Where do I find the Rules and Regulations regarding MCLE?
See Missouri Supreme Court Rule 15 and the Regulations to Rule 15.
What are my MCLE requirements?
A total of 15 hours of CLE programs or activities. At least three of the total 15 credit hours must be devoted exclusively to accredited ethics programs, seminars, and activities, including professionalism, substance use, mental health, legal or judicial ethics, malpractice prevention, explicit or implicit bias, diversity, inclusion, or cultural competency; and at least one of the three ethics credit hours must be devoted exclusively to explicit or implicit bias, diversity, inclusion, or cultural competency. Of the 15 hours, up to six hours may be completed through self-study or on-demand programs; however, you may not satisfy the ethics or elimination of bias requirements through on-demand or self-study programs.
Am I required to attend in-person CLE courses to earn CLE credit
Remote CLE courses, such as live webinars, may qualify for CLE credit if all attendees participate at a set date and time and a qualified instructor is simultaneously available to answer questions from attendees.
Do recorded programs qualify as accredited programs?
Video and audio replays or rebroadcasts of programs may qualify for credit if all attendees participate at a set date and time and a moderator or speaker is online during the rebroadcast to answer questions and otherwise facilitate the program. On-demand audio and video legal materials, which may be accessed at any date or time, do not qualify for accreditation, but may be reported for self-study credit up to six hours (not including ethics credit).
I was newly admitted to the practice of law in Missouri. When will I need to comply with Rule 15?
Lawyers admitted after July 1, 2018, have no educational or reporting requirements under Rule 15 for the MCLE compliance year in which they are initially admitted.
Lawyers admitted prior to July 1, 2018, must comply with the version of Rule 15 in place at the time of admission. The rule at that time required all newly admitted lawyers to complete at least two hours of ethics and professionalism CLE within one year of admission. The hours are reported in the MCLE compliance year in which they are completed and on the Annual Report of Compliance due by July 31.
*Pursuant to The Supreme Court of Missouri’s Aug. 13, 2020, Order, lawyers licensed in September 2020 are not required to complete or report any credit hours during the 2020-2021 reporting year.
When do I need to have my CLE hours completed?
MCLE hours are required to be completed by June 30. Due to last year’s extended compliance period, the current compliance year began Oct. 1, 2020, and concludes June 30, 2021.
What is the deadline to submit my Annual Report of Compliance?
MCLE Annual Reports must be filed by July 31. Due to last year’s extended compliance period, the current compliance year began Oct. 1, 2020, and concludes June 30, 2021.
How do I report?
To file your Annual Report of Compliance electronically or to check your carryover credit from the preceding year, click on the "Report My MCLE" link above.
What if I can’t remember my user name or password?
Your username is your bar number. If you have forgotten your password, click the “Forgot Password?” link under the sign-in button. After you enter your bar number in the popup box, a link and instructions for resetting your password will be emailed to you. You may need to check your spam or junk folder if you do not see the email in your inbox. If the link expires before you can reset your password, you can request a new link by again selecting the “Forgot Password?” option. If you do not receive the reset password email or are having difficulty, call for assistance at 573-638-2233.
Are programs I attend automatically added to my annual report?
Lawyers are responsible for completing and submitting their report of compliance. Although sponsors are required to retain attendance records, they do not file compliance information on behalf the lawyers who attend programs. Sponsors may, but are not required to, send certificates of attendance to attendees. These certificates are to assist you in keeping track of the programs you attend. You should not send certificates of attendance to The Missouri Bar.
How do I know if a program has been approved for MCLE credit?
Search here to determine if a program is already approved in Missouri.
How do I receive MCLE credit when the sponsor has not previously applied for accreditation?
You may request MCLE credit for a program not already approved by submitting the program online for review and approval.
What types of programs qualify for ethics credit?
Regulations 15.01.6 – 15.01.10 set out the criteria for content that qualifies for professionalism, substance use and mental health, ethics and malpractice prevention. Professionalism, substance use and mental health, ethics or malpractice prevention programs do not include topics such as attorney fees, client development, law firm administration, marketing or advertising, law office economics and practice systems unless there is direct and substantial discussion concerning Supreme Court of Missouri Rules 2 and 4, the Model Rules of Professional Conduct or the Code of Judicial Conduct of the American Bar Association.
How is cultural competency, diversity, inclusion, and implicit bias defined? How do I calculate the number of credit hours for a program?
Rule 15.01.10 defines this requirement as "[p]rograms, seminars, and activities in the area of cultural competency, diversity, inclusion, and implicit bias shall focus on issues in the legal profession and in the practice of law. Such programs, seminars, and activities shall not include the substantive law of illegal discrimination except to the extent that the topics set forth above are directly and substantially discussed in relationship with such topics."
How is self-study defined?
Regulation 15.04.5 requires that materials reported as self-study must further "general academic or professional competence.” You may not satisfy Rule 15.05(a) (1) and (2) requirements (ethics and professionalism requirement and elimination of bias) through self-study. Missouri does not accredit or specify materials that qualify for self-study credit. Up to six hours each reporting year may be earned through self-study activities.
How do I calculate the number of credit hours for a program?
The total instructional time in minutes is divided by 50 and rounded to the nearest one-tenth (0.1) of an hour. Instructional time does not include introductory remarks, coffee or meal breaks or business meetings. Total Minutes of Actual Instruction ÷ 50 = Total MCLE Hours (Round to nearest 1/10 hour).
May I receive credit for partial attendance of a program?
A lawyer can obtain credit for the portion attended. The number of hours of credit is determined by dividing the total minutes of instruction attended by 50 and rounding to the nearest one-tenth (0.1) of an hour. Total Minutes of Attendance ÷ 50 = Total Hours (Round to nearest 1/10 hour).
Can I carry over hours from a prior year?
Yes. If you take more than 15 hours of accredited programs in an MCLE year, the excess accredited program hours may be carried forward to the next reporting year, up to a maximum of 15. Self-study hours are not counted in the calculation of carryover hours. If you report more than three ethics and professionalism hours in a reporting year, the excess ethics hours up to a maximum of three hours may be carried forward to the next year. If you report more than one elimination of bias hour in a reporting year, the excess elimination of bias hours, up to a maximum of one hour, may be carried forward to the next year.
Do ethics hours count toward the 15-hour requirement?
Yes. Ethics hours are included in your total accredited program hours. This is the reason you may have carryover ethics hours in a compliance year, but no carryover toward the overall requirement for that year.
What can I do if I was unable to complete my CLE hours by June 30?
A lawyer unable to complete the necessary MCLE hours by June 30 may submit a deficiency plan at MoBar.org/MCLEReporting. The ability to submit a deficiency plan will be available July 1, after the compliance deadline has passed, and must be submitted on or before July 31, the filing deadline for MCLE annual reports.
Pursuant to Regulation 15.06.3, lawyers utilizing a deficiency plan must be compliant with Rule 15 no later than September 30 to avoid the imposition of a late fee.
What happens if I do not file my annual compliance report by July 31?
Lawyers who have not submitted a deficiency plan by July 31 and are not in compliance with Rule 15 by August 31 will be notified and will incur a $200 late fee. The late fee for compliance before the end of each successive month shall increase by $50 until compliance is established, not to exceed $500. Pursuant to Supreme Court of Missouri Rule 15.06, a list of lawyers who are not in compliance with Rule 15 will be submitted to the Supreme Court of Missouri no later than March 1. Lawyers included on the delinquency list will be automatically suspended from practice. See Rule 15.06(f).
Lawyers who have submitted a deficiency plan by July 31, but who have failed to establish compliance by September 30, will be notified and will incur a $250 late fee, the amount assessed for failure to comply with Rule 15. The late fee for compliance before the end of each successive month after September 30 shall increase by $50 until compliance is established, not to exceed $500. Pursuant to Supreme Court of Missouri Rule 15.06, a list of lawyers who are not in compliance with Rule 15 will be submitted to the Supreme Court of Missouri no later than March 1. Lawyers included on the delinquency list will be automatically suspended from practice. See Rule 15.06(f).
Can I be suspended from practice if I don’t comply?
As mandated by Rule 15, on or before March 1 of each year, The Missouri Bar reports to the Clerk of the Supreme Court of Missouri, the Chief Disciplinary Counsel, and the Commission on Retirement, Removal and Discipline the name of each lawyer not in compliance with Rule 15. Lawyers reported on this list are automatically suspended from the practice of law on the date the report is received by the Clerk and will incur a $100 suspension fee in addition to any accumulated late fees. See Rule 15.06(f).
My bar membership is on inactive status. What is my Rule 15 requirement?
Once you place your membership on inactive status with the Attorney Enrollment Office of the Supreme Court, you are automatically exempted from both the educational and reporting requirements of Rule 15. You must be placed on inactive status by June 30 to be exempt for that reporting year.
What are my MCLE requirements to return to active status?
Missouri Supreme Court Rule 6.06 outlines the requirements. The first step in the process is to complete a minimum total of 15 hours of CLE programs or activities. At least three of the total 15 credit hours must be devoted exclusively to accredited ethics programs, seminars, and activities, including professionalism, substance use, mental health, legal or judicial ethics, malpractice prevention, explicit or implicit bias, diversity, inclusion, or cultural competency; and at least one of the three ethics credit hours must be devoted exclusively to explicit or implicit bias, diversity, inclusion, or cultural competency. Up to six hours may be completed through self-study or on-demand programs; however, you may not satisfy the ethics or elimination of bias requirements through on-demand or self-study programs. Hours earned in furtherance of a return to active status may be used towards satisfaction of the Rule 15 requirements for the same reporting cycle in which the hours were taken.
I do not practice law in Missouri. Do I need to comply with Rule 15?
Pursuant to Rule 15.06(a), a lawyer who is currently registered with the Supreme Court of Missouri as a Category (3) non-resident licensee and does not practice and live in Missouri is not required to report completion or exemption from the annual MCLE requirements of Rule 15. Such Category (3) licensees will receive a message regarding licensure status upon attempts to access the online reporting system. A lawyer who is currently registered with the Supreme Court of Missouri as a Category (1) active licensee, but who has not actively practiced law during the reporting year, whether or not the lawyer lives in Missouri or out-of-state, must file an annual report of compliance, but may report an exemption. Such Category (1) licensees will be able to access the online reporting system, where an exemption may be claimed and the annual compliance report submitted.
How is “practice law in Missouri” defined?
For Rule 15 purposes, the term "practice of law" is not limited to the private practice of law. Lawyers employed in corporate law departments, including lawyers with a license under Rule 8.105, by bank trust departments, in government legal offices, as judicial law clerks, as college and university business law professors and as law school professors, including law professors authorized under Rule 13.06 to supervise law students in court, are subject to the annual educational requirements. Retired lawyers who do not hold themselves out as actively practicing and only occasionally render legal advice to family members or friends are not considered to be in the active practice of law for purposes of Rule 15 and may claim an exemption by filing the Annual Report of Compliance by July 31 of each year.
I am retiring or have already retired. Do I have to file an MCLE annual report?
Your obligation to file an MCLE annual report depends on your licensure status. If you have an active license, you are required to file an MCLE annual report and will continue to be required to do so for as long as your license remains active. However, if you have not practiced law in the state of Missouri during the compliance period, due to your retirement, you can claim an exemption in your MCLE annual report from the requirement to obtain the requisite number of CLE credit hours.
If you have an inactive license, due to your retirement, you do not have an obligation to complete CLE hours or file an MCLE annual report.
I am licensed in Missouri, but primarily practice in another state that also requires me to comply with MCLE requirements. How do I report in Missouri?
You may report your compliance in your state of principal practice to be compliant in Missouri. You will need to supply the state and bar number in the Reciprocal Compliance reporting section on the Annual Report of Compliance.
How can a lawyer obtain an exemption based on a hardship or extenuating circumstances?
If completion of your MCLE requirements is unreasonably difficult during a particular reporting year due to physical or mental disability, government or military service at an isolated location, age, or for good cause shown, you may request a hardship accommodation at https://mobar.org/MCLEReporting. In the Reporting Main Menu, please select "8. Request Hardship." The request should be made at least 60 days prior to the end of the reporting year for which the waiver is sought, except in cases when such a deadline is impractical or inappropriate. The request will be reviewed expeditiously. See Regulation 15.05.3.
If you do not qualify for a hardship accommodation, but are otherwise unable to complete your MCLE requirements in a particular reporting year, you may request a deficiency plan, which will provide you an extension of time to complete your MCLE requirements, at https://mobr.org/MCLEReporting. In the Reporting Main Menu, please select option "9. Deficiency Plan." Deficiency plan requests should be made prior to the reporting deadline for the compliance period.