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What is the definition of a professional organization in Rule 795(d)(3) and the MCLE Fee Schedule; and how are they similar to bar associations?

Supreme Court Rule(s) cited in this FAQ: Rule 795.

To be a “professional organization” under MCLE Rule 795(d)(3) and the MCLE Fee Schedule , an entity must meet these four criteria:  

  1. A membership organization.
  2. Individual licensed attorneys make up at least 90% of the membership.
  3. Organization is a not-for-profit entity.
  4. Attorney membership dues are $750 or less.
Thus, a law firm almost certainly doesn’t fit this definition.

Like bar associations, professional organizations that meet these criteria may offer MCLE credit for qualified meetings under Rule 795(d)(3). Qualifying meetings and attorney attendance must be entered in PCAM by the bar association or professional organization. 

To qualify as Illinois MCLE credit, a bar association or professional association meeting must include a discussion of specific matters--substantive law, matters of practice, professionalism, diversity and inclusion, mental health and substance abuse, civility, or legal ethics. The meeting must also satisfy the requirements of MCLE Rules 795(a)(1) and (2). Meetings can be any length, but an attorney can earn no more than 1.0 hour of CLE credit from such a presentation.

If you do not have a PCAM account, contact the MCLE Board at (312) 924-2420 to learn about the process of obtaining a PCAM account.

To locate this FAQ again, enter this FAQ number in the search FAQ box: P395.