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CLE

The Illinois Supreme Court has amended some of the rules regarding Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) for Illinois attorneys.

Among other things, the changes will provide greater flexibility to newly admitted attorneys who need to complete their initial MCLE requirements and make it more attractive for them to participate in an approved mentoring program as part of their initial MCLE requirements.

The Court also eliminated a $20 fee which attorneys had been required to pay to claim credit for participation in non-traditional activities to meet the MCLE requirements.

The amended rules do not change the basic MCLE requirement that attorneys, other than newly admitted lawyers, earn 30 hours of CLE activity during two-year reporting periods beginning in 2012, and 24 hours of certified credit through the 2011 reporting period.

Previously, newly-admitted attorneys were required to take a 15-hour Basic Skills Course. New attorneys admitted after October 1, 2011 are still required to take a total of 15 hours of credit for their initial MCLE requirements but the amended rules give these attorneys more options to fulfill these requirements.  New attorneys need to participate in six hours of professional responsibility credit either by attending a six-hour Basic Skills Course or by participating in a mentoring program pre-approved by the Commission on Professionalism. The additional nine MCLE hours can be according to the new lawyer's choosing and may include professional responsibility credits.


New attorneys have heard all about the 15 hour basic skills requirement, but Supreme Court rule changes announced this week allow more flexibility in meeting the requirement.

Up to now, new admittees were required to complete a 15 hour basic skills course within their first year of admission. Effective immediately, the Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) Board will accept a 15 hour combination of basic skills instruction (6 hours), mentoring through the Supreme Court’s Commission on Professionalism (6 hours), plus traditional or non-traditional CLE credits to complete the balance.

ISBA is gearing up to help new admittees meet the requirements in the amended rule.

Read more for details.

The Illinois State Bar Association is again pleased to offer lawyers licensed in the State of Florida, the opportunity to fulfill their CLE requirements. Anyone wishing to listen to the CDs must schedule time with Joyce Williams at jwilliams@isba.org. 2011 Survey of Florida Law Program
Congratulations to ISBA’s Federal Civil Practice Section Council for winning ISBA’s “Best Live CLE Program of the Year” Award for their January 21, 2011 seminar titled “A Federal Civil Practice Seminar – 2011,” which was held in Collinsville, Illinois. Programs presented between July 1, 2010 and May 1. 2011 were eligible for this award and based on: (1) the evaluation ratings by program attendees and (2) the speakers’ on-time submission of course materials. Council member Stan Wasser (left), of the Springfield law firm Feldman, Wasser, Draper and Cox, accepted the award on behalf of the Federal Civil Practice Section from ISBA President John G. Locallo.
The International Association for Continuing Legal Education (ACLEA) announced that the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) has received two international awards for its CLE programs. The first is an Award for Outstanding Achievement for Pro Bono Basics for Assisting Youth in Need in the Public Interest category. The second is Best Program Award for Professional Excellence for ISBA’s Faculty Development Series: The Art of Effective Communication, the top award in the Best Program category.  ACLEA will formally present the awards to the ISBA at the ACLEA Annual Meeting in Boston on August 2, 2011. ACLEA award winners are selected from competitors representing ACLEA’s more than 300 member organizations.
Congratulations to the Law Ed Faculty who completed the ISBA's Faculty Development Series* "The Art of Effective Communication":
  • Shayne Aldridge
  • Melinda Bentley
  • Carol Casey
  • Nancy Easum
  • Nancy Hablutzel
  • Philip Hablutzel
  • Eugenia Hunter
  • Ken Lumb
  • Terry Madsen
  • Raquel Martinez
  • Daniel Moore
  • James Nyeste
  • Paul Osborn
  • Alan Pearlman
  • Steven Pietrick
  • Joseph Podlewski
  • Edward Schoenbaum
  • Julie Ann Sebastian
  • Bryan Sims
  • Jean Marie Wenger
*To access the archived training, please contact Tiffany Bordenkircher at the Illinois State Bar Association – (800) 252-8908    
The International Association for Continuing Legal Education (ACLEA) has announced that the Illinois State Bar Association received the Best Program Award for Professional Excellence for ISBA’s innovative New Admittee Virtual Coffeehouse:  Basic Skills and More program, the top award in the Best Program category.  ACLEA will formally present the award to the ISBA at the ACLEA Annual Meeting in New York City on July 27. ACLEA award winners are selected from competitors representing ACLEA’s more than 300 member organizations. The ISBA’s New Admittee Virtual Coffeehouse: Basic Skills and More four week session was introduced as a pilot program in February and repeated in May 2010 as an option for new admittees to satisfy the Illinois Supreme Court requirement of 15 hours of Basic Skills instruction in the first year of practice.  Additional repeats are scheduled for September and November 2010. The Virtual Coffeehouse ISBA online learning community offered both required and optional selections to new admittees as if they were selecting items from a menu in a coffeehouse and included online streaming video; live, interactive weekly webinars; online discussion forums; video practice tips; and access to relevant online resources for new admittees. “The success of the Virtual Coffeehouse program was made possible by the voluntary efforts of many ISBA members, sections, and committees” said Jeanne B.
tort-law-speakers
Left to right: Dan Wurl, Darrell Seigler, George Leynaud, Martin O'Hara, Robert Duncan, Dennis Berkbigler, Ron Kalish and ISBA President John O'Brien
ISBA President John O'Brien met with the speakers and organizers of the Tort Law Section's "Back to Basics: Tort Law" on Friday at the ISBA's Chicago office. Some of those included:
  • Dan Wurl, Champaign
  • George Leynaud, Peru
  • Dennis Berkbigler, Effingham
  • Darrel Seigler, Ottawa
  • Ron Kalish, Chicago
  • Martin O'Hara, Chicago