private law firms and no more than 15 credits from courses sponsored by in-house legal departments. For lawyers in the 2007–2009 and subsequent reporting groups, there is no limit on in-house credits.
 

Is my organization considered a government agency?

If your organization is a federal, state, local, or military agency or organization – or an organization primarily funded by one or more of the preceding (but excluding colleges, universities, law schools, and graduate schools) – then your organization is considered a government agency. (Regulation 101(j))
 

In the past, I've been able to apply for credit on my own if a course sponsor did not apply for accreditation. Do the revisions to the MCLE rules and regulations change that in any way?

Yes. A lawyer who is associated with or employed by a private law firm or corporate legal department that maintains an office within Washington State may not apply to receive credit for a continuing legal education course sponsored by that private law firm or corporate legal department for which the sponsor did not submit a completed Form 1. The private law firm or corporate legal department sponsor is required to submit the Form 1 in order for you and the other WSBA-member course attendees to be able to get credit. (APR 11 Regulation 104(b)(2))

 

How does the in-house limitation for events sponsored by private legal sponsors work?

Note: This information applies only to the 2005-2007 and 2006-2008 reporting period lawyers. There is no limit on the in-house credits for lawyers in the 2007–2009 and subsequent reporting periods.

The MCLE online system tracks all courses in a lawyer's given reporting period sponsored by any and all private legal sponsors (private law firms, in-house legal departments, and government agencies). Once the sum of those activities equals the maximum allowed total credits, additional such courses will still be added to that lawyer's roster but will result in zero additional credits.

The MCLE system will not prioritize certain types of credits over others.  If you have exceeded your private legal sponsor allowance with general credits, and then take additional ethics courses from a private legal sponsor, the system will not automatically select the ethics course over the earlier-earned general-credit course. However, you may manually edit the earlier general course to reflect zero credits, thus allowing the ethics course to count towards your ethics credit requirement.

For information regarding how you can edit your activity roster in this fashion, please contact our Service Center at 800-945-9722, 206-443-9722, or questions@wsba.org, and ask to speak to an MCLE Analyst.
 

I taught a seminar at one of my firm's in-house CLE activities. Is the credit I earn for my preparation time for that seminar limited under the in-house credits?

Note: This information applies only to the 2005–2007 and 2006–2008 reporting period lawyers. There is no limit on the in-house credits for lawyers in the 2007–2009 and subsequent reporting periods.

No. The time spent attending and teaching at the seminar is limited under the provisions of the in-house rules and regulations, but the time spent preparing for that seminar is not.
 

I've met my maximum limit for courses sponsored by private law firms, and want to attend a CLE sponsored by the Acme Corporation's legal department.  Can I receive credit?

Note: This information applies only to the 2005–2007 and 2006–2008 reporting period lawyers. There is no limit on the in-house credits for lawyers in the 2007–2009 and subsequent reporting periods.

For the 2005–2007 and 2006–2008 reporting periods, the 15-credit limit for private law firm activities and the 15-credit limit for activities sponsored by in-house legal departments are entirely independent of one another. You can receive credit for the in-house legal department course as long as you have earned less than 15 credits from any other in-house legal department courses you might have taken.
 

I have earned more than the allotted in-house credit hours for activities sponsored by a Private Legal Sponsor, and haven't already maximized my credits carried over to my next reporting period. Can I use these extra in-house credits as carryover?

Note: This information applies only to the 2005–2007 and 2006–2008 reporting period lawyers. There is no limit on the in-house credits for lawyers in the 2007–2009 and subsequent reporting periods.

No. Credits for activities sponsored by private legal sponsors (private law firms, corporate legal departments, and government agencies) that exceed the in-house credit limit for a given lawyer do not carry over to the next reporting period. These activities appear on the lawyer's roster as completed but are listed with zero credits. They therefore count neither towards the current reporting period compliance requirements nor towards the subsequent reporting period via the carryover provision.

For more information, contact the WSBA Service Center at 206-443-9722, 800-945-9722, or questions@wsba.org.

 


 Any discrepancy or conflict between the information provided here and the rules and regulations set by the Washington State Supreme Court, or the bylaws and policies of the Washington State Bar Association, is unintentional and will be resolved in favor of strict compliance with the rules, regulations, bylaws and policies.

MCLE Member Login

Model Course Evaluation

MCLE Forms