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Frequently Asked Questions

Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) - Attorneys


Question: What is the Rhode Island MCLE reporting year?

Answer:   July 1 - June 30, commencing the second July 1 after the attorney is admitted.


Question: How are MCLE credits computed?

Answer:   Credit shall be awarded on the basis of one (1) credit hour for each fifty (50) minutes of attendance at an approved course, program, or activity of legal education.


Question: For newly admitted attorneys, what is the timetable to take the Rhode Island Bridge the Gap course?

Answer:   All attorneys admitted on or after January 1, 2011 must accrue and report completion of the one-day Rhode Island Bridge the Gap. The course shall be taken in person (or online if out-of-state) within the first full MCLE reporting year (July 1 to June 30) after being admitted. If at the time an attorney was admitted in Rhode Island he/she was in good standing as an attorney in another jurisdiction, the attorney is exempt from Rhode Island Bridge the Gap upon uploading proof of same within the Bridge the Gap section of the MCLE Portal.


Question: What are the credits needed to meet the MCLE requirements?

Answer:   Ten (10) credits, inclusive of at least two (2) legal ethics credits.


Question: When do I file my MCLE requirements?

Answer:   No later than June 30 of each reporting year. Beginning July 1, 2012, MCLE filing must be completed via the MCLE Portal. Please submit your credits when you have completed the ten (10) credits including two (2) legal ethics. Retain original certificates for your file for three (3) years. Up to ten (10) reported excess credits will be carried forward for one (1) year only.


Question: How do I get credit?

Answer:  
1. As a participant in an in-person course, a teleseminar, a webcast/webinar, or up to six (6) credit limit per year via video replay course;
2. As an instructor of approved continuing legal education (six (6) credit limit per year);
3. As a participant in approved in-house programs at your firm (five (5) credit limit per year);
4. As an author of a published article (submit Appendix E application for up to five (5) credit limit per year); or
5. As a judge, facilitator, or trainer in a moot/mock trial (one (1) credit limit per year).


Question: Where do I get credit?

Answer:  
1. By selecting a in-person, webcast/webinar, or teleseminar course from an accredited Rhode Island MCLE Sponsor (the sponsors advertise their approval);
2. By submitting your own individual application for accreditation (Appendix D) for taking a program offered by an unaccredited sponsor;
3. By taking a video replay course for up to six (6) credits per year maximum; or
4. By submitting your own individual application for teaching (Appendix F) to receive teaching credit.


Question: What if I live out-of-state?

Answer:  
1. You may take courses anywhere from Rhode Island MCLE accredited sponsors, or make an individual application for accreditation (Appendix D) for a program taken from a non-accredited sponsor; or
2. If you have met the MCLE requirement in the state where you principally practice, you may file proof of MCLE good standing and receive reciprocal compliance in Rhode Island. You may file reciprocal compliance by clicking "Waiver or Exemption Eligible" as your attorney type, then select the "Reciprocal Waiver From Alternate MCLE Jurisdiction" button and upload a cover letter outlining your request and proof of your MCLE compliance from your home state.


Question: Can I verify that the program is approved?

Answer:   Yes, you may search the accredited sponsor list on the MCLE Portal or contact the MCLE Commission at (401) 222-4942 or at mcleinfo@courts.ri.gov.


Question: Are there any application or filing fees?

Answer:  
1. No - If your courses are taken from Rhode Island MCLE accredited sponsors.
2. No - If you file in full by June 30.
3. No - If you request individual approval of a non-approved program.
4. Yes - If you file credits earned during the current reporting year after June 30 ($50), after September 30 ($100), and after January 1 ($150). If you need to makeup credits, fees can range from $100 - $200.
5. Yes - If you are removed from the Master Roll of Attorneys for MCLE noncompliance and are reinstated within six (6) months from the date of removal, you must complete and file all delinquent credits and pay an additional $75 fee. If you are reinstated within a period of six (6) months to three (3) years from the date of removal, there is a $375.00 fee. If you are reinstated after three (3) years from the date of removal, there is a $525.00 fee. You must also be in compliance with the reinstatement requirements set forth in the Rhode Island Supreme Court Article IV, Rule 3.9 and the MCLE Regulation 1.3.9.


Question: Do I receive confirmation of my credits?

Answer:   You will receive a message that you submitted your Credit Reporting (Appendix G) Summary successfully via the MCLE Portal. You may view your status and credit details on "My MCLE Record" within the MCLE Portal. You will hear from the MCLE Commission if there is an incomplete element in your filing.


Question: Who should I contact with questions about the MCLE requirements?

Answer:   Please contact the MCLE Commission at (401) 222-4942 or at mcleinfo@courts.ri.gov.


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