Proposed Amendments to MCLE Rules and Regulations — Action Delayed by the Supreme Court 


In July 2013 the Supreme Court Rules Committee tabled the proposed changes to the MCLE rules and regulations. These changes had been sent to the Court in January 2013 by the MCLE Board after approval by the WSBA Board of Governors. Members of the Rules Committee will meet with WSBA representatives to discuss their concerns.  

Proposed APR 11 Changes

A few substantive changes to the rules were proposed to the Court in January 2013. 

  • A new category of credits was created called “development” credits. Up to six credits per reporting period can be earned for topics including work/life balance, stress reduction, career development, how to increase profits, planning for giving post-retirement pro bono service, and CLE presentation skill development.
  • A new category of credits was created called “leadership” credits. Up to six credits per reporting period can be earned for topics that enhance leadership skills and enhance the leadership performance of lawyers.
  • Pro Bono training credit and service credit periods were changed from an annual basis to a reporting period basis. This means that all the training and service credits can be earned at any time during the reporting period. The number of credits that can be earned for pro bono was increased to 25.5, of which three need to be pro bono training. Service credits will count as self-study credits.
  • Credit for law school competition judging will be self-study credits.

Proposed Appendix APR 11 Changes

A greater number of substantive changes to the regulations were proposed to the Court in January 2013 to address the concerns brought to the MCLE Board by members, sponsors, and the BOG. Changes were also made to make the regulations easier to use and understand.

  • The definition of ethics was clarified to make it easier for a CLE course — or session within a course — to more effectively focus on the critical skills related to ethics and prevention of disciplinary action.  Ethics can only be accredited if it is covered in a course or session devoted to ethics with a specific start and end time.
  • Professionalism — as it pertains to compliance with rules and codes that define the ethical behavior or to the requirements expected of lawyers – was added to the definition of ethics as a topic that can be accredited as ethics.
  • When a Form 1 is submitted for ethics credits, an explanation must be included regarding how the course or session meets the requirements for ethics accreditation according to Regulation 101(g).
  • Unlimited credit can be earned for communication courses that improve a lawyer’s skills for communicating with clients or other legal professionals, or to improve the lawyer-client relationship.
  • Credits for law school competition judging are self-study credits.
  • A course must be at least 30 minutes long to be accredited.
  • A lawyer must attend at least 30 minutes of a program in order to earn any credit for the course.
  • Credit can be earned for topics that were not previously accreditable under the new “development” credits in Regulation 103(d).
  • Credit can be earned for “leadership” courses, which were not previously accreditable.
  • CLE presenters and panelists will be able to get credit for teaching a course more than once if six or more months have elapsed since credit was claimed, the topic is related to a substantive area of law, and the written materials have been updated.
  • A lawyer must present, or participate in a panel, for at least 30 minutes in order to earn preparation credit. Up to five credits can be earned for each 30 minutes of presenting or participating up to a maximum of 10 credits.
  • Preparation time credits and writing credits are self-study credits.
  • A lawyer may earn pro bono training and service credits at any time during a reporting period. Pro bono service time counts as self-study credit.
  • All audio-visual programs will expire after five years, even skills-based courses.
  • Sponsors are required to retain CLE course materials for four years. 
  • Sponsors – Private law firm, corporate legal department, and government sponsors must submit both the Form 1 and the Form 1 fee within 14 days of the CLE activity or else a late fee will be assessed.
  • Comity Certificates of MCLE Compliance must be issued on or after October 1 of the last year of the lawyer’s reporting period to be valid for satisfying the Washington reporting period credit requirement. A late fee will be assessed for any comity certificates submitted after February 1 following the end of a lawyer’s reporting period.


    Feel free to contact Kathy Todd, MCLE Board Secretary, at kathyt@wsba.org with any questions or comments.

Proposed Amendments to APR 11

Purpose Statements for Proposed Amendments to APR 11

Proposed Amendments to Appendix APR 11

Purpose Statements for Proposed Amendments to Appendix APR 11