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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: 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 via the Rhode Island Supreme Court Attorney Portal completion of the one-day Rhode Island Bridge the Gap. Attorneys admitted for three (3) years or more in another jurisdiction at the time they are admitted to the Rhode Island Bar are exempt from the Rhode Island Bridge the Gap requirement. Exempt attorneys shall submit a certificate of good standing to the MCLE Commission via the Rhode Island Supreme Court Attorney Portal attesting to the fact that he or she has been admitted in another jurisdiction for the prescribed period. 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.


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

Answer:   Ten (10) credits, inclusive of at least two (2) 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 Rhode Island Supreme Court Attorney Portal at www.courts.ri.gov. Please submit your credits when you have completed the 10 credits including two (2) 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 seminar, a live interactive webinar, or up to three (3) credit limit per year via interactive online, on-demand seminar;
2. As a teacher 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); or
4. As an author of a published article (submit Appendix E application for up to five (5) credit limit per year).


Question: Where do I get credit?

Answer:  
1. By selecting a live or web course from an accredited Rhode Island MCLE Sponsor (the sponsors advertise their approval); or
2. By submitting your own individual application for accreditation (Appendix D) for taking a program offered by an unaccredited sponsor.


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 practice, you may file proof of MCLE good standing and receive reciprocal compliance in Rhode Island.


Question: What if I am "Active" but do not perform any legal work for any client in Rhode Island?

Answer:   You may submit an active, non-practicing waiver request to the Supreme Court clerk, 250 Benefit Street, Providence, RI 02903. The waiver must be approved by the Chief Justice. Only upon approval of the Chief Justice will said waiver be granted and recorded pursuant to your MCLE obligation. Even if your circumstances remain the same, a letter must be submitted each year by June 30.


Question: Can I verify that the program is approved?

Answer:   Yes, you may search the accredited sponsor list on the MCLE section of the Rhode Island Supreme Court Attorney 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 after June 30 ($50), after September 30 ($100), and after January 1 ($150). If you need to make up work, fees can range from $100 - $200. If you become suspended and are reinstated there is an additional $75 fee.


Question: Do I receive confirmation of my credits?

Answer:   You will receive a message that you submitted your Summary Reporting Form (Appendix G) successfully via the MCLE section of the Rhode Island Attorney Portal. You may view your status and credit details on "My MCLE Record" within the MCLE section of the Rhode Island Supreme Court Attorney Portal.


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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