Monday, July 11, was an extremely busy day for our company, Attorney Credits. The phone started ringing around 8:00 a.m. when we opened up and it was busy until we shut down around 5:00 p.m. Why would it be so busy in the middle of July when the California MCLE deadline isn’t until February???
It was so busy because the State Bar of California sent out over 6,000 MCLE audit letters to California attorneys the week of July 4th. Once those audit letters hit attorney mailboxes, we started getting calls from frantic attorneys all over the state calling to make sure they completed the correct amount of CLE hours and asking how to access CLE certificates.
As long as you completed all your required CA CLE, there is nothing to worry about. Simply follow the instructions provided by the Cal Bar on how to complete the necessary steps for the audit. Mainly, this consists of inputting all your credit hours on a special webpage on the Cal Bar website and then emailing all your certificates of attendance in one PDF document.
That’s right, the California MCLE audit is real. I have personal experience with the MCLE audit because I was audited by he State Bar of California three years ago.
If you were audited and you did not complete your California MCLE requirement, I have one piece of advice for you – the cover up is worse than the crime. Please do NOT lie to the Cal Bar. Simply cure your CA CLE deficiency, pay any penalties or fines and continue to practice law. A number of attorneys have been disbarred on moral turpitude grounds because they didn’t complete the required MCLE, lied to the Cal Bar, then tried to forge or backdate certificates.
One attorney was even disbarred because she reported that she completed her MCLE requirement in December, then when she was audited all her certificates had January dates. Granted, this attorney had a history of disciplinary problems with the State Bar of California. However, this shows how serious the Cal Bar is about MCLE compliance and how serious you should take your MCLE requirement.
If this is not your CA CLE compliance cycle or you did not get audited this time around, please make sure to properly complete your MCLE requirement in the future. You have worked too hard to get where you are to jeopardize your legal career over a few hours of continuing education. For more information about California MCLE requirements please click here: CA CLE.