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Proposed | amendments to Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Regulations. Comments due May 1, 2019.

The Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Board seeks comments on proposed amendments to mandatory continuing legal education regulations.

On September 19, 2018 the Supreme Court of Virginia's Committee on Lawyer Well-being released a report entitled “A Profession at Risk.” The report contained a recommendation “to permit the MCLE Board to authorize MCLE attendance and teaching credit to active members of the VSB who, on a volunteer, non-compensated basis, prepare approved written materials for, or present approved instruction to, judges or law students regarding professional health initiatives.” Additionally, amendments are being made to bring consistency and uniformity to language regarding ‘lawyer well-being.’ On March 11, 2019, the MCLE Board tentatively approved the proposed amendments.

Anyone wishing to submit written comments may do so by emailing mcle@vsb.org or mailing the Virginia State Bar at: Attn: MCLE, 1111 E. Main Street, Ste. 700, Richmond, VA 23219-0026.

Written comments must include the name and address of the commenter. To be considered, comments must be received by May 1, 2019.

The proposed amendments are as follows. Underlined text is new language and strikethrough text indicates text being removed from the regulations.  

Regulation 101
Definitions

A “qualified wellness and professional health initiatives course or component” is a clearly identified segment of a course or program which meets the requirements of Regulation 103(c)2 and is devoted to one or more topics designed to educate and encourage lawyers, law students, and judges to recognize that the personal health and wellness of legal professionals are inseparable from the duty of such professionals to provide competent services to the public and ensure its protection. Such a segment must be appropriately described or entitled in the course materials and must have a defined duration in the course or program schedule.

Regulation 102
Requirements and Computations

(b) Credit will be given to a member who personally attends an approved course and to a member who prepares written materials for an approved course and to a member who personally participates as an instructor for such course. Credit in the area of legal ethics or professionalism will be given to a member who attends a course approved for credit in such area and to a member who personally prepares materials for a qualified ethics or professionalism component of such course and to a member who personally participates as an instructor for such a component. Credit will be given to a member who personally prepares written materials for a qualified course on a volunteer non-compensated basis concerning lawyer well-being initiatives and to a member who personally participates as an instructor for such courses given to judges or law students on a volunteer non-compensated basis.

Regulation 102
Requirements and Computations

(c) The course must pertain to a recognized legal subject or other subject matter which integrally relates to the practice of law, or to the professional responsibility or ethical obligations of the participants.

(2) A course which addresses substance abuse, stress management, or work/life balance issues promotes lawyer well-being issues may be approved if the topics relate to the practice of law and the quality of legal services rendered to the public  so long as other requirements applicable to all CLE programs are met. Such lawyer well-being programs must be clearly and primarily designed, directed to, and intended for attorneys, not a general audience. A course designed to educate judges and law students regarding the need for well-being in the legal and judicial environment and how to achieve that well-being will also satisfy the standards for approval under this regulation.

Updated: March 27, 2019