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Illinois Supreme Court amends MCLE requirement to broaden credit for judging law student simulation training

5/25/2017

May 25 , 2017

The Illinois Supreme Court has adopted changes in the minimum continuing legal education (“MCLE”) Rules today, including a change that will broaden the MCLE credit available to Illinois attorneys who judge any type of simulation training for law students. This change reflects the increasing importance of simulation training in educating law students to practice in the 21st century.

Rule 795(d)(6)(i) previously limited MCLE credit to judging moot court arguments conducted by law students. Under the revised provision, attorneys may earn Illinois MCLE credit for judging all types of simulation training for law students, including mock trial, mock transactional, mock negotiations and mock arbitration/mediation, offered by law schools or other sponsors. The amendment applies to law student simulations that begin July 1, 2017 or after.

 “The Court adopted these changes as part of its ongoing effort to enhance continuing legal education opportunities for members of the Illinois bar. The changes, which are based upon the experience in other jurisdictions as well as feedback from course providers and practicing lawyers, are designed to make CLE requirements more consistent and easier to follow and to recognize additional activities for which CLE credits may be earned while educating future lawyers," said Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier, who serves as the Court’s liaison to the MCLE Board.

"The Court is grateful to the MCLE Board and its Director, Karen Litscher Johnson, for proposing the amendments. Thanks to their input, Illinois’ MCLE rules already meet or exceed national standards set by the ABA. With these changes, we hope to keep Illinois at the forefront of continuing legal education for attorneys and, in so doing, improve the quality of legal representation available to the people of Illinois.”

The Court also approved other changes to the MCLE Rules that will simplify the application process for course providers. The Court revised Rule 795(a)(6), (7) and (8) and Rule 795(d)(1) and (6), as well as added Rule 795(a)(9). These revisions and addition simplify the definition of delivery methods for MCLE courses and make the MCLE requirements more uniform for all courses, including those sponsored by government entities, law firms and corporate legal departments.

The language of the Amended Rule 795 and all of the Supreme Court Rules can be found on the Court’s website at http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/SupremeCourt/Rules/.