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ISBA House of Delegates Passes Resolution on Diversity, Mental Health Education Requirements

Last updated on Thursday, October 11, 2018

(FRENCH LICK) - The Indiana State Bar Association House of Delegates approved a resolution Wednesday that encourages the state Supreme Court to require diversity and substance use disorder education as part of an attorney’s required continuing training.

The resolution, which passed by a 73-51 margin during the opening day of ISBA's Annual Meeting at the French Lick Resort, seeks to have Indiana's Minimum Continuing Legal Education (CLE) requirements mirror those proposed as a model rule by the American Bar Association in February. Those rules would require that of a lawyer's minimum required 36 hours of CLE every three years, one hour be devoted to diversity and inclusion and one hour is devoted to mental health and substance use disorders. Currently, three hours must be ethics and professional responsibility education.

"It is time for us to positively change the conversation on diversity and inclusion in our profession as well as educate Indiana attorneys on mental health and substance abuse disorders that impact our very own lawyers," the resolution states. "We believe that adopting this resolution is important in reaching these goals."

While the House of Delegates approved the resolution, any rule change to CLE would have to be made by the Indiana Supreme Court. By passing the proposal, the House of Delegates authorizes ISBA officers to "take such other and further action as may be necessary to implement this resolution."

Currently, four states - California, Illinois, Minnesota and New York - require diversity education as part of its CLE, while several states, including California and Illinois, require substance use disorder education.

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