In a groundbreaking innovation to aid attorneys in achieving Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) compliance, the Illinois Supreme Court announced that Illinois now has an online MCLE transcript system. With this system in place, the MCLE Board will report compliance for attorneys once their online transcript reflects their MCLE compliance.
“In keeping with the Court’s directive to the judicial branch to boost efficiency by harnessing technology, the Court is delighted that the MCLE Board has instituted this innovation to benefit attorneys,” said Chief Justice Mary Jane Theis. “An attorney, at any time and from any internet connection, can confirm their progress toward MCLE compliance. As an added benefit, attorneys whose transcripts timely reflect compliance will not submit a compliance report or pay a late fee for failing to submit a timely report.”
The credits on an attorney’s transcript may include course attendance credit entered by course providers, CLE-eligible presentations at qualifying bar meetings input by bar associations, and nontraditional credits added by the attorney. Nontraditional activities entered by the attorney include researching and writing legal publications, part-time law course teaching at a law school, university, college, or community college, and judging law school moot court or other law student training simulations. Once an attorney’s online transcript reflects compliance with the MCLE requirements, the Board will send an email to the attorney confirming that information.
“As the Court’s liaison to the MCLE Board, I see this system as simplifying how attorneys manage their MCLE compliance,” said Justice P. Scott Neville, Jr. “If an attorney completes their credits in the first two weeks of the reporting period and their transcript reflects that, the Board confirms that compliance record to the attorney via email. The attorney has no other responsibilities for that reporting period’s compliance. With its many advances, the transcript system places the MCLE program firmly in the 21st century in service to attorneys.”
The June 30 compliance date remains unchanged—all credits must be earned by that date in odd- numbered years for attorneys in the N-Z reporting group and even-numbered years for the A-M reporting group. The attorney then has one month, until July 31, to check and confirm that their transcript reflects their compliance with the MCLE requirements by June 30. For the reporting periods ending in 2023 and 2024, attorneys will enter the amount and type of their carryover credits from the prior reporting period. But after that, carryover credits are calculated and displayed automatically as attorneys move from one two-year reporting period to the next.
“The Illinois MCLE program is a leader among CLE regulatory programs, especially in its use of technology to serve attorneys and providers,” MCLE Board chair Pat Mathis of Belleville stated.
Mr. Mathis, a founding shareholder in Mathis, Marifian & Richter, Ltd., added “This online transcript system is best in class. We thank the Court for its support and Board staff, led by Director Karen Litscher Johnson, for their diligent efforts in creating the transcript system.”