Mandatory Course

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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.

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 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 Bylaws are found here (Requirements for new admittees are found in Article IV of the D.C. Bar Bylaws. For all other members, please refer to Article III of the D.C. Bar Bylaws.)

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

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 is 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 end of the 12th month after the month of admission is sent a Notice of Noncompliance and is given a 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 of admission. [E.g., if a member’s swearing-in/admission date was September 15, 2018, he/she will be administratively suspended for failure to complete the Course by November 30, 2019.]​
  • Active and Inactive members must complete the Mandatory Course.

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
  1. Certain Inactive members switching to Active status
    • Holding an Inactive status for five years or more and wishing to switch status to Active
  1. Certain Suspended members
    • Holding a Suspended status for five years or more
  1. Certain Resigned and Retired members
    • Holding a Resigned or Retired status for five years or more and wishing to reinstate to Active status
  1. Judicial members switching to Active status
  1. Any member who has held any combination statuses other than Active (Inactive, Judicial, Inactive/Retired, Suspended) for five years or more

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

  • 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

What is the curriculum of the Mandatory Course?

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.

Do you have special accommodations for individuals with disabilities?

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.

The Mandatory Course is currently offered as an on-demand video that is divided into three modules that range in length from one to two hours. Members can view all three modules in one sitting or view each one at a different time as long as it is completed within the compliance period. For compliance purposes, there will be randomly displayed codes that attendees will have to capture and provide at the conclusion of the course. For hearing impaired members, we offer closed captioning. For visually impaired members, in lieu of capturing the codes, they will be required to provide a short narrative of each module. For more information, please contact the CLE Program.

What is the MCLE accreditation of the Mandatory Course?

The on-demand Mandatory Course has been approved for 4.0 total CLE credit hours, including 3.0 legal ethics credits.

The in-person Mandatory Course has been approved for 5.0 total CLE credit hours, including 3.5 legal ethics credits.

Please submit your state’s attorney registration/bar number when you access the on-demand Mandatory Course within your D.C. Bar account.

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