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 Educationlay out the guidelines for this education, which is supervised by the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Board.

MCLE Requirements

Active Attorneys

If you are an active attorney, you must complete 20 hours of approved continuing legal education (CLE) during each two-year compliance period. At least two of those hours must be in legal ethics. Up to 10 hours may be self-study, such as online and video presentations. You may earn a maximum of 10 hours through activities other than direct education. If you are on pro bono emeritus status, you must complete at least eight hours of accredited legal education, including at least one hour in legal ethics, during each licensing period.

You will certify CLE compliance on licensing statement.

Attorneys initially admitted to the Vermont Bar in even-numbered years are members of Group I. Attorneys initially admitted in odd-numbered years are members of Group II. Attorneys in Group I must file an Affidavit of Compliance by July 1 in each even year. Attorneys in Group II must file an Affidavit of Compliance by July 1 in each odd year.

A list of attorneys in good standing with their reporting group period is available here:

A reminder will be sent to your email address (forms are no longer mailed through the postal service).

Newly Admitted Attorneys

If you were admitted to the Vermont bar after April 18, 2016, you are subject to special CLE requirements. Newly admitted attorneys must complete 15 hours of specially approved CLE courses within one year of admission. At least six hours of the 15 must be live training events.

Failure to file a certification of completion of CLE within one year will result in administrative suspension of your license to practice law.

A list of approved courses for newly admitted attorneys can be found here:

Newly admitted attorneys are also subject to the MCLE rules and must obtain 20 hours of CLE in their first licensing period. The CLE courses approved for attorneys new to the bar may be counted toward this total. If you are admitted by examination or transferred UBE score, you must also complete a six month mentorship.

Continuing Legal Education Fees

See the fee schedule approved by the State Court Administrator.

Failure to Complete CLE

If you do not complete 20 hours of CLE within your reporting period, you may file a makeup plan with the MCLE Board. The plan must state in detail how and by when you will obtain the required credits. You must complete the plan within 120 days of the original reporting deadline. A $50 fee is due when you file a makeup plan.

If you do not complete your makeup plan or do not file a Certificate of Completion within 15 days of your proposed deadline for the makeup plan, you will be subject to suspension by the Supreme Court.

Accreditation

Courses

The MCLE Board is authorized to accredit courses and to assign CLE credit to approved courses. Courses must be of significant intellectual and practical content and led by a person or persons qualified to do so by education or practical knowledge. The course must be held in a classroom environment and include detailed written materials.

Groups, including law firms, corporations, and government offices, may apply for CLE accreditation for in-house courses presented to at least three learners. Groups must obtain approval by the MCLE Board prior to the presentation.

Individuals may apply for CLE 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 petitions 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.

To apply for accreditation of a course, fill out the application and return 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. The MCLE Board will determine how many hours will be approved and notify you 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.

Sponsors

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:

MCLE Board
32 Cherry Street, Ste. 213
Burlington, VT 05401

Contact Information

Please direct all questions to: JUD.Attylicensing@vermont.gov.

Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Board
Costello Courthouse
32 Cherry Street, Ste. 213
Burlington, VT 05401
Phone: 802-859-3000

Andrew Strauss, Licensing Counsel