1. The revised Rules for Mandatory Continuing Legal Education went into effect on July 1, 2020. The new Rules apply to attorneys on the 2019-2021 reporting cycle and beyond. A background and summary of the major changes in the Rules can be found here:
2. Per A.O. 49, for the license renewal period ending June 30, 2021, the following MCLE provisions are suspended for the 2019-2021 reporting period: (1) the 6-hour limit on the number of hours for programs delivered as Non Moderated Programming Without Interactivity; (2) the 12-hour minimum number of hours for programs delivered as either Moderated Programming or Non-Moderated Programming With Interactivity as a Key Component; and (3) the limits on the number of hours that can be claimed under all sections of Rule 6.
It is important to members of the bar of the Supreme Court of Vermont as well as the public that attorneys continue their legal education while they are practicing law. The Rules for Mandatory Continuing Legal Education lay out the guidelines for this education, which is supervised by the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Board.
Attorneys on active and pro bono emeritus status are subject to mandatory continuing legal education (MCLE) requirements. Attorneys on judicial and inactive status are not subject to MCLE requirements.
If you are an attorney on active status, you must complete at least 24 hours of accredited continuing legal education during each two-year reporting period. At least 12 of the 24 hours must be programs delivered either as Moderated Programming or Non-Moderated Programming with Interactivity as a Key Component. No more than 6 of the 24 hours can be programs delivered as Non-Moderated Programming Without Interactivity. As part of the 24 hours, you must earn at least 2 hours in Ethics Programming, 1 hour in Attorney Wellness Programming, and 1 hour in Diversity and Inclusion Programming.
If you are an attorney on pro bono emeritus status, you must complete at least 8 hours of accredited continuing legal education, including at least 1 hour in legal ethics, during each two-year reporting period. At least 4 of the 8 hours must be programs delivered either as Moderated Programming or Non-Moderated Programming with Interactivity as a Key Component, and no more than 2 of the 8 hours can be programs delivered as Non-Moderated Programming Without Interactivity.
If an attorney has completed more than 24 hours in a reporting period, any excess hours earned during the second year of the reporting period may be used to fulfill the requirements of the reporting period immediately following.
You must certify compliance with the MCLE requirements on the licensing statement that you must file at the end of each reporting period when you renew your license. For more information on reporting periods and license renewal, please visit the Attorney Licensing page.
If you do not complete the required number of MCLE hours within a reporting period, you must file a MCLE Makeup Plan as part of renewing your license through the Attorney Portal. The Makeup Plan must state in detail how and by when you will obtain the required credits. A $50 fee for the Makeup Plan will be added to the cost of the license renewal.
You must complete the Makeup Plan and submit a Certification of Completion of the Makeup Plan through the Attorney Portal by November 15 of the year you renew your license. If you do not timely submit a Certification of Completion, you will be subject to administrative suspension of your license to practice law.
The MCLE Board is authorized to accredit courses and to assign MCLE credit to approved courses. To be accreditable, a course must have significant intellectual or practical content and be designed for an attorney audience. Its primary objective must be to increase the attendee’s professional competence and skills as an attorney and to improve the quality of legal services rendered to the public. The program must pertain to a recognized legal subject or other subject matter which integrally relates to the practice of law, diversity and inclusion issues, attorney wellness, or the ethical obligations of attorneys. The program must be delivered as Moderated Programming, Non-Moderated Programming with Interactivity as a Key Component, or Non-Moderated Programming Without Interactivity. Thorough, high-quality instructional written materials which appropriately cover the subject matter must be distributed to all attendees in paper or electronic format during or prior to the program. The program must be presented by a faculty member or members qualified by academic or practical experience to teach the topics covered, whether they are attorneys or have other subject matter expertise.
Individuals or course sponsors may apply for MCLE credit for specific activities. These activities must meet the standards for educational content outlined above. Individuals must apply for accreditation within 30 days after the activity. A $50 fee is imposed on applications for accreditation received after that time.
Some activities, including sitting as an acting judge, judging at moot court programs, unpaid authoring and publishing legal articles, and volunteering on certain committees, are automatically accredited.
Attorneys licensed in Vermont should apply for accreditation of a course through the Attorney Portal. Sponsors can apply for accreditation of a course by filling out the Application for Accreditation of Continuing Legal Education Activity:
and returning it with an agenda, a table of contents or equivalent, and faculty names and credentials (if those are not included in an accompanying brochure or description), and the relevancy to the law. Applications for accreditation may be submitted via email to JUD.AttyLicensing@vermont.gov.
The MCLE Board will determine how many hours will be approved and notify the applicant of their decision. There is no fee as long as the request is made within 30 days of the activity. Please allow three weeks for processing.
Some groups have been preapproved to offer CLE courses. A list of accredited sponsors can be viewed here:
To become an accredited sponsor, you must apply to the MCLE Board, stating your legal education history for the preceding two calendar years. Include dates, subjects offered, total hours of instruction presented, and the names and qualifications of speakers. Applications should be mailed to:
Board of Mandatory Continuing Legal Education
Office of Attorney Licensing
32 Cherry Street, Ste. 213
Burlington, VT 05401
Learn about about the first-year CLE (and mentorship) requirements for newly admitted attorneys.