- Who are required to comply with the MCLE requirement?
- Who are exempted from the MCLE requirement?
- What is the requirement for completion of MCLE?
- What constitutes non-compliance?
- What happens when a lawyer fails to complete the education/credit unit requirements within the compliance period?
- What is the consequence of non-compliance?
- What are the MCLE compliance periods?
- What is the rule on new bar passers?
- What subjects do Lawyers need to comply with only 24 units?
- What is the requirement of indicating MCLE compliance in pleadings?
MCLE is required of members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), unless exempted. (Bar Matter No. 850, as revised)
- The President and the Vice President of the Philippines, and the Secretaries and Undersecretaries of Executive Departments;
- Senators and Members of the House of Representatives;
- The Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, incumbent and retired members of the judiciary, incumbent members of the Judicial and Bar Council and incumbent court lawyers covered by the Philippine Judicial Academy program of continuing judicial education;
- The Chief State Counsel, Chief State Prosecutor and Assistant Secretaries of the Department of Justice;
- The Solicitor General and the Assistant Solicitors General;
- The Government Corporate Counsel, Deputy and Assistant Government Corporate Counsel;
- The Chairmen and Members of the Constitutional Commissions;
- The Ombudsman, the Overall Deputy Ombudsman, the Deputy Ombudsman and the Special Prosecutor of the Office of the Ombudsman;
- Heads of government agencies exercising quasi-judicial functions;
- Incumbent deans, bar reviewers and professors of law who have teaching experience for at least ten (10) years in accredited law schools;
- The Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and members of the Corps of Professors and Professorial Lecturers of the Philippine Judicial Academy; and
- Governors and Mayors;
- Those who are not in law practice, private or public.
- Those who have retired from law practice with the approval of the IBP Board of Governors.
- Those exempted for good cause (such as physical disability, illness, post graduate study abroad, proven expertise in law, etc.), subject to the rules and procedure established by the MCLE Committee (Bar Matter No. 850, as revised)
All lawyers not exempted shall complete the following thirty-six (36) hours of MCLE subjects every three (3) years:
|Legal Ethics||6 hours/credit units|
|Trial and Pretrial Skills||4 hours/credit units|
|Alternative Dispute Resolution||5 hours/credit units|
|Updates on Substantive and Procedural Law and Jurisprudence||9 hours/credit units|
|Legal Writing and Oral Advocacy||4 hours/credit units|
|International Law and International Conventions||2 hours/credit units|
|MCLE Prescribed Subjects||6 hours/credit units|
- Failure to complete the education requirement within the compliance period;
- Failure to provide attestation of compliance or exemption;
- Failure to provide satisfactory evidence of compliance (including evidence of exempt status) within the prescribed period;
- Failure to satisfy the education requirement and furnish evidence of such compliance within sixty (60) days from receipt of non-compliance notice;
- Failure to pay non-compliance fee within the prescribed period;
- Any other act or omission analogous to any of the foregoing or intended to circumvent or evade compliance with the MCLE requirements.
What happens when a lawyer fails to complete the education/credit unit requirements within the compliance period?
Lawyers failing to comply will receive a Non-Compliance Notice stating the specific deficiency and will be given sixty (60) days from the date of notification to attain the adequate number of credit units for compliance. Credit units earned during this period may only be counted toward compliance with the prior compliance period requirement unless units in excess of the requirement are earned, in which case the excess may be counted toward meeting the current compliance period requirement.
A lawyer who, for whatever reason, is in non-compliance at the end of the compliance period shall pay a non-compliance fee.
Further, if he fails to comply with the requirements after the sixty (60) day period for compliance has expired, he shall be listed as a delinquent member of the IBP and shall not be permitted to practice law. An investigation of a member for non-compliance shall be conducted by the IBP’s Commission on Bar Discipline as a fact-finding arm of the MCLE Committee.
- 1st Compliance Period: April 15, 2001 up to April 14, 2004
- 2nd Compliance Period: April 15, 2004 up to April 14, 2007
- 3rd Compliance Period: April 15, 2007 up to April 14, 2010
- 4th Compliance Period: April 15, 2010 up to April 14, 2013
All lawyers are now required to complete the 4th MCLE compliance until April 14, 2013.
MCLE Governing Board Order No. 1, s. 2008, provides:
“. . . lawyers who pass the Bar when only four (4) months or less remain of the compliance period, are exempted from complying with the MCLE requirement for the said compliance period. They shall comply with the MCLE requirements for the next compliance period.
However, lawyers who are admitted to the Bar either one (1) year after the start of the current compliance period, or two (2) years after the start of the said compliance period, are required to comply with the MCLE requirements in accordance with the MCLE Governing Board resolution dated October 20, 2004, i.e. those admitted one year after the start of the current compliance period must comply with two-thirds (2/3) if the credit units required (24 c.u.) for that period; while those admitted two (2) years after the start of the compliance period should comply with one-third (1/3) of the required credit unit (12 c.u.)”ho needs to comply with only 12 or 24 units may not take any subject that he chooses.
Those who need to comply with only 12 units must take the following subjects:
- Prescribed Subjects (any) – 3 units
- Legal Ethics – 2 units
- Alternative Dispute Resolution – 4 units
- Trial and Pre-Trial Skills – 3 units
- Substantive Law – 6 units
- Prescribed Subjects (any) – 4 units
- Legal Ethics – 4 units
- Alternative Dispute Resolution – 3 units
- Legal Writing and Oral Advocacy – 3 units
- Trial and Pre-Trial Skills – 3 units
- International Law – 1 unit
As of January 1, 2009, all lawyers are required to indicate the number and date of issue of their MCLE Certificate of Compliance. Failure to indicate such will result to the dismissal of the case and the expunction of the pleadings from the records. (Bar Matter No. 1922, as amended)