Last Updated: March 20, 2015
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There are a number of online CLE providers who charge money for self-study and participatory MCLE courses. Below, I’ve put together a collection of links to FREE options for meeting California’s MCLE requirements:
Free self-study MCLE courses offered by the Judicial Council of California: You can get all of your self-study hours free here. Note: The “ADA in State Court” course includes 2 hours of self-study credit and includes the 1 hour “Elimination of Bias” requirement.
Free self-study MCLE for the Detection/Prevention of Substance Abuse/Mental Health Issues: Send an email to LAP@calbar.ca.gov to request a link to this free program.
Free MCLE from the Alameda County Bar Association: Get your self-study MCLE for free here.
Free MCLE from the Contra Costa County Bar Association: Get your self-study MCLE for free here.
Free Participatory MCLE Credit from One Legal: One Legal is an online process service and E-filing company in California. They offer a number of MCLE and non-MCLE courses relating to E-Filing, Service of Process, and the like.
Free MCLE Credit from Barkley Court Reporting: Barkley is a California Court Reporting firm. They offer a number of online MCLE programs. It is unclear whether they are participatory or non-participatory.
Free MCLE Credit from the Chapman University School of Law: Downloadable MCLE videos for self-study credit.
Notable Paid MCLE Providers:
Participatory MCLE Programs from the Sacramento County Law Library: Relatively inexpensive videos which you can buy and watch offline at your leisure for participatory credit.
Participatory MCLE Programs from LexVid: Very low pricing ($129 as of 2015) for unlimited hours of participatory credit.
Continuing Education of the Bar: CEB has a wide variety of On Demand Participatory MCLE Courses at reasonable prices.
The State Bar of California: The State Bar has a variety of Participatory MCLE at reasonable prices.
A note about California MCLE Requirements:
If you are a California attorney, you are required to complete 25 hours of Minimum Continuing Legal Education (“MCLE”) every three years. MCLE can be completed in person, online, or by reading or listening to course materials. Within these 25 hours:
- 12.5 of the 25 hours must be “participatory.” The remaining 12.5 hours can be “participatory” or “self-study”.
- 4 hours must concern “Legal Ethics.” This can be done either as self-study or participatory.
- 1 hour must concern “Detection/Prevention of Substance Abuse or Mental Illness.” This can be done either as self-study or participatory.
- 1 hour must concern the “Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession.” This can be done either as self-study or participatory.
Generally, your attendance at any live training is participatory. Watching and listening to video and audio programs can be participatory, if your provider has a verification process. If the provider does not verify, of if you listen or watch without verification, the program is considered self-study. If you read articles and take self-assessment quizes, this is considered self-study.
For more details on the State Bar’s requirements, click here.
Why Bother? What if I don’t comply?