Frequently Asked Questions About MCLE in Arizona
When is the educational year?
The educational year is July 1 to the following June 30.
How many CLE hours are required?
A total of 15 hours, of which three are professional responsibility. New members/registrants admitted or registered with the Bar during the first half of an educational year (July to December) have a reduced requirement of 10 total hours, of which two are professional responsibility. Members/registrants admitted or registered with the Bar during the second half of an educational year (January to June) have no CLE requirement for that year.
When is the affidavit due?
Unless exempted, the affidavit must be filed by September 15 of each year.
What happens if the requirements are not completed or the affidavit is not filed on time?
CLE can be completed after June 30th, and an affidavit can be filed after September 15th. However, the member/registrant will be subject to late fees as annotated in Rule 45(d), Ariz. R. Sup. Ct. If the MCLE requirements are not met by December 15, summary suspension may result.
What qualifies as a CLE event or program?
Essentially, a CLE event must meet the following criteria to qualify towards MCLE requirements:
- The program must have attorneys as the primary audience, with at least five attorneys present.
- Main goal of the program is to increase the attorney's competence as a lawyer.
- The program must deal with matters directly related to the practice of law, professional responsibility, or ethical obligations of attorneys. For example, a tax attorney taking courses to become a CPA cannot claim that as legal education.
- The program must have an agenda, written materials, and a certificate of completion or attendance.
For online programs, what qualifies for interactive or self-study?
Where the order of presentation or the content of the course material is dependent on the attorney's response and the attorney has an opportunity to respond to prompts initiated by the faculty or placed within the course material, it is considered to be interactive. All of the State Bar's Online Programs are considered interactive. For the definitions of "Interactive CLE" and "Self-Study", refer to MCLE Regulation, 101(G) and 101(L) respectively and MCLE Regulation 104, Standards and Calculation of Hours.
How much credit do attorneys receive for teaching?
If the presentation is accompanied by original written materials prepared, or augmented - the speaker may earn teaching credit as follows:
For the original presentation: First hour of presentation x 6 = total credit hours
Additional hours of presentation x 2 = total credit hours.
If the presentation is not accompanied by original written materials, the speaker earns one credit hour for each hour of presentation.
What is the maximum amount of carry forward hours?
The maximum amount of carry forward hours is 15, of which three are professional responsibility. Carry forward hours do not change classification when they carry forward. For example, self-study credit does not become live interactive credit.
What kind of limitation exists relative to the types of hours acquired?
Self Study - max 5 hours
Teaching - max 10 hours
Writing - max 10 hours
Law School Courses - max 10 hours
Bar Review Course - max 5 hours
If residing in another state, is an Arizona lawyer required to take CLE and file an affidavit for Arizona?
Yes, all out of state attorneys or registrants must file an affidavit. If the Arizona attorney resides in an MCLE jurisdiction in which they are admitted, they comply with that jurisdiction's MCLE requirements. On the affidavit, the attorney will indicate "compliance with XYZ jurisdiction." However, if the Arizona attorney resides out of state but is not admitted in that state, or the state has no MCLE requirement, then the attorney complies with the MCLE requirements of Arizona of at least 15 hours of which 3 of those are professional responsibility.
Does an attorney need to file an affidavit even if they do not practice law?
If an attorney's membership status is active as of June 30th of the educational year, the attorney must complete the requisite amount of hours and file an affidavit. Membership status inquiries should be directed to the State Bar Member Records staff at 602.340.7239.
If subject to COJET, does an affidavit still need to be filed?
Yes. On the affidavit, the attorney will indicate "subject to COJET". If the attorney's membership status with the Bar is "judicial", there is no requirement to file an affidavit.
If member status was changed from "inactive" to "active", are the requirements prorated?
No. Attorneys must meet the 15-hour requirement by June 30th regardless of when the attorney took active status again. Any member or registrant who is active on June 30th of the educational year must meet the entire yearly requirement and file an affidavit.
Where can CLE courses be found?
The State Bar offers CLE at its Publications and Programs page.
Does the State Bar approve CLE?
The State Bar of Arizona does not approve or accredit providers or programs. Rule 45, Ariz. R. Sup. Ct. and the accompanying MCLE Regulations are predicated on the assumption that attorneys can evaluate CLE activities offered based on the guidelines set forth in the Regulations, and report their activities by affidavit. The standards are very broad and many providers and sponsors routinely meet these standards.