The Journal of The DuPage County Bar Association

Illinois Rules for MCLE Credit for Writing Legal Articles (from www.mcleboard.org)

As stated in Rule 795(d)(7), the activity of "writing law books and law review articles" qualifies for CLE credit. Law books include legal textbooks, casebooks, treatises and other scholarly legal books. (See Below)

An attorney can earn credit for writing law-related articles in responsible legal journals or other recognized legal sources that deal primarily with matters related to the practice of law. Published articles, including those published in bar association and professional organization journals, quarterlies and newsletters also qualify if the topic is substantive and deals with the practice of law. Published articles that focus on an organization's internal matters, fundraising efforts or social opportunities do not earn CLE credit.

An attorney can earn also credit for writing law-related articles in responsible legal journals or other recognized legal sources that deal primarily with matters related to professionalism, diversity issues, mental illness and addiction issues, civility or ethical obligations of attorneys. If an attorney wants to claim professional responsibility credit for writing an article, the attorney must obtain approval of those credits from the Commission on Professionalism. The Commission's web site is www.ilsccp.org and its email address is mail@ilsccp.org.

For law books and law-related articles, the attorney can earn credit within any two-year reporting period only if the work was published during that particular reporting period, regardless of when the work was written.

Republication of an article does not earn additional CLE credit for the attorney unless the author made substantial revisions or additions. An attorney may earn credit toward CLE  requirements for the actual number of hours spent researching and writing, but the maximum number of credits that may be earned during any two-year reporting period on a single publication is half the maximum CLE hours required for that reporting period. To receive CLE credit, the attorney needs to maintain contemporaneous records evincing the number of hours spent on a publication.

Legal scholarship is a nontraditional CLE activity. Attorneys must pay a $20.00 flat fee when reporting credits obtained by participating in nontraditional courses or activities.

Rule 795

(d) (7) Legal Scholarship. Writing law books and law review articles, subject to the following:

(i) An attorney may earn credit for legal textbooks, casebooks, treatises and other scholarly legal books written by the attorney that are published during the two-year reporting period.

(ii) An attorney may earn credit for writing law-related articles in responsible legal journals or other legal sources, published during the two-year reporting period, that deal primarily with matters related to the practice of law, professionalism, diversity issues, mental illness and addiction issues, civility, or ethical obligations of attorneys. Republication of any article shall receive no additional CLE credits unless the author made substantial revisions or additions.

(iii) An attorney may earn credit towards MCLE requirements for the actual number of hours spent researching and writing, but the maximum number of credits that may be earned during any two-year reporting period on a single publication shall be half the maximum CLE hours required by Rule 794(a) and (d). Credit is accrued when the eligible book or article is published, regardless whether the work in question was performed in the then-current two-year reporting period. To receive CLE credit, the attorney shall maintain contemporaneous records evincing the number of hours spent on a publication.

 
 
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