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MCLE Self-Assessment Test

Quiz: How much do you know about MCLE compliance?

See answers below.

1.     I no longer have to take courses defined as substance abuse classes to fulfill my MCLE requirements.

True. However, attorneys do have to fulfill a new “competence issue” requirement approved by the Board of Trustees in 2013. It expands the substance abuse education specialty requirement to include education that would help lawyers recognize and deal with any mental or physical issue — including dementia, mental illness or substance abuse — that could affect their ability to practice. Any substance abuse courses taken prior to the rule change do fulfill the “competence issue” requirement.

2.      If my last name changes because of marriage or a name change, my compliance group changes to my new name.

False. An attorney's compliance group never changes, even if your last name has changed. Attorneys always remain in the compliance group to which they originally were assigned. See Compliance Groups for more information.

3.      I don’t need to send my certificates of attendance when reporting my compliance online.

True. Except in the case of an audit, an attorney should never send in any MCLE-related paperwork unless the State Bar asks you to. Even then, keep a copy of your records. If you are audited, you will be required to submit proof of completion for MCLE completed and/or proof of your eligibility for exempt status.

4.      I don’t have a certificate of attendance, but I can submit a copy of my canceled check proving I paid and the program for the course. This documentation is acceptable as proof of completion.

False. Certificates of attendance are the primary proof that you have attended a CLE course. That is why it’s important to hang on to your paperwork. The State Bar will also accept copies of sign-in sheets if they include the name of the course, course provider, date of activity and the number of MCLE hours attendees receive.

5.      I attended a CLE workshop in Hong Kong, but I know it’s acceptable in California because it came from an approved jurisdiction.

True. If your state or country is CLE-reciprocity approved, you may use it in California. But to make sure, check the approved jurisdictions list on the State Bar website.

6.      I can only take up to 12.5 hours of self-study CLE credit every three years. The other half of the 25 hours must be participatory.

True. Moreover, MCLE rules specify that some types of activities qualify only for self-study credit. Other kinds of activities can qualify for either participatory or self-study credit, depending on whether the particular course or activity is verified by a provider. See what counts as participatory or self-study credit.

7.      I am automatically exempt from MCLE compliance because I’m a part-time professor at a law school accredited by the State Bar and the American Bar Association.

False. Although full-time law professors who are also licensed attorneys are exempt, it is not true for those who teach part-time at a law school. You can, however, claim MCLE credit for the number of hours you teach. Find out about other types of attorneys who can claim an exemption from MCLE compliance.