We promote professional responsibility education as a vehicle for changing and supporting lawyer behavior to exemplify the highest values of our profession.
Pursuant to Supreme Court Rule Rule 794(d), we approve all courses and activities that qualify for Illinois professional responsibility CLE credit. Below you will find information regarding professional responsibility CLE requirements and opportunities for both attorneys and CLE providers.
We offer free online courses and free CLE programs that are approved for professional responsibility CLE credit in Illinois. We also approve professional responsibility CLE credit for out-of-state courses, non-traditional activities and mentoring program participation.
Whether discussing the impact of diverse backgrounds and journeys to the law, debating civil behavior in the face of aggressive litigation tactics, or discovering strategies for work-life balance, we believe that innovative and effective professional responsibility education leads to a more effective and rewarding legal career. Professional responsibility courses teach attorneys how to work with their peers, serve their clients, and increase their own personal commitment to the law.
Professional Responsibility CLE Requirements
CLE requirements are defined by Rule 794. With certain exceptions, practicing attorneys in Illinois must complete six hours of professional responsibility CLE in every two-year 30-hour reporting cycle. Attorneys can take courses or complete activities in the areas of professionalism, diversity and inclusion, mental health and substance abuse, civility, or legal ethics. Attorneys must take one hour of diversity and inclusion CLE and one hour of mental health and substance abuse CLE as part of these six hours. Our Professional Responsibility Education Guide goes into further detail on these topic areas.
Newly Admitted Attorneys
Professional Responsibility CLE Courses
Attorneys can find CLE courses through their bar associations, employers, non-profit organizations, and commercial CLE providers. The MCLE Board hosts a public listing of all CLE courses offered to the public in Illinois. Attorneys can also find free professional responsibility CLE courses from the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, the Illinois Lawyers’ Assistance Program, and the Commission on Professionalism.
Non-traditional CLE Activities
In addition to the traditional CLE course offerings, attorneys have other options for obtaining professional responsibility credit. A list of all available CLE activities can be found in Rule 795(d)(7). To obtain CLE certificates for non-traditional activities such as attending law school courses, part-time teaching of law courses, or legal scholarship (publications), please electronically submit the non-traditional CLE application.
CLE Certificate for Courses Taken Outside of Illinois
If a provider has not applied for professional responsibility CLE credit in Illinois, attorneys can electronically submit the out-of-state CLE application to receive a CLE certificate from the Commission.
As an organization dedicated to promoting professional responsibility in the legal and judicial communities, the well-being of those we serve is our highest priority.
Therefore, due to concerns about COVID-19, and in accordance with guidance from the Illinois Supreme Court, Commission staff and Commissioners will no longer present in-person CLE programs through June 2020.
As an alternative, please make sure your stakeholders are aware they may fulfill their professional responsibility requirement through our free online CLEs or our lawyer-to-lawyer mentoring program. We look forward to getting back into the classroom this summer!
We assist CLE providers in developing and facilitating CLE courses that encourage conduct reflective of professionalism ideals in a 21st century legal landscape.
Whether discussing the impact of diverse backgrounds and journeys to the law, debating civil behavior in the face of aggressive litigation tactics, or discovering strategies for work-life balance, we believe that innovative and effective professional responsibility education leads to a more effective and rewarding legal experience. Professional responsibility courses teach attorneys how to work with their peers, serve their clients, and increase their own personal commitment to the law.
Course Accreditation Process
We accredit professional responsibility continuing legal education courses and activities. Courses are submitted through the MCLE Board’s PCAM system and then progress through a shared portal for our substantive review of the course content. Professional responsibility courses or segments generally are reviewed in 7-10 days. Providers with questions about PCAM should contact the MCLE Board.
Resources for Providers
We assist CLE providers across the country in developing cutting edge, interactive courses that addresses modern issues of professional responsibility. We invite all providers and attorneys presenting courses to review our Professional Responsibility Education Guide. We also encourage providers to review these Best Practices for facilitating CLE which includes a checklist for professional responsibility CLE.
Bar Associations Meeting Credit
Bar or professional associations may issue professional responsibility credit for one-hour association meetings where professional responsibility issues are discussed. Please review Rule 795(d)(3), the MCLE Board FAQs, and the Commission’s Professional Responsibility Education Guide for guidance on issuing credit for these meetings.
If you have questions regarding professional responsibility CLE, please call 312.363.6210 or email.