Reporting California Competency Courses

The California State Bar requires lawyers to report their competency training once every 3 years. This is one of the California MCLE requirements that can be challenging to remember since it requires an attorney to keep adequate records in order to be in compliance.

To make sure attorneys have reported their competency courses, the bar also conducts annual audits on a random set of lawyers. It wants to be sure all attorneys are meeting the requirements and not slipping through the crack.

The first letter of a lawyer’s name determines placement in one of 3 groups that are then checked at specific intervals throughout the year. Each of the groups has a different reporting deadline, and attorneys are responsible for reporting during their given time frame.

All Attorneys Must Meet California MCLE Requirements

Every attorney, except those who are on voluntary inactive status, must report MCLE compliance. This is done by submitting a statement of compliance to the California State Bar, or by reporting compliance through the attorney’s My State Bar Profile online.

The following is a list of the types of attorneys who are subject to reporting California requirements compliance:

* Active attorneys
* Non-active attorneys suspended for non-payment of fees
* Non-active attorneys suspended for disciplinary action
* Exempt attorneys
* Retired attorneys listed as active

Exempt attorneys must report their exemption during their compliance period, but do not need to report completion of any education. If an attorney is exempt for only a portion of a compliance period, reporting must still take place for a prorated amount of continuing education.

If you are a retired attorney listed as active, you are also subject to the CLE requirement for California. This is the law whether or not you are a practicing attorney at the moment.

Inactive attorneys, however, do not have to complete MCLE training hours or report compliance to the State Bar.

The California State Bar Does Not Track Attorney Training Hours

Notably, the State Bar does not track competency training hours. Therefore, attorneys must track their own hours and report to the California State Bar every 3 years. Keep in mind that if your compliance training is audited, you must provide the following to the State Bar:

* Your certificates of attendance given to you by your instructors
* Self-study records of activities, including as appropriate the provider, title, time spent in activity and subject matter of the activity.
* The dates in which you took competency courses
* Proof of an exempt status, if appropriate

It’s a good idea to keep your competency training records for at least a year from the time of compliance reporting. California attorneys whose names start with the letters H through M just ended their compliance period on January 31, 2018. This compliance reporting must have included 25 MCLE credits, including 1 hour of competence issues.

Did you get all of your courses completed and reported? Take a look at our California compliance bundle to see if you met all of your state’s requirements, or if you still need to pick up a course or two.