What is the difference in “MCLE” and “CLE” courses?

MCLE stands for “Mandatory Continuing Legal Education” and is a compliance issue for attorneys who practice in the State of Texas. This is a term used by the State Bar of Texas for those courses that have been approved for MCLE credit for attorneys. Paralegals may attend these courses to obtain CLE credit.

“CLE” is a general term that means “continuing legal education.”  For instance, a paralegal may obtain CLE hours by attending TAPS, local association CLE seminars or meetings, attorney seminars, in-house CLE, self-study hours, online CLE courses, and courses sponsored by other local or bar associations, etc. CLE may be acquired in a number of different formats. CLE is also a requirement to maintain certification or registration credentials (i.e. Texas Board of Legal Specialization, National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc., National Federation of Paralegal Associations, or others), as well as a requirement for Active and Associate membership in the Paralegal Division. Local paralegal associations may also have a CLE requirement.