Frequently Asked Questions
FAQs — MCLE
What is MCLE?
“MCLE” stands for Mandatory Continuing Legal Education. The State Bar of Texas created the MCLE for attorneys since they are required to maintain their continuing legal education on an annual basis in order to keep their law license active. The MCLE Department of the State Bar of Texas will review continuing education programs for “MCLE approval” for CLE events that meets their criteria. One important criterion is the continuing education seminar, for review, must be marketed primarily to attorneys.
What are MCLE approved CLE courses?
MCLE approved courses are those courses approved by the MCLE Department of the State Bar of Texas. To be approved for MCLE credit the course must be targeted primarily to attorneys however, paralegals may attend these seminars to obtain continuing legal education. In addition, the seminars must be substantive legal educational topics to be approved for MCLE credit. The Paralegal Division may sponsor a few CLE courses which are marketed to attorneys and paralegals for which MCLE credit has been requested and approved by the MCLE Department of the State Bar of Texas, but not all Paralegal Division courses are MCLE approved.
Since paralegals may also attend MCLE approved courses they too can receive the same CLE credit which attorneys receive. If the paralegal turns in the completed scantron form to the State Bar of Texas MCLE staff onsite at the seminar, then the MCLE staff records their attendance at the CLE course by entering that information into the State Bar of Texas computer system.
You will only receive MCLE approved CLE credits if you have attended one of those courses and turned in the scantron form. If you do not know if the course is MCLE approved, please contact the sponsor of the seminar. All CLE events (including some of those sponsored by the Paralegal Division) approved by the MCLE Department will have the scantron cards available at the seminar.
How are the MCLE records posted to my member record on the Paralegal Division website Membership Directory?
Each week the Paralegal Division downloads the members’ MCLE records directly from State Bar of Texas via a connection to its website. The MCLE records are then uploaded to the members’ records on the Division’s website and are available for viewing by the members of the Paralegal Division through their record on the PD website Membership Directory (accessed via the member’s only area).
How often is my MCLE record updated?
The State Bar of Texas makes the MCLE records available to be accessed by the Paralegal Division at the beginning of each week. If you do not see a recent course that you have attended on your record, you must contact the MCLE Department of the State Bar of Texas by calling Deborah Stehling at 800-204-2222, ext. 1880, or 512-427-1880. Ms. Stehling is the person who can affect revisions to your MCLE record. The Paralegal Division does not have any information to answer your questions regarding your MCLE courses.
What do I do if my MCLE approved courses are not correctly posted?
You must contact Deborah Stehling of the MCLE Department of the State Bar of Texas to request a revision to your MCLE records. Ms. Stehling can be reached at 800-204-2222, ext. 1880, or 512-427-1880. The records will be updated within approximately two weeks after your revisions are submitted to the State Bar of Texas MCLE Department.
How many years of MCLE courses are posted to my record?
The State Bar of Texas will retain six years of courses to your MCLE record.
Why are the CLE hours from my attendance at the Texas Advanced Paralegal Seminar (TAPS), or my former attendance at Legal Assistants University (LAU), not posted to my CLE record?
The Texas Advanced Paralegal Seminar (TAPS), formerly known as Legal Assistants University (LAU), is not approved by the MCLE Department of the State Bar of Texas because it is marketed to paralegals (not attorneys). Therefore, the attendance at TAPS or LAU will not appear on your attendance record. The Paralegal Division does NOT post any CLE hours to your personal CLE record. Each member of the Paralegal Division is responsible for posting their attendance at non-MCLE approved CLE courses to their personal CLE record. This record has been made available to Paralegal Division members for the purpose of allowing each member to have a personal repository for maintaining their CLE record.
Why does the Paralegal Division not post any of my CLE hours from courses I have attended?
The Paralegal Division does NOT post any CLE hours to your personal CLE record. The Paralegal Division does not have the support staff nor does it have access to CLE courses which have been attended by each member in order to post the attendance. Each member of the Paralegal Division is responsible for posting their attendance to CLE courses that have not been approved by the MCLE Department of the State Bar of Texas. The listing of CLE information on members’ records has been made available as a benefit Paralegal Division members for the sole purpose of allowing each member to have a personal repository for maintaining their CLE records.
Why are not all CLE courses that I attend, such as TAPS or local association seminars, not MCLE approved?
TAPS is not MCLE approved because it is only marketed to paralegals as an advanced paralegal seminar. It is not marketed to attorneys. Only courses that are marketed primarily to attorneys can be approved by the MCLE Department of the State Bar of Texas. The same may be true for your local association if the seminar is only marketed to paralegals.
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.
“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.