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Membership

Mandatory Course

IMPORTANT NOTE: 

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



NOTICE: 

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 now offers an on-demand, online video presentation of the Course. The on-demand version replaced the in-person presentations given since the Course’s implementation in 1994. Two in-person presentations of the Course also will be held to coincide with the twice-yearly in-person swearing-in ceremonies at the D.C. Court of Appeals. To comply with the D.C. Court of Appeals Rules Governing the Bar, recent admittees must complete the Mandatory Course within 12 months from the month of their swearing-in date. Admittees who do not complete the Course within that 12-month compliance period will be sent a Notice of Noncompliance, after which they will have a 60-day grace period in which to complete the Course or face administrative suspension.

The D.C. Court of Appeals Rules Governing the Bar (Rule II) and the D.C. Bar By-laws are found here (Requirements for new admittees are found in Article IV of the D.C. Bar By-Laws. For all other members, please refer to Article III of the D.C. Bar By-Laws.)

Note: New members must be sworn in to the D.C. Bar before they may take 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 as an on-demand, online presentation. It also offered twice per year, in person, to coincide with the in-person swearing-in ceremonies at the D.C. Court of Appeals.

  • The Mandatory Course is a requirement of the D.C. Court of Appeals and must completed within 12 months after the month in which the member is sworn in. [E.g., if a member’s swearing-in date was September 15, 2018, he/she will be in compliance if the Course is completed by September 30, 2019.]
  • A member who has not complied by the 12-month deadline is sent a Notice of Noncompliance and is given a 60-day grace period in which to comply. Administrative suspension occurs if the Course is not completed by the last day of the 14th month after the month in which the member was sworn in. [E.g., if a member’s swearing-in date was September 15, 2018, he/she will be administratively suspended for failure to complete the Course on November 30, 2019.]
  • Active and Inactive members must complete the Mandatory Course.
  • 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)

      • Must be completed within 12 months of admission to be in compliance with the Court Rule
      • Failure to comply within 14 months of admission 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

    6. Any member who has held any combination statuses other than Active (Inactive, Judicial, Inactive/Retired, Suspended) for 5 years or more

    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 administrative suspension, engaging in the practice of law in the District of Columbia is prohibited

    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.

    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 to access 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 by email to [email protected]. Deadline for receipt of request is at least three business days before registration for the Course

    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. 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.