Board of Trustees Approves Scaling Plan for Fee Increase: The State Bar Board of Trustees met on May 17th and, among other actions, the Board authorized restructured fee-scaling options to expand reduced or waived licensing fee increases among attorneys whose incomes fall below certain thresholds.
Staff has been authorized to negotiate the details with the legislature as part of the process for setting the licensing fee for 2020. The negotiations will be conducted within the following general framework:
- Scaling thresholds would be based on attorneys’ individual income of approximately $90,000 per year and household income of approximately $200,000 per year.
- Attorneys below the eligibility threshold would be protected from a fee increase, while those at higher incomes would subsidize that protection.
- Attorneys who work for non-profit organizations that provide legal services may also be considered under an expanded fee waiver proposal.
Electronic Monitoring of MCLE Compliance Approved: The Board also authorized a new system for monitoring continuing education compliance, modernizing how the State Bar audits attorney compliance with MCLE requirements. Under the rule change, the State Bar will be able to require MCLE providers to supply attendance records electronically. The new process will be implemented by December 1, 2020.
Accreditation Rules for Online California Accredited Law Schools Approved: At the meeting, the Board also approved a change to the State Bar Accredited Law School Rules that will allow California Accredited Law Schools to request accreditation for law school curricula offered up to 100 percent online.