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May I apply for a temporary exemption from or extension of time to complete CLE requirements?

Supreme Court Rule(s) cited in this FAQ: Rule 791.

In cases of extreme hardship, yes. Rule 791(a)(7) permits the MCLE Board to grant a temporary exemption from the MCLE requirements or a temporary extension of time to satisfy them but only in rare cases and upon the attorney’s clear showing of good cause.  

Good cause for an exemption or extension may exist in the event of:
  • Illness;
  • Financial hardship;
  • Other extraordinary or extenuating circumstances beyond the attorney’s control.
There is a deadline to submit this request and you need to contact the Board for the form and instructions specific to your situation.  You will need to include supporting documentation. The required documentation depends on the grounds for your request but will be explained in the instructions.

If an attorney owes a late fee or reinstatement fee for a reporting period and is granted a temporary exemption or extension for a reporting period under Rule 791(a)(7), the attorney will not have to pay that outstanding fee. 

Contact the MCLE Board at 312-924-2420 for more information on how to apply for a temporary extension or exemption.

If the Director denies your initial request for a temporary extension or exemption, you may file a written request for reconsideration no later than 30 days after the Director's initial decision. The Director responds within 30 days of receipt, then promptly notifies the attorney.  If the request is denied, the attorney has 30 days from the denial date to submit an appeal to the full MCLE Board for consideration at the next scheduled Board meeting.

By submitting the original exemption/extension request, a request for reconsideration, or an appeal, you do not extend any of the original MCLE compliance or fee deadlines. Rule 791(a)(7).

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