The National Law Journal [sorry, subscription required] reported today there are fewer licensed lawyers in Illinois:
The Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission, an agency of the Illinois Supreme Court, booted 587 active attorneys from the state’s so-called “master roll” this year when they failed to file the paper work showing they had completed 20 hours of certified legal training between July 1, 2006, and June 30, 2008. The lawyers were officially removed from the roll after being sent three reminder letters late last year.
Illinois conceptualized mandatory CLE in 2005 with an initial scaled in requirement of 20 hours.
There were about 2,000 lawyers out of compliance as of December, but the commission made phone calls to many of the lawyers to remind them about meeting the new CLE requirement, even after the letters were sent, said Jim Grogan, who is chief counsel for the commission. About 1,400 lawyers immediately came into compliance, but the remaining 587 probably include some lawyers who are still practicing while others may have moved, died or retired, he said.
We have posted on mandatory CLE at Slaw in the past. Many jurisdictions in Canada have recent law society rules regarding mandatory continuing professional development reporting. For example, in Alberta, there is a requirement of intentionality. Lawyers must plan to learn and be prepared to report their efforts to the Law Society.
… we think that a self-directed, lawyer-centred learning process is more likely to result in effective and relevant self-improvement.
There are similar CPD requirements in Manitoba.
A reasonable minimum expectation for self-study hours is 50 hours per year. A reasonable minimum expectation for participation in continuing legal education activities is 12 hours per year.
Although all jurisdictions offer continuing legal education, not all are subscribing to the intentionality or reporting requirements models. In Nova Scotia, CLE is offered and it is simply left to the lawyer to comply with the competency rule of the Law Society. The Federation of Law Societies has a nice summary page pointing to law society or bar association CLE providers for all of Canada.
When you consider that the activities that are considered CLE [from the Manitoba reporting form] it really isn’t difficult to collect a minimal amount of learning.
Typical professional legal education learning activities that would be included in this section include:
• Live programs, workshops, and conferences, such as those offered by the Law Society of
Manitoba, the Manitoba Bar Association, Canadian Bar Association, Federation of Law
Societies and other continuing legal education providers
• In-house legal education programs offered by law firms and in-house legal departments
• Interactive on-line programs
• Video and DVD replay programs in an organized group setting
• Organized education discussion groups, such as MBA subsection meetings
• Participating in post-LLB degree programs
• Teaching in CPLED, continuing legal education programs, and law school programs
• Preparation time for teaching in any of the above
How many hours of CLE do you consider reasonable?