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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 MCLE and Payment for Indigent Defense Services Portal. The annual accreditation fee is $250.00*. See Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Regulations Appendix C. 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.

* Sponsors offering a maximum of one (1) credit per fiscal year are assessed a $75.00 fee, and sponsors offering a maximum of two (2) credits per fiscal year are assessed a $100.00 fee.


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:   Sponsor submission of courses/programs for approval by the MCLE Commission should adhere to the following procedures depending upon mode of instruction. If a course is offered as in-person and/or webcast/webinar AND as a video replay, the sponsor shall submit two (2) course applications as indicated below:
1. In-person and/or webcast/webinar (any number of credits) - Completion of Appendix D and payment of $45.00 course application fee.
2. Video replay (a minimum of .50 credits and a maximum of six (6) credits) - Completion of Appendix D, course title must include the following wording at the end of the course title "- Video Replay," and payment of a $45.00 course application fee.

* Video replay credits are limited to six (6) per year.


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 MCLE 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 MCLE 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 (single instructor) can receive three (3) times the total minutes of instruction. An attorney (multiple instructors, participant on a panel, or moderator of a panel) can receive teaching credit at a rate of two (2) times the total minutes of instruction. There is a limit of six (6) teaching credits per MCLE reporting year. Attorneys must apply for teaching credit by completing Appendix F on the Rhode Island Supreme Court Attorney Portal. Note: If instructional time is less than twenty-five (25) minutes, no teaching credit is awarded.


Question: Are there special requirements for approval of webcast/webinar and/or video replay learning courses?

Answer:   Webcast/webinar courses must offer the attorney the ability to ask questions. Video replay learning courses must have attendance prompts embedded in the program 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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