Defining the Rules: Missouri Introduces an Elimination of Bias CLE Requirement
As of November 15, 2019, Missouri requires attorneys to complete three (3) Ethics credits every year, one (1) of which must cover topics addressing Cultural Competency, Diversity, Inclusion, or Implicit Bias. Both regular Ethics credits and Elimination of Bias credits must be taken in a live format, which includes live webcasts.
What is the Elimination of Bias Requirement?
Programs approved for the Elimination of Bias Ethics subtype must focus on issues of diversity, cultural competency, and implicit bias in the legal profession and in the practice of law. This means that Elimination of Bias credit will not be available for programs focusing on the substantive law of illegal discrimination unless it directly addresses how illegal discrimination transpires within the legal profession - i.e. between lawyers and their colleagues, law firms and their employees, and between lawyers and judges in court.
What Kind of Programs will Fulfill the Missouri Elimination of Bias Requirement?
Programs that help attorneys identify and overcome their implicit biases, build cultural competency, and appreciate the importance of diversity and inclusion within the legal profession will qualify for the Elimination of Bias subtype of the Ethics requirement. This means identifying the difficulties diverse attorneys face in the profession, developing concrete strategies to retain diverse attorneys in law firms, ameliorate the discrimination and bias they face in the workplace and the courtroom, and improve diversity in legal settings. Programs that solely address cultural competency and implicit bias towards clients will not be approved for Elimination of Bias credit.
Check out all the upcoming webcasts that count towards the Missouri Elimination of Bias Requirement here.
As always, Missouri attorneys can fulfill their entire credit requirement with their Lawline subscription, with over 1,000 courses to choose from.
**Note: While Missouri’s CLE deadline is usually June 30, the 2020 deadline has been extended to September 30 due to the Coronavirus pandemic. All credits should be reported by October 31, but late fees will not be assessed if all courses are completed and reported prior to December 31, 2020.