Our Top 5 Illinois OnDemand CLEs For New Lawyers

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By: The NBI Team

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Our Top 5 Illinois OnDemand CLEs For New Lawyers

Practicing law in Illinois can be exciting, rewarding, and at times, challenging. This is particularly true for new lawyers recently admitted to the Illinois Bar who must comply with CLE reporting requirements set forth by the Minimum Continuing Legal Education Board of the Supreme Court of Illinois. There’s a special requirement for newly-admitted attorneys that differs from the experienced attorney rules and can be a little challenging to navigate. This post will guide you through it.

What Are the Illinois CLE Requirements for Experienced Attorneys?

Before we dig into the special newly-admitted attorney (NAA) rules, it’s important to know how the general rules work. These are the rules you’ll be following once you’ve completed the NAA requirement, so it doesn’t hurt to brush up now.

Illinois Follows a 30-Hour/Two-Year Reporting Period

Lawyers are placed into two distinct reporting groups based on the attorney’s last name. Following completion of the NAA requirement, this period begins on one of two dates.

  • On July 1 of the next even-numbered year, if you’re an Illinois lawyer with a last name beginning with letter A-M

  • On July 1 of the next odd-numbered year, if you’re an Illinois lawyer with a last name beginning with letter N-Z

Illinois Specialty Credit Requirements

Six credit hours of the 30-hour requirement must be in professional responsibility. These credits must be in the area of professionalism, diversity, mental illness and addiction, civility, or legal ethics.

  • One of six professional responsibility credit hours must be diversity and inclusion credit, and

  • One of six professional responsibility credit hours must be mental health and substance abuse credit

For additional information on Illinois MCLE Rules for experienced attorneys, consult NBI’s Illinois MCLE Page or the Attorney FAQ Page maintained by the IL MCLE Board.

Attention Newly Admitted Attorneys!

Once an individual becomes admitted to practice in Illinois, they must complete the NAA requirements by the last day of the month that falls one year after their admission date. They must certify compliance within 31 days thereafter.

Newly-Admitted Attorney Requirements in Illinois

Newly-admitted Illinois lawyers are required to

  • Complete a six-hour basic skills course approved by the MCLE Board, which includes at least six hours approved for professional responsibility credit, and
    • As an alternative to the skills course, lawyers may participate in a mentoring program approved by the Commission on Professionalism
  • Complete at least nine additional hours of MCLE credit

There are some limited exceptions to this rule, including one for attorneys who were admitted in a different state prior to Illinois admission, which you can read more about at Rule 793.

Carrying Forward Excess Credit Earned as a Newly-Admitted Attorney

The great news for overachieving new attorneys in Illinois is that you can carry over up to 15 hours to your first two-year reporting period, including six professional responsibility credit hours.

Top 5 OnDemand CLE Courses for New Lawyers in Illinois

As a new lawyer practicing in Illinois, you may be wondering what Illinois OnDemand CLE courses are worth taking, especially during the fledgling phase of your legal career. Below are five OnDemand CLE courses for new lawyers that are strongly recommended, since they cover key concepts and issues you could very well encounter during your formative years as a legal practitioner.

This blog post is for general informative purposes only. Your licensing jurisdiction is the authority on all continuing education requirements. While we attempted to ensure accuracy, completeness and timeliness, we assume no responsibility for this post’s accuracy, completeness or timeliness.

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