What are the Reciprocal State Rules and Approved Jurisdictions for California MCLE?
California attorneys can obtain California MCLE credit for educational activity outside California under the following constraints:
- the attorney is physically outside of California when attending the course/activity
- the course/activity is the type of course/activity that would normally be approved for California MCLE compliance credit
- the course/activity is accredited by an Approved Jurisdiction.
If these constraints enumerated above are fulfilled, it is not necessary for the provider or the attorney to submit the activity to California for formal MCLE credit approval.
California MCKE credit can be claimed by the attorney contingent on the approved jurisdiction approving the activity.
As noted, when a California attorney must be physically outside California when participating in the educational activity that they wish to obtain California MCLE credit for an activity approved by another jurisdiction. Online and teleconference activity and self-study media that an attorney interacts with while inside California (regardless of where the course activity originates) must be approved for credit by the California State Bar.
The jurisdiction that approves the educational course or material can be different from the jurisdiction where the activity is actually held. For example, you can participate in an activity in Vermont that is approved by Nevada.
Criteria for Approval of Jurisdictions by the California State Bar
The approved jurisdiction's course activities must meet the following criteria:
- A jurisdiction must generally require significant and relevant written materials for activities more than one hour in duration.
- A jurisdiction must require at least 50 minutes of actual study, participation or instruction for each hour of credit awarded to the student.
Neither CLE providers nor California attorneys send notification of an attorney's attendance to the State Bar of California.
CLE activity providers are required to give California attorneys a certificate of attendance that displays the number of credit hours attended.
California attorneys may claim credit for the educational activity using the same criteria as in the approving jurisdiction. For example, if the approving jurisdiction uses a 55-minute, rather than a 60-minute hour to calculate CLE credit, the California attorney use this same criteria in their reportion. As another example, if the approving jurisdiction grants one hour of credit for bias, the California attorney can also claim one hour of credit for bias when they report their CLE activity to the California State Bar.
As usual, attorneys should save the certificate of attendance, as well as sufficient documentation to prove that the CLE course is a type of activity that would generally be approved for California credit.
An Example of an Unapproved Activity
A CLE provider is running a CLE teleconference course from Nevada that was approved in Nevada, but the California attorney is in Los Angeles while participating in the course. This would not be approved since the attorney is within the borders of California. If they were in any state other than California, it would be approved jurisdiction activity.
The following is a list of jurisdictions that have MCLE requirements which meet standards of the California State Bar: Alabama, Louisiana, Oregon, Arizona, Maine, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Colorado, Mississippi, South Carolina, Delaware, Missouri, Tennessee, England and Wales, Montana, Texas, Florida, Nevada, Utah, Georgia, New Hampshire, Vermont, Hawaii, New Jersey, Victoria, Australia, Hong Kong, New Mexico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Idaho, New York, Virginia, Illinois, North Carolina, Washington, Indiana, North Dakota, West Virginia, Iowa, Ohio, Wisconsin, Kansas, Oklahoma, Wyoming and Kentucky.
More California MCLE Information