Mandatory Continuing Legal Education

As you all probably know by now, Illinois for the first time will require mandatory legal education for all attorneys. What does this mean to you: you will need to attend 20 hours of CLE at seminars that are accredited for MCLE purposes. The Executive Board attempted to negotiate with the Public Defender to formulate a plan through which the Office would provide enough accredited in-house training to satisfy the 20-hour requirement. Without such a plan, assistant public defenders would be left to pay for accredited courses out of our own pockets. The Public Defender refused to work with the Executive Board to formulate such a plan, and further indicated that the Office was not seeking the certified provider status that would permit the Office to provide free CLE course to us in-house.

As of November 15, dozens of legal organizations across the state have successfully applied for certified provider status, allowing the organization to provide free in-house training for attorneys. Among the certified providers are the Cook County State’s Attorney Office, the Illinois Attorney General Office, and many bar associations across the state. Unfortunately, our Office has yet to seek or obtain certified provider status.

The Executive Board will continue to negotiate with the Public Defender to obtain a meaningful plan that would avoid us all having to pay for this required training. If the Public Defender does not agree to a plan that accomplishes this goal, the Executive Board will seek ways to accomplish this goal independently. We will keep you updated on this important issue, and seek your input should the Board need to act independently.

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