For motivated individuals, “good enough” is never enough; it is always possible to do more or to continue improving. This type of person is often a “lifelong learner,” as he or she constantly looks for new opportunities to hone a skill and increase his or her knowledge base. In certain professions, lifelong learning is not just expected; it is mandatory for maintaining certifications and licensing. In the state of Illinois, attorneys, along with teachers, doctors, and even cosmetologists and hairdressers are required by the state to complete a certain number of “continuing education” hours so that they can remain at the forefront of their respective fields.
Minimum CLE Requirements
In 2005, the Illinois Supreme Court created the Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) Board to oversee continuing legal education (CLE) requirements for practicing attorneys in the state. While the rules are a little different for newly-licensed attorneys, lawyers who have been in the profession for more than two years must take a minimum of 30 CLE hours in each two-year reporting period. Six of those of hours must be in areas categorized as Professional Responsibility CLE, including professionalism, civility, ethics, diversity, mental illness, and addiction.