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Frequently Asked Questions

Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) - Sponsors


Question: What is the Rhode Island MCLE reporting year?

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


Question: How do I apply to become a Rhode Island MCLE Sponsor and have my courses approved for MCLE credit?

Answer:   Go to www.courts.ri.gov and register your firm or agency on the sponsor section of the Rhode Island Supreme Court Attorney Portal. The annual accreditation fee is $250.00. Additionally, you must apply for each course approval via the electronic version of the course accreditation (Appendix D). The course application fee is $45.00 per course. Fees are payable by credit card.


Question: Is the $45.00 course fee required if we offer the same program (repeat) or the same title via the Internet and live?

Answer:   In the case of repeat courses you will need to pay $45.00 per course date. In the case of online courses, you will need to pay only once per course title if it is a stand-alone, on-demand course.


Question: Once we submit the course accreditation (Appendix D), how will we be notified of approval and credit award?

Answer:   You may view the approval and credit award on the sponsor section of the Rhode Island Supreme Court Attorney Portal through your sponsor account.


Question: What other administrative responsibilities do I have as an accredited sponsor in Rhode Island?

Answer:   Beginning July 1, 2012, all accredited sponsors must also submit attendance verification of each Rhode Island attorney who completes an approved course. This attendance report must be submitted via the Rhode Island Supreme Court Attorney Portal within your sponsor account NO LATER THAN 30 DAYS after the program date. Late attendance reports will be assessed a $30.00 late fee.


Question: Is Rhode Island a fifty (50) minute or sixty (60) minute state?

Answer:   Rhode Island is a fifty (50) minute state; be sure to round down to the nearest half or whole when preparing your certificates of attendance in accordance with the Rhode Island MCLE Commission's MCLE credit award you receive.


Question: It is acceptable to give attorneys a CD or thumb drive of the handout materials instead of paper?

Answer:   Yes, this is acceptable.


Question: When should certificates of attendance be handed out (before the program or after the program ends)?

Answer:   Sponsors should give out the certificates after completion of the seminar. Be sure to sign them on behalf of your organization. Attorneys must retain their certificates for three (3) years.


Question: Can attorneys receive extra credit for teaching?

Answer:   An attorney can receive three (3) credits for every one (1) credit they teach up to six (6) teaching credits per year. In the case of a panel presentation, the number of minutes duration of the panel is divided by the number of panelists in order to calculate the actual speaking time per panelist. Note: If speaking time is less than twenty-five (25) minutes per attorney, no teaching credit is awarded.


Question: Are there special requirements for approval on online/distance learning courses?

Answer:   Online/distance learning courses must have attendance prompts embedded in the program, must offer the attorney the ability to ask questions, and cannot be test only. NOTE: Rhode Island does not approve self-study CLE's including, but not limited to, podcast.


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

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


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