I recently received an inquiry from a law firm CLE coordinator looking for any statistics available related to the rate of attorneys who comply with the MCLE regulations in a timely manner. After searching through my reference materials and sources, I could find no reports of this number.
As I, too, was curious and though that this would be interesting information to have, I surveyed my contacts at the state regulatory authorities to find out if they were tracking this data, and what were their results.
I asked the regulators:
- What percentage of attorneys are fully compliant with the rules (meet the credit and date requirement),
- How many meet the requirement within the late period, and
- How many are non-compliant (do not meet the requirement)? – The penalty is usually administrative suspension to practice law.
I quickly received responses from about half of the regulators, and found out that many state regulators do not have easy access to this information. There were also four states (Alaska, California, Colorado, and Illinois) where the information is confidential by statute. Of the remaining states, the overwhelming majority show that attorneys are relatively good at complying – just not always on time.
- 89.8% of attorneys are compliant with the regulations by the end of compliance period. This number is significantly lower when there is a “grace-period” offered (no late fees assessed) – only 73% of attorneys are compliant in states with this grace period available.
- Of those attorneys who are in the late period, the majority of these do come into compliance. On average the states have a 0.9% non-compliance rate – these are attorneys who are suspended due to non-compliance. Generally they are administratively suspended from the practice of law and can remedy and pay a reinstatement fee to become active again.
I will let you know if the numbers change significantly with more responses from the states, but I feel fairly confident that these numbers will hold true across all of the MCLE jurisdictions as they’ve been fairly consistent across the data I’ve received to date.
Thank you to Michea for prompting me to ask the questions!