Helpful hints for surviving a California State Bar MCLE audit

As we previously posted, the State Bar is strictly enforcing their compliance rules and this year, they have conducted the largest audit to date. Everyone wants to avoid the dreaded audit, but should you be asked to provide proof of your MCLE hours, the Bar has provided some helpful tips that might help make the process a little less painful. You can read their FAQs in their entirety here.

We have highlighted some of the most helpful hints below:

  • If you are unable to find all of your certificates, contact your provider immediately for a copy. If you took one of our MCLE accredited courses, contact Brooke Greene. She will be happy to provide you with your certificate!
  • If you attended a self-study course, you most likely were not given a certificate. Your hours still must be logged on the online summary log, which you can access by logging into your state bar profile. You’ll see a message that states you have been selected for the audit and a link will be provided to access your log. Make sure that the activities you report are approved self-study activities.
  • You may not submit a certificate with someone else’s name on it even if you took the course with that individual. Your certificate must have your name and bar number recorded on it.
  • If you completed more than the mandatory 25 hours in one compliance period, you may not carry those hours over. Do not submit those extra hours for a different compliance period.
  • Do not submit receipts in lieu of certificates. Receipts are not proof of completion and will not be accepted by the State Bar.
  • The State Bar will accept a sign up sheet rather than a certificate only if the attendance record includes the name of the course, course provider, date of activity and the number of MCLE hours given.
  • The deadline to show proof of compliance is stated on your MCLE Audit Notice.  If you fail to submit adequate proof of compliance by the deadline, you will be assessed a $75 penalty for late compliance, and you will receive a Non-Compliance Notice that gives you 60 days to comply.  If you do not submit adequate proof of compliance and pay the late fee within that time period, you will be placed on Not Eligible to Practice status until you submit the required proof of compliance, pay the $75 non-compliance fee, and pay an additional $200 reinstatement fee.
  • County employees are not exempt from MCLE requirements.
  • After your audit is complete, you must keep your certificate from the provider, a record of self-study that includes the title, provider, credit hours and date of each activity, or proof of exempt status for a year pursuant to Rule 2.73.

Do not ignore your audit! You will be fined and, if you continue to ignore the audit, you could potentially be unable to practice. Contact the State Bar’s MCLE Audit Team if you have any questions.

Have you had to endure an MCLE audit?

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