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This Love – Hate Relationship is Heating Up!

Posted By John L. Mlnarik, Monday, June 8, 2015

by John L. Mlnarik
The Mlnarik Law Group, Inc.
2015 SCCBA President

The California State Bar has put out for public comment a proposal to increase MCLE hours from 25 to 36 with a requirement that 12 of the hours be relevant to a member’s practice area. You have until June 25th to let your voice be heard. As your bar president and resident nerd who enjoys “going to class” I’m all for the increase but recognize that not all members share my sentiment.

A handful of my fellow lawyers wait until the last minute to satisfy the existing requirement when their reporting period rolls around every 36 months. Some even profess to be proud of their “accomplishment”.  Having gone nearly three years without doing ANYTHING they spend a few days or maybe even a week fitting everything in. Something tells me they won’t be too thrilled about the increase.

The majority of the lawyers I like to “hang” with have more than enough when the reporting period rolls around.  Many of us see one another at Bar functions, in meetings, conferences or conventions, what sometimes seems like every other day. I think it is safe to say that when it comes to MCLE hours some lawyers love them and some lawyers HATE them.

So to those who struggle I say, write a nasty letter as part of the public comment period to get things out of your system. Maybe you send it, maybe you don’t. But when you’re done come join us at the SCCBA for a brown bag. Because you’ve got to eat anyway and sometimes learning can be contagious.

Or an even better idea, given the new 12 hour relevancy requirement, might be to join a section and commit to involvement with its executive committee. Nothing sheds light on things more than seeing how much fun everyone has planning MCLE events.

Finally, if you love to hate the MCLE requirement and the state bar really is going to hold you to these new hours you’d better start keeping track of them. There’s no better way to do it than on the “my CLE manager” section of your profile on the SCCBA Website

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