Law Firms

Law Firms: Annual License Renewal and Minimum Continuing Legal Education

License renewal for the 2023 State Bar of California began December 1, 2022 with the deadline to file on February 1, 2023. According to The State Bar of California, you must complete the following order to complete license renewal:

-Verify required information in your State Bar record pursuant to rule 2.2(c) of the Rules of the State Bar of California.

-Pay the annual license fees online or by check through mail.

-Report minimum continuing legal education (MCLE) compliance if you are in MCLE Group 3.

-Comply with Client Trust Account Protection Program (CTAPP) reporting requirements, which will have a later deadline.

 

Beginning on December 1, 2022, all California licensees (unless exempt) must comply with new requirements. You must:

-Register their client trust accounts (including interest on Lawyer’s Trust Accounts) annually with the State Bar, either individually or through their law firm or organization. This includes providing the ending balance as of December 31 for each reported account.

-Complete an annual self-assessment of client trust account management practices.

-Certify with the State Bar that they understand and comply with requirements and prohibitions applicable to the safekeeping of funds and property of clients and other persons in rule 1.15 of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

 

MCLE Requirements

Attorneys who are actively practicing law in California, with few exceptions, must complete 25 hours of Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) every three years and file with the State Bar. These hours must include education in legal ethics, competence issues, and elimination of bias. On and After January 1, 2022, while all attorneys will still be required to complete 25 hours of MCLE every three years, the total hours must now include no less than seven hours as follows:

-At least four hours of legal ethics.

-At least two hours dealing with elimination of bias. Of the two hours, at least one hour must focus on implicit bias and the promotion of bias reducing strategies.

-At least one hour of education addressing competence issues.

Additional information regarding MCLE requirements can be found here: https://www.calbar.ca.gov/Attorneys/MCLE-CLE/Requirements

 

Compliance Groups

Attorneys assigned to a compliance group will always remain in that same group, even if they change their last name.

-Attorneys admitted on or before February 1, 1992, were assigned to a compliance group based on the first letter of their last name, as listed on their official State Bar Records, effective February 1, 1992 (the beginning of the MCLE program).

-Attorneys admitted after February 1, 1992 are assigned to a compliance group based on the first letter of the last name listed on their admit cards. Admit cards are filled out when they are sworn in.

Groups:

Group 1

Attorneys with the last names beginning with A-G

Compliance Period: 02/01/2022 – 01/31/2025

Deadline to Report: February 01, 2025

 

Group 2

Attorneys with last names beginning with H-M

Compliance Period: 02/01/2021 – 01/31/2024

Deadline to Report: February 01, 2024

 

Group 3

Attorneys with the last names beginning with N-Z

Compliance Period: 02/01/2020 – 01/31/2023

Deadline to Report: February 01, 2023