California MCLE Credit Requirements
As a California attorney, you are required to complete 25 hours of MCLE credits every three years. While CA is pretty generous and allows lawyers to do some self study, be sure to remember that at least half of your MCLE must be actual courses, such as TalksOnLaw talks! ;)
There are also a few special requirements - specific required courses within the basic 25.
4 hours must be “Legal Ethics” credits. By legal ethics, think attorney conduct or misconduct, conflicts of interests, privilege, or other activities governed by the rules of professional conduct.
1 hour must be “Competence Issues” credit. Here we’re talking about lawyers suffering from depression, drugs or alcohol abuse or other factors that may be impacting a lawyer’s ability to adequately represent clients.
1 hour must be “Recognition and Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession” credit. Though we may think so sometimes, lawyers are not perfect. And like many people, our profession has to deal with biases in our careers, and CA is taking the extra step have us learn how to combat discrimination based on gender, sexual preference, age, race, or otherwise.
As a California you fall into one of three groups, based on the beginning letter of your last name; The groups are A-G, H-M, and N-Z. Each group must meet the compliance deadline of Feb 1st of the last year of their given three year period. Here are the next few years:
Period: 2/1/16 - 1/31/19
Period: 2/1/15 - 1/31/18
Period: 2/1/14 - 2/28/17
More information can be found at http://mcle.calbar.ca.gov.
California MCLE for Newly Admitted Lawyers
If you are a newly admitted lawyer, it’s a bit more complicated because, unless you’re admitted on Feb 1 on the exact year, you will begin part way through your triennial cycle. The State Bar of California, however, in it’s wisdom provides a table to show you your exact requirements, which vary depending on when you were admitted. The table can be found here.