Foreign Practitioners: Attorneys From Other Jurisdictions

Rule 3:04 allows attorneys from other jurisdictions who are engaged in certain graduate law studies or programs of legal assistance to engage in a limited practice before the courts of the Commonwealth. Permission to appear under this Rule is effective upon the foreign attorney filing with Supreme Judicial Court for The County of Suffolk Clerk's office a certificate(s) of any such court of another jurisdiction(s) certifying that the attorney is a member in good standing at the bar of that court and a statement signed by a representative of the organized legal services program that the attorney is currently associated with.

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. What do I need to file with Supreme Judicial Court for The County of Suffolk to practice as a foreign practitioner?

You must file the following:

  • A statement from a representative of the organization that you are associated with
  • A Certificate(s) of Admission and Good Standing from the jurisdiction(s) you are a member of

2. How long is the process to become a foreign practitioner?

Your status as a foreign practitioner becomes effective upon filing the requisite materials with this office.

3. When will I receive my Foreign Practitioners Registration Number?

Within two weeks of filing the information with this office, your information will be sent to the Board of Bar Overseers. The Board of Bar Overseers will send you your required registration materials.

4. How long am I able to engage in practice as a foreign practitioner?

In no event shall an attorney engage in practice under this rule for more than two years. See Paragraph (2) of SJC Rule 3:04.

Foreign Legal Consultants

Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:05 allows attorneys from foreign countries to apply to be licensed to practice as a foreign legal consultant in this Commonwealth.

Although this Rule allows a Scope of Practice with limitations to those foreign attorneys who are granted the license to practice as a foreign legal consultant, it does not allow those licensed foreign legal consultants to engage in the practice of case law in Massachusetts. This Rule does not apply to attorneys seeking to appear by permission of a court pursuant to Massachusetts General Law chapter 221, section 46A (pro hac vice).

Instructions and Application Relating to Licensure of Foreign Legal Consultants pdf format of Massachusetts Licensing of Foreign Legal Consultants 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What qualifications do I need to be licensed as a foreign legal consultant?

See General Qualifications of SJC Rule 3:05, sec. 1.2

2. What kind of practice can I engage in as a foreign legal consultant?

See scope of practice of Rule 3:05..

3. How can I obtain an application to be licensed as a foreign legal consultant?

There are three different procedures for obtaining an application:

4. What is the fee?  

The fee is a non-refundable bank check or money order made payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for $510.00. This office will not accept personal checks.  

5. What documents must be submitted with this application?

  • Your application with its attachments must be submitted in duplicate  
  • $510.00 filing fee in the form of a money order or bank check
  • Certificate(s) from the highest jurisdiction(s) in which you are an admitted member in good standing, along with the English translation of the document(s)
  • A letter of recommendation from a member of the bar in which you are a member (if applicable, an English translation of the recommendation)
  • One (1) Affidavit from a Massachusetts attorney stating your good moral character and fitness
  • Two (2) Affidavits from residents of Massachusetts also stating your good moral character and fitness
  • Other evidence as to the nature and extent of your educational and professional qualifications, good moral character and general fitness

All materials must be submitted in duplicate attached to the application and sent to the following address:

Maura S. Doyle, Clerk
Supreme Judicial Court for The County of Suffolk 
John Adams Courthouse, 1st Floor
One Pemberton Square, Suite 1300 
Boston, MA 02108-1707

6. What should the letters of recommendation include?

For more information, please see the application and instructions pdf format of Massachusetts Licensing of Foreign Legal Consultants 

7. How long is the application process?

The entire application process can take 4 to 6 months.

8. When will I be licensed as a Foreign Legal Consultant?

After the Board of Bar Examiners finds you qualified to be licensed and recommends your licensing to the court, you must  be administered the official Massachusetts Foreign Legal Consultants Oath and file the required Agent for Service of Process form with this court.

You will be notified of your qualification to be licensed. At that time you may email the Clerk's Office, to schedule a date and time to have the aath administered to you and to obtain the required Agent for Service of Process information.

Board of Bar Examiners Contact Information

Edward W. Brooke Courthouse
24 New Chardon Street, First Floor
Boston, MA 02114
Phone: 617-482-4466
Fax: 617-542-5943

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