Frequently Asked Questions for Bar Members
MCLE Requirements - Alaska Bar Rules 65 and 66
Requirements at a Glance
- If you are an active Bar member, you are required to complete 3 hours of ethics CLE each year.
- In addition to the 3 hours of ethics, you are encouraged, but not required, to complete 9 additional hours of CLE each year.
- You are required to report whether or not you have completed at least 3 hours of ethics each year.
- You are required to report whether you have completed 9 additional hours or more of CLE.
- If you completed less than 9 additional hours of CLE, you are required to report the estimated number of additional hours completed.
- The deadline for reporting is February 1 for the preceding calendar year.
- The next report is due February 1, 2016.
Can I get an extension of the deadline? You may file a written request (email is fine) for an extension of time to comply with the rule. Address your request to Ingrid Varenbrink, MCLE Administrator, firstname.lastname@example.org and state the reason for your request.
Can I carry over credits? You can carry forward up to a maximum of 12 CLE credits from the immediately preceding reporting period. Any previously unreported CLE credits earned January – December 31, 2014 may be carried over for the reporting period of 2015.
Any free ethics CLE? The Bar provides free ethics credits at some section meetings and various CLE programs. Check the CLE Calendar on the Bar website.
Any incentives to earn 12 credits? A list of attorneys in compliance with the 3 CLE credits in ethics plus the recommended additional 9 CLE credits, and the reporting requirement is posted on the Bar website each year. To be on Lawyer Referral Service you are required to earn 3 credits in ethics and at least 9 additional credits.
When do newly admitted lawyers report? Newly admitted lawyers report for the year immediately following their year of admission. If you were admitted in 2015, your first reporting period is January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016. Your first report is due by February 1, 2017. If you were admitted in 2015, your first reporting period is calendar year 2016 and your first report is due by February 1, 2017.
What counts for CLE credit?
- Attending any accredited CLE course, including webcast, DVD, and out of state programs if they are accredited by an MCLE jurisdiction (most states are MCLE jurisdictions).
- Teaching accredited CLE courses, including some preparation time.
- Serving on certain Bar and Court committees.
- Questions? See Bar Rule 65(g) for more information or email the MCLE Administrator, Ingrid Varenbrink, at email@example.com.
Who keeps a record of my CLE attendance? You do! Bar members are responsible for keeping track of their own CLE attendance, credit accumulation and reporting and are subject to audit for at least two years.
How do I keep track of my CLE credits? Keep copies of your certificates of attendance and other documentation of the CLEs you attend. Use the CLE tracking sheet on the Bar website under MCLE. Keep your own CLE file folder and keep copies of your annual MCLE reporting form.
What constitutes a CLE credit hour? 60 minutes of substantive legal education instruction (excluding breaks and meals).
How does a CLE activity get accredited? An attorney or an organization may request approval from the MCLE Administrator by submitting a Uniform Application for Accreditation of CLE which is on the Bar website under MCLE. CLE courses that are held in or broadcast from other states and have been approved for CLE credit in other states are deemed approved for credit for Alaska Bar members without any application process. CLE programs that are held live in Alaska must be accredited by the Alaska Bar by submitting the Uniform Application for Accreditation. AK Bar members, local non-profits and local government agencies are exempt from the $50 accreditation fee, but must apply for accreditation.
What happens if I fail to comply? If you fail to earn the mandatory ethics credits or fail to submit an MCLE Report by the deadline, you will be sent a notice of non-compliance and you must remedy the non-compliance. If you fail to remedy the non-compliance, you will be administratively suspended.
If I am suspended, how can I get reinstated?
To become reinstated, you must:
- Complete the mandatory 3 hour of ethics.
- Complete and submit the MCLE reporting form.
- Pay a reinstatement fee of $250.
- Pay any dues accrued during suspension.
- The Bar will then certify your compliance to the Alaska Supreme Court and request that you be reinstated.
Questions? Email Ingrid Varenbrink, MCLE Administrator.