MCLE Requirements

The "typical" California bar member reports compliance with the regular MCLE education requirement of 25 hours, as he/she:

  • is subject to the education requirement for all 36 months of the compliance period
  • has no physical impediments to compliance

MCLE "Regular" Requirement [Rule 2.72]

Total hours required every three years: 25 hours

  • Members must fulfill at least one-half of their MCLE requirement with activities approved for "participatory" MCLE credit.
  • Maximum "self-study" hours: 12.5 hours
  • Special Requirements within the total hours required (may be taken as participatory or self-study):
    • Legal Ethics: 4 hours (required)
    • Prevention / Detection / Treatment of Substance Abuse or Mental Illness: 1 hour (required)
    • Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession: 1 hour (required)

Requirements FAQ

Proportional Requirement [Rule 2.72(C)]

If you were Inactive or Exempt for any amount of time, use the proportional table below to find the number of hours of education you must complete.

  • Members who are subject to the MCLE requirement for only a portion of the compliance period must complete education in proportion to the amount of time they were subject to the requirement.
  • Members are not subject to the requirement during months that they are:
    • on voluntary Inactive status;
    • "Exempt" from the requirement; or
    • not yet a member of the bar (new admittees).
  • Members completing a proportional requirement are not required to complete one hour of education in the prevention, detection and treatment of substance abuse, nor to complete one hour of education in the elimination of bias in the legal profession.
  • Members who are on Active status for four months or less of their compliance period do not have to comply.
  • Members who are Exempt for all but four months of the compliance period do not need to complete any education. However, all Exempt members, including these members, must report compliance. Simply mark the box that corresponds to the type of exemption applicable for 32 months or more of the compliance period.

Calculate Your Proportional Requirement:

A proportional requirement is based upon the number of months you are on Active status out of the possible 36 months of the compliance period. A proportional requirement may be owed because you are a new admittee, have been on Inactive status for a period of time, or have been on Active status but in an Exempt category for a period of time. Additionally, one half of MCLE required hours must be participatory.

Count the number of months you were subject to the requirement and consult the table below. (If you were subject to the requirement for part of any month, you must count the entire month.)

Proportional Requirement Table

Months on Active Status & Not Exempt Total hours required Hours of Legal Ethics
1-4 0 0
5 4 1
6-7 5 1
8 6 1
9 7 1
10 7 2
11 8 2
12 9 2
13-14 10 2
15 11 2
16-17 12 2
18 13 2
19-20 14 3
21 15 3
22-23 16 3
24 17 3
25 18 3
26-27 19 3
28 20 4
29-30 21 4
31 22 4
32-33 23 4
34 24 4
35 25 4

EXAMPLE: A member who is on official Inactive membership status when the compliance period began, then transfers to Active status with 6-1/2 months remaining in the compliance period would round 6-1/2 months up to 7 months and consult the table. The pro-rated requirement would be 5 hours of approved education. Within those 5 hours, 1 hour of legal ethics must be completed. The member would NOT need to complete one hour of education in the prevention, detection and treatment of substance abuse nor one hour of education in the elimination of bias in the legal profession.

Modified Requirements

MCLE Rules provide for modification of the regular education requirement or means of compliance. Common modifications include:


Attorney Exemptions

New Admittees

Inactive Members

Out-of-State Residents

Good Cause Modification