General Information

  • An attorney of the highest judicial court of any state, district or territory of the United States or a person who graduated from a law school in Canada, and who has been admitted as an attorney in the Law Society of any Canadian province or territory, may apply to the Supreme Judicial Court for admission on motion as an attorney in this Commonwealth provided that the minimum requirements set forth under Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:01 Admission on Motion.
  • Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:01, §6 and the Rules of the Board of Bar Examiners detail the requirements for Admission by Motion.
  • The Board of Bar Examiners will decline to waive the bar examination if it is not satisfied that you have been engaged in the practice or teaching of law to an extent and in a matter which fulfills the requirements of § 6.1.2. The Board requires proof that you have been actively engaged in the practice of law for a minimum of five of the seven years in any state, district, or territory of the United States immediately preceding the filing of the petition.
  •  Foreign educated attorneys must obtain a determination of their educational sufficiency, pursuant to Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:01 §6.2, and Board of Bar Examiners Rule VI, prior to filing a petition for Admission by Motion.
  • The fees associated with filing a petition for admission are non-refundable.
  • Questions regarding eligibility must be addressed in writing to the Executive Director of the Board of Bar Examiners before filing a petition. Letter of Inquiry regarding Admission by Motion (updated) pdf format of Letters of Inquiry regarding Admission on Motion

Process for Admission by Motion

The Admission by Motion process may take up to  six (6) months to complete upon filing your complete and accurate Motion Petition, with all required documents. Motion Petitions that are filed erroneously or incomplete will take longer to process. The Court will conduct a preliminary review of your filing. After this review, if your Petition meets the filing requirements, the Court will forward your Petition for Admission by Motion to the Board of Bar Examiners (BBE) for further review.

Following an extended review by the BBE, provided your Petition is complete and accurate, the BBE will notify you of when to complete and submit the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) Request for Preparation of Character Report directly to the NCBE, initiating a thorough and extended background investigation by NCBE. To expedite the completion of your NCBE Report you are encouraged to inform persons listed as references on the NCBE Character Report Request to respond to inquiries from NCBE promptly. Questions regarding the NCBE Report are properly directed to NCBE at (608) 280-8550. Once the NCBE submits its Character Report to  the BBE, the BBE will do an extensive review of the Report, and a final review of the Petition for Admission by Motion.  If the BBE finds your moral character, acquirements and qualifications to be sufficient, your name will be publicly posted for a period of not less than 10 days, as provided by SJC Rule 3:01, §6.3.  

Questions regarding this review may be directed to the Board of Bar Examiners at (617) 482-4466.

You will receive written notification that your name has been posted, and, if no objection is made, at the closing of the ten days, you will be found qualified for admission by the BBE. You should expect admission materials within approximately thirty (30) days after being found qualified by the BBE. Questions regarding your admission are properly directed to the Supreme Judicial Court Clerk’s Office for Suffolk County at 617-557-1050.

Important Notice Regarding Electronic Dissemination of Public Case Information

This is to inform you that the Petition for Admission by Motion is a docketed case available to the public. Information contained in your petition for admission to the bar may be disclosed by the court to third parties in electronic form: name, address, email address, and date of admission.

Please be further informed that any third party who requests this information will be required to enter into a Third Party Non-Disclosure Agreement prohibiting it from selling, renting, giving, exchanging, trading or sharing any of the information with other third parties.