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What are Participatory and Self-study California MCLE Credits?

Approved Activities

California Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) is classified under two different categories:

- participatory credit
- self-study credit

Occasionally there will be activities can qualify for either California MCLE participatory or California MCLE self-study credit.

Participatory Credit

A California MCLE provider must verify your participatory by having you sign in at the time of the activity. The California MCLE provider must keep record of participants who signed in and participate in the course. At the completion of California MCLE course, the provider must issue a certificate of attendance to all participants.

Courses taken online can count for California MCLE credit. Additionally, media such as DVD, CDs or audio tapes may be used for participatory credit if the California MCLE provider has been approved for it.

Under the California MCLE requirements, at least half of the 25 MCLE hours you report must be activities known as "participatory."

Self-study Credit

The California MCLE rules specify that some educational activities qualify for self-study credit under certain circumstances:

- Studying online California MCLE materials and then taking an assessment test to access your knowledge
- Authoring written materials for a law book or legal course
You cannot take more than 12.5 hours of credit in any sort of "self-study" activities.

Nonapproved Activities

It is worth noting what activities are explicitly not approved for California MCLE credit

- Taking any type of correspondence courses. Even if the topic pertains to the law and practicing as an attorney.
- Performing supervisory duties in the State Bar Law Office Study Program
- Grading the California Bar Examination or working in it in any manner
- Preparing for a bar exam
- taking a bar exam for admission (regardless of jurisdiction)
- Participating as a judge pro tempore, mediator, arbitrator or settlement judge
- Judging or competing in any sort of moot court competitions
- Performing educational activities on legal topics targeted to non-attorneys
- Taking general computer, acting and writing courses that do not have a law focus
- teaching business law in a higher education context
- reading any sort of books or journals
- Supervising, reviewing or evaluating the work of associates on a form or any other less experienced attorneys
- Any activity as part of Jury duty

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