Illinois MCLE Requirements and Fees

Your MCLE requirements depend on whether you:
(1) are a newly-admitted attorney;
(2) are already in a two-year reporting period; or
(3) are working toward reinstatement.

You should check whether you are exempt from the MCLE requirements in a particular reporting period.

Newly-admitted attorneys

Earning credits and reporting

Attorneys admitted in Illinois who are not exempt must complete a newly-admitted attorney requirement and then report their compliance the MCLE Board by specific deadlines.


Your newly-admitted attorney reporting period deadlines:

To see your specific newly-admitted attorney requirement completion and reporting deadlines, login using the Attorney Login box on the upper right of this page. After logging in, go to the "My MCLE" page on our website and this information will display below your name. Information regarding your initial two-year reporting period will also be displayed.


Earning credits:

Most newly-admitted attorneys must complete the requirement listed below in 1 and 2.

  1. A course accredited as a Basic Skills Course. In lieu of that course, an attorney may undertake a mentoring program approved by the Commission on Professionalism (www.2civility.org); and
  2. At least nine other hours of Illinois-approved CLE credit, including any amount of professional responsibility (PR) credit. Participating in a mentoring program cited in Part 1 counts toward these nine hours only if it was not completed in lieu of the Basic Skills course. Rule 793(c).

Attorneys admitted in Illinois after practicing law in another state for at least one year in the three years immediately before admission in Illinois have a different newly-admitted attorney requirement. Attorneys in this category must complete 15 hours of MCLE credit, including four hours of professional responsibility credit. Rules 793(c) and (f).


Parts 1 and 2 (which may include enrollment in an approved mentoring program) or the alternate requirement for attorneys with prior practice experience must be done by the completion deadline. The completion deadline is the last day of the month that you were admitted to the Illinois bar – one year later. Rule 793(b).


Reporting:

Once you have completed Parts 1 and 2 or the alternate requirement if you are an attorney with prior practice experience, you must submit an online compliance report to the MCLE Board by the reporting deadline. The reporting deadline is 31 days after the completion deadline. Rule 793(c)(3) and (f), and Rule 796. To report online, please login using the Attorney Login box on the upper right of this page, then go to "My MCLE” and follow the steps to submit your report.


Initial two-year reporting period:

Your initial two-year reporting period begins on the July 1 after the completion deadline for your reporting group – an even-numbered year for A-M last names and an odd-numbered year for N-Z last names. Rule 793(e).

Available exemptions

A newly-admitted attorney reporting period starts on the date an attorney is admitted to Illinois bar and ends on the last day of the month they were admitted to the Illinois bar – one year later.


Your newly-admitted attorney reporting period deadlines:

To see your specific newly-admitted attorney requirement reporting period end date and your reporting deadline, login using the Attorney Login box on the upper right of this page. After logging in, go to the "My MCLE" page on our website and this information will display below your name. As noted below, only certain exemptions must be reported to the MCLE Board by the reporting deadline. Those that do not need to be reported by the attorney will be entered by the MCLE Board on behalf of the attorney.


Exemptions:

Attorneys admitted on or after March 1, 2018 have a full exemption from their newly-admitted attorney requirement if:

  • the attorney is in one of the following categories on the last day of their newly-admitted attorney reporting period: Rule 791(b)(1)

o  inactive or retired registration status with the ARDC; Rule 791(a)(1) or

o  disability inactive registration status with the ARDC. Rule 791(a)(2),


OR

  • the attorney is in one of the following categories for at least one day of their newly-admitted attorney reporting period or on the last day of it: Rule 791(b)(1) and (3): 

o  justice, judge, associate judge or magistrate of any federal or state court. Rule 791(a)(3). If the attorney is not registered with the ARDC as a “judge,” the attorney must report this exemption to the MCLE Board;

o  certain federal and Illinois state judiciary employees specified in Rule 791(a)(4) who are prohibited from engaging in the practice of law and registered pursuant to Rules 756(a)(3)(B) with the ARDC; Rule 791(a)(4);

o  active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States. Rule 791(a)(5). If the attorney is not registered with the ARDC as “military,” the attorney must report this exemption to the MCLE Board.


OR

  • the attorney is in the following category for at least 365 days of their newly-admitted attorney reporting period or on the last day of it: Rule 791(b)(1) and (2).

o  sole or primary office is in another MCLE state and fully compliant with earning the MCLE credits for that state Rule 791(a)(6). The attorney must report this exemption to the MCLE Board.


The following exemption differs from those listed above as it does not rely on the attorney’s license status or out-of-state practice:

  • Extraordinary Hardship: Must prove extreme hardship in the form of illness, financial hardship or other extraordinary or extenuating circumstances beyond the attorney’s control. A temporary exemption is granted only when the MCLE Board determines the attorney has established that extreme hardship exists.

Attorney admitted before March 1, 2018, should contact the MCLE Board for information on available exemptions.


Reporting:

If the exemption category noted above states the attorney must report an exemption based on it, the reporting deadline is 31 days after the newly-admitted attorney reporting period ends. Rule 793(c)(3) and (f), and Rule 796. To report online, please login using the Attorney Login box on the upper right of this page, then go to "My MCLE” and follow the steps to submit your report.

Two-year reporting period and current with MCLE requirements

Completing credits and reporting:

Attorneys report compliance with (or a valid exemption from) MCLE requirements every other year. Reporting periods last two years from July 1 to June 30 – in even numbered years for those with A-M last names and in odd numbered years for those with N-Z last names.


Your two-year reporting period deadlines:

To see what two-year reporting period you are currently in and deadlines for that reporting period, login using the Attorney Login box on the upper right of this page. After logging in, go to the "My MCLE" page on our website and that information will display below your name.


Completing credits:

Beginning with the July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2019, and July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2020, two-year reporting periods, attorneys must continue to complete 30 total hours of credit, including at least six hours of professional responsibility (“PR”) credit. However, of those six hours of PR credit, Illinois attorneys must complete one hour of diversity/inclusion PR credit and one hour of mental health/substance abuse PR credit. Please refer to the Commission on Professionalism's FAQs for additional information. Note, attorneys can fulfill their entire PR requirement, including the diversity/inclusion and mental health/substance abuse requirement, by completing the year-long Lawyer-to-Lawyer Mentoring Program.


Reporting:

The second year in the period is the reporting year. To avoid late fees, all CLE hours must be completed by 11:59 PM CDT on June 30 of that year (completion deadline) and your compliance (or a valid exemption that needs to be reported) reported by 11:59 PM CDT on July 31. Online reporting opens on May 1 of your reporting year.


To report online, please login using the Attorney Login box on the upper right of this page, then go to "My MCLE” and follow the steps to submit your report.


Last Name Determination:

If sworn in to the Illinois bar:

  • on July 1, 2006 or later, use your last name on file with the ARDC on your swearing-in date;
  • on or before June 30, 2006, use your last name on file with the ARDC on July 1, 2006.

Name Change:

Once you are admitted, your reporting group does not change even if your name does.

Available exemptions

Your two-year reporting period deadlines:

To see what two-year reporting period you are currently in and deadlines for that reporting period, login using the Attorney Login box on the upper right of this page. After logging in, go to the "My MCLE" page on our website and that information will display below your name.


Full exemptions:

Attorneys in the July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2019 (“2017-2019”) and July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2020 (“2018-2020”) reporting periods are entitled to a full exemption from the MCLE requirements for that reporting period if:

  • the attorney is in one of the following categories for at least 365 days of their reporting period or on the last day of it: Rule 791(b)(1) and (2):

o inactive (including under former Rule 770), retired or voluntarily removed status registration status with the ARDC; Rule 791(a)(1)

o disability inactive registration status with the ARDC; Rule 791(a)(2): or

o an out-of-state attorney whose sole or primary office is in another MCLE state and fully compliant with earning the MCLE credits for that state Rule 791(a)(6):. The attorney must report this exemption to the MCLE Board.


OR

  • the attorney is in the following categories for at least one day their reporting period or on the last day of it: Rule 791(b)(1) and (3):

o  justice, judge, associate judge or magistrate of any federal or state court. Rule 791(a)(3). If the attorney is not registered with the ARDC as a “judge,” the attorney must report this exemption to the MCLE Board; 

o  certain federal and Illinois state judiciary employees specified in Rule 791(a)(4) who are prohibited from engaging in the practice of law and registered pursuant to Rules 756(a)(3)(B) with the ARDC; Rule 791(b)(1)Rule 791(a)(4); or

o  active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States. Rule 791(a)(5). If the attorney is not registered with the ARDC as “military,” the attorney must report this exemption to the MCLE Board.


The following full exemption differs from those listed above as it does not rely on the attorney’s license status or out-of-state practice:

  • Extraordinary Hardship: Must prove extreme hardship in the form of illness, financial hardship or other extraordinary or extenuating circumstances beyond the attorney’s control. A temporary exemption is granted only when the MCLE Board determines the attorney has established that extreme hardship exists. Attorneys should apply by May 31 of the reporting year, providing specific documentation to establish extreme hardship. Rule 791(a)(7). Please contact the MCLE Board for information on requesting this type of an exemption.

Reporting a full exemption:

If the full exemption category noted above states the attorney must report an exemption based on it, the attorney must report it to the MCLE Board no later than July 31st of year in which their reporting period ends. Rule 796. Online reporting opens on May 1 of the year in which an attorney’s reporting period ends.


To report online, please login using the Attorney Login box on the upper right of this page, then go to "My MCLE” and follow the steps to submit your report.


Partial Exemption:

An attorney who is not fully exempt from their MCLE requirements for 2017-2019 or 2018-2020 reporting periods is entitled to a partial exemption from the MCLE requirements that reporting period if one of the following categories applies to the attorney for more than 60 days, but less than 365 days of their reporting period and not on the last day of it: Rule 791(c).

  • inactive (including under former Rule 770), retired or voluntarily removed status registration status with the ARDC; Rule 791(a)(1)
  • disability inactive registration status with the ARDC; Rule 791(a)(2), or
  • sole or primary office is in another MCLE state and fully compliant with earning the MCLE credits for that state Rule 791(a)(6)

An attorney eligible to claim a partial exemption must complete 15 total hours of Illinois approved MCLE credit, including at least three hours of professional responsibility (“PR”) credit. Of those three hours of PR credit, the attorney must complete one hour of diversity/inclusion PR credit and one hour of mental health/substance abuse PR credit. Please refer to the Commission on Professionalism's FAQs for additional information.


Reporting a partial exemption:

If an attorney believes that they qualify for a partial exemption from the MCLE requirements for the 2017-2019 or 2018-2019 reporting period, the attorney should contact the MCLE Board at (312) 924-2420 for instruction on how to report that partial exemption to the MCLE Board no later than July 31st of their reporting year.

Attorneys working toward reinstatement

If you are an attorney removed from the master roll for non-compliance with your MCLE requirements and would like to be reinstated you must: (1) either earn the required credits from the reporting period(s) for which you were removed or qualify for an exemption from those requirements; then (2) report your compliance or valid exemption to the MCLE Board and pay a reinstatement fee for each reporting period for which you were removed.


To determine how many credits you need to earn in order to be reinstated please login using the Attorney Login box on the upper right of this page, then go to the “My MCLE” page and then select the button to submit your MCLE report. Detailed information specific to your circumstance will then be displayed.


Once you complete the requirements or determine that you qualify for an exemption from those requirements, you may then log back into the system, report either compliance or a valid exemption and pay the reinstatement fee for each reporting period for which you were removed. After reporting and paying the reinstatement fee for each reporting period for which you are removed, please allow at least 4-5 business days for the ARDC’s records to reflect your updated status.

Attorney Fees

Attorney Fees, pursuant to Fee Schedule (PDF), effective July 1, 2015.


C. Fee for Accreditation of MCLE Courses by Individual Attorneys.


Fee for Illinois MCLE credit for each out-of-state course submitted pursuant to Rule 795(c)(5) $1.00 per hour or fraction thereof: minimum $15.00 per course submission

D. Attorney Compliance Late Fees and Reinstatement Fee


Timely filed certification disclosing non-compliance. Rule 796(d)(2) $100.00
Failure to file timely certification during the applicable reporting period. Rule 796(d)(1) $250.00
Filing amended certification after audit reveals inaccurate certification. Rule 796(g)(2) $250.00
Reinstatement fee following attorney's removal from the Master Roll of Attorneys for failure to comply with the MCLE requirements $500.00

E. Attorney Appeal Fee


Fee to appeal denial of course provider's application to accredit an individual course (does not include any fees that provider may need to pay after the decision on appeal). $100.00

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