A California attorney can claim California MCLE credit for education activities attended/taken outside California, provided that:
- the attorney is outside California when attending/taking the activity
- the activity is the type of activity that can be approved for California MCLE credit;
- the activity is approved by an Approved Jurisdiction.
If the criteria above are met, neither the provider nor the attorney needs to submit the activity to California for approval. California credit can be claimed by the attorney, based on the fact an approved jurisdiction approved the activity.
List of Approved Jurisdictions
The following jurisdictions have MCLE requirements which meet standards adopted by the State Bar.
|England and Wales||Montana||Texas|
|Hawaii||New Jersey||Victoria, Australia|
|Hong Kong||New Mexico||U.S. Virgin Islands|
|Indiana||North Dakota||West Virginia|
California’s standards for approval of jurisdictions
The jurisdiction’s education activities must meet the following two standards:
- A jurisdiction must generally require substantive written materials for activities more than one hour in length.
- A jurisdiction must generally require at least 50 minutes of study or instruction for each hour of credit.
California attorneys and providers please note:
- A California attorney must be outside California when attending/taking an education activity in order to receive California credit for an activity approved by another jurisdiction. Electronic (e.g., online and telephonic activities) and self-study activities (e.g., tapes, CDs, self-assessment tests) that an attorney attends/takes while inside California (regardless of where the activity originates) must be approved for credit by California.
- The jurisdiction that approves the activity can be different from the jurisdiction where the activity is held (you can attend an activity in Washington, D.C. that is approved by New York).
- California’s recordkeeping is decentralized:
- Neither providers nor members send notification of an attorney’s attendance to California;
- Providers give California attorneys a certificate of attendance that shows the number of hours that can be claimed for credit;
- California attorneys may claim credit for the activity, to the same extent as in the approving jurisdiction (if the approving jurisdiction uses a 50-minute, rather than a 60-minute hour, the California attorney can do likewise; if the approving jurisdiction grants one hour of credit for legal ethics, the California attorney can claim one hour of credit for legal ethics);
- Members should retain the certificate of attendance, as well as sufficient documentation to establish that the activity is a type of education that can be approved for California credit.
When a California attorney can count activity for California MCLE credit
A member of The State Bar of California in Texas who attends an education activity approved for Texas CLE credit can claim California credit for the activity for the number of credit hours approved by Texas. Similarly, if the member is in Toronto and attends an education activity approved for New York CLE credit, California credit for the activity can be claimed for the number of credit hours approved by New York.
When a California attorney CANNOT claim California MCLE credit
If a member of The State Bar of California is physically inside California when participating in an education activity, the activity must be approved for credit by California. For instance, if a provider holds an activity in Los Angeles, it must be approved for California MCLE credit.
Internet, telephonic or self-study activities that an attorney attends while inside California (regardless of where the activity originates) must be approved for credit by California.
If you are inside California when participating in an education activity, check with the provider directly about whether the activity has been approved for California MCLE credit. (The provider is an approved Multiple Activity Provider or has submitted the education activity to California for approval.)