Illinois CLE Requirements

Everything you need to know to stay in compliance


MCLE State

Overview

Required Illinois CLE Credits:

Total credit hours: 30.00 credit hours every 2 years.

All 30.00 credit hours may be taken as live, live technology, or recorded technology programs.

Illinois CLE Reporting Deadlines:

Deadline to Complete CLEs: June 30

Reporting Deadline: July 31

Reporting Period: 2 years


Common Questions About Illinois Continuing Legal Education Rules and Regulations

General Illinois Minimum Continuing Legal Education Credit Requirements

How many CLE credits do you need in Illinois?

In Illinois, active status attorneys must complete 30.00 CLE credits every 2 years to maintain good standing with the Illinois State Bar. There are certain exemptions for judges, court staff, active members of the military, and attorneys who are members of the bar of another state with similar CLE requirements.

When is the Illinois CLE reporting deadline?

You must complete all required Illinois CLE credits by June 30 of your reporting year, and the deadline for reporting credits is July 31 at 11:59 p.m. CDT of your reporting year.

How long is the Illinois CLE reporting period, and when does mine end?

The Illinois CLE reporting period is 2 years and is assigned according to the first letter of your last name. You can always confirm your 2-year reporting period or report credits on the Illinois MCLE Board website. Your reporting period ends on June 30 of the second year of your reporting period.

How do I report my Illinois CLE credits?

You must report compliance with your Illinois MCLE requirements by using the online reporting system of the Illinois MCLE Board website by July 31 at 11:59 p.m. CDT of your reporting period.

How many Illinois CLE credits can I carry over?

Illinois attorneys in a 2-year reporting period can carry over 10.00 CLE credits to their next reporting period. You may carry over professional responsibility credits.

New attorneys who have completed their new attorney requirements in their initial 1-year reporting period may carry over up to 15.00 CLE credits to their first 2-year regular reporting period.

How many CLE credits can I complete with recorded technology courses?

There is no limit to the number of CLE credits you can earn through recorded technology courses.

What are the specialty credit requirements in Illinois?

Illinois attorneys must complete 6.00 CLE credits in professional responsibility every reporting period. This must be met with 1.00 credit in diversity and inclusion and 1.00 credit in mental health and substance abuse or participation in an approved yearlong Lawyer-to-Lawyer Mentoring Program.

Is in-program attendance verification required to receive Illinois CLE credit?

No. In-program attendance verification is not required.

Are you newly admitted to the Illinois State Bar? Here’s what you need to know:

What are the Illinois MCLE requirements for newly admitted attorneys?

Newly admitted attorneys in Illinois must complete 15.00 CLE credits by the last day of the month that occurs one year after their admission to practice law. Attorneys that were not previously admitted to another state bar must complete:

  • A Basic Skills Course that meets the requirements set by the Illinois CLE Board. The Basic Skills Course must include at least 6.00 professional responsibility credits. An attorney may satisfy this requirement by participating in a mentoring program approved by the Commission on Professionalism.
  • At least 9.00 additional hours of CLE credit

New attorneys who complete a Basic Skills Course and participate in an approved mentoring program will only need to complete 3.00 additional hours of CLE Credit to meet their 15.00 credit CLE requirement.

New attorneys must report compliance to the MCLE Board within 31 days of completion of their new attorney MCLE requirements.

I was admitted to practice law in another state. Do I have to comply with the Illinois MCLE requirements for newly admitted attorneys?

Yes, but your requirements are slightly different. If you practiced law in another state for at least one of the three years prior to your admission to the Illinois State Bar, you must complete 15.00 CLE credits, including 4.00 professional responsibility credits, by the last day of the month that occurs one year after your admission to the Illinois State Bar.

Can I carry over credits I completed during my one-year reporting period?

Yes. Once you have completed all of the MCLE requirements for your one-year reporting period, you may carry over up to 15.00 credits, including 6.00 professional responsibility credits, to your first two-year reporting period.

When does my first reporting period end?

You must complete the MCLE requirements for new attorneys by the last day of the month that occurs one year after you were admitted to the Illinois Bar. Your first regular 2-year MCLE reporting period begins on July 1 of the next:

  • Even-numbered year, if your last name begins with a letter A through M
  • Odd-numbered year, if your last name begins with a letter N through Z

Are there any special credit requirements for new attorneys in Illinois?

Yes. All new attorneys must complete 15.00 MCLE credits in the first year after admission to the Illinois State Bar. The topics required to be included in those credits vary depending on whether the attorney practiced law in another state in the 3-year period before admission to the Illinois State Bar.

New attorneys who were not previously admitted to any state bar must complete a Basic Skills Course that is approved by the Illinois State Bar. This course must include 6.00 professional responsibility credits. The other 9.00 CLE credits can be earned from approved Illinois CLE courses.

Attorneys newly admitted to the Illinois State Bar who practiced law in another jurisdiction for at least one of the three years immediately preceding admission to the Illinois State Bar must complete 15.00 MCLE credits, including 4.00 professional responsibility credits.

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