Mandatory Course


The Mandatory Course is now offered as an on-demand, online video presentation. Please click here to purchase the on-demand mandatory course.


The Mandatory Course on the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct and D.C. Practice is administered by the D.C. Bar’s Continuing Legal Education Program.  The CLE Program is developing an on-demand version of the Course that will fulfill the post-admission requirement; it will be available starting in September 2019.  The on-demand version will replace the in-person and simultaneous webinar options currently available, except for instances where the D.C. Bar will hold the Course in-person to coincide with the D.C. Court of Appeals’ in-person swearing-in ceremonies. 

Please note that recent admittees must still complete the Mandatory Course by the one-year anniversary of the month of their swearing-in date, to be in compliance with the Course requirement. Recent admittees may not wait until September to take the on-demand version if their compliance period requires that they complete the Course by August 2019.  Please check back for more information about the upcoming availability of the on-demand version of the Mandatory Course.

A. Who must take the Mandatory Course?
B. Consequences of Noncompliance
C. Curriculum
D. Special Accommodations
E. MCLE Credit

The Mandatory Course on the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct and D.C. Practice is administered by the D.C. Bar once per month.

  • The Mandatory Course is a requirement of the D.C. Court of Appeals to be completed after swearing-in (either in-person or in-absentia)
  • The Mandatory Course is offered once each month.  In July and December, we offer the Mandatory Course the day after the in-person swearing-in ceremonies by the D.C. Court of Appeals
  • A member can complete the Mandatory Course requirement either by attending an in-person session or viewing the live-stream webcast
  • Noncompliance results in suspension
  • Active and inactive members must complete the Mandatory Course within 12 months of admission

A. Who must take the Mandatory Course?

There are strict guidelines about who must complete the Mandatory Course.

1. All new admittees to the D.C. Bar (Active and Inactive)

    • Suggested that members attend within first 6 months of admission
    • Must be completed within 12 months of admission
    • Failure to comply will result in administrative suspension

2. Certain Inactive members switching to Active status

    • Holding an Inactive status for 5 years or more and wishing to switch status to Active

3. Certain Suspended members

    • Holding a Suspended status for 5 years or more

4. Certain Resigned and Retired members

    • Holding a Resigned or Retired status for 5 years or more and wishing to reinstate to Active status

5. Judicial members switching to Active status

    • Any member who has held any combination of non-Active statuses for 5 years or more

If you have previously completed the Mandatory Course but are required to take it again as stipulated by the guidelines above, you may qualify for Refresher Compliance. To qualify, you must be in good standing. You will be required to submit statements containing your disciplinary history from all jurisdictions to which you are admitted.   Please email the Mandatory Compliance Office at [email protected] or call (202) 737-4700 Ext. 2020 to learn if you are eligible and how to apply.

Attorneys in good standing may, in cases of extreme hardship only, request that the Mandatory Course requirement be completed via Alternative Compliance.

B. Consequences of Noncompliance

What happens if I do not complete the Mandatory Course before the deadline?

  • Suspension from practice of law in the District of Columbia
  • Notice of administrative suspension is sent to the Courts of the District of Columbia
  • You must notify your clients of your suspension
  • You must withdraw your representation in any cases filed in the D.C. Courts
  • If you reinstate, you must pay a reinstatement fee
  • Administrative suspensions become a permanent part of your membership record
  • During the period of suspension, any practice of the law would be unauthorized.

C. Curriculum

While the curriculum may vary slightly for each session, it includes:  

  • D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct 
  • District of Columbia System for Regulation of Attorney Conduct 
  • How to Fulfill Pro Bono Obligations 
  • District of Columbia Court Practice 
  • D.C. Bar Non-Disciplinary Regulatory Programs 
  • District of Columbia Administrative Practice 

You must attend or view the Course in full to receive a certification of completion. In cases of extreme hardship, attorneys in good standing may seek alternative compliance to the course. 

D. Special Accommodations

Pursuant to applicable law, any individual with a disability or any other individual who requires reasonable accommodations as required by individual circumstances (e.g., special dietary needs, nursing mothers, etc.) to attend the Mandatory Course, may request assistance by submitting a written statement to the D.C. Bar, ATTN: Mandatory Course Accommodations, 901 4th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001, or emailed to [email protected]. Deadline for receipt of request is at least three business days before the course date. 

If the member is in good standing, and an in-person attendance or live-streamed video of the Mandatory Course would be an extreme hardship, please contact the Mandatory Course Compliance Office to gain more information about Alternative Compliance at 202-737-4700 ext. 2020 or send an email to [email protected]

E. MCLE Credit

If you are seeking MCLE credit in any jurisdiction, please bring your state(s) attorney registration number(s)/bar number(s) to the Mandatory Course.  

This course has been approved for 4.0 total CLE credit hours, including 3.0 legal ethics credits. These hours are calculated on a 60-minute hour. Breaks have already been deducted from the time.  

The D.C. Bar CLE Program is an accredited or approved sponsor in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. All Mandatory Course sessions qualify for credit in New York. The D.C. Bar will apply for credit for individual courses in other states, including Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, and Wyoming. 

The Mandatory Course satisfies MCLE requirements in Alaska, Arizona, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, and New Hampshire, but attorneys must apply individually for credit for courses and submit accreditation fees, if any, directly to these states. 

*Note: New members must be sworn-in to the D.C. Bar before they may take the Mandatory Course.