We promote professional responsibility education as a vehicle for changing lawyer behavior to exemplify the highest values of our profession. We approve all courses and activities that qualify for professional responsibility CLE credit and 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. Illinois attorneys may study professionalism, diversity, mental health and wellness, civility, and legal ethics for professional responsibility CLE credit. The topics under each category are wide-ranging and a variety of courses are available through bar associations and other legal groups.
CLE requirements are defined by Rule 794. With certain exceptions, practicing attorneys in Illinois must complete 6 hours of professional responsibility CLE in every two-year 30-hour reporting cycle. Newly admitted attorneys have a 15-hour requirement. A portion of the 15-hour CLE requirement may be fulfilled by the completion of the year-long mentoring program.
In addition to the traditional CLE course offerings, attorneys have other options for obtaining professional responsibility credit. For non-traditional activities such as attending law school courses, part-time teaching of law courses, legal scholarship (publications), or mentoring, and certain out-of-state courses, please submit these online applications for professional responsibility CLE to the Commission.
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 CLE Guide and toolkits for Teaching CLE. These resources clarify the goals of professional responsibility CLE and offer the range of potential program development ideas.
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 technical questions about PCAM should contact the MCLE Board.
Bar or professional associations may issue professional responsibility credit for one-hour association meetings where professional responsibility issues are discussed. To receive presumptive approval for this, associations submit our Association Meeting Agreement.
For further information about professional responsibility education, contact our Diversity and Education Director, Michelle Silverthorn.