Resources for Attorneys & Bar Applicants
- Admission to the Massachusetts Bar
In this section applicants can access important information about the Massachusetts bar exam, including: the Petition for Admission by Examination, the Petition for Admission by Motion, important dates and deadlines, formal admission ceremony, alternate admission procedure information, how to get exam results and a bar registration number, how to obtain certified copies of Petitions for Admission, and information about the mandatory professionalism course for new lawyers admitted to the Massachusetts bar.
- Student Practitioners
SJC Rule 3:03 permits eligible students in their next to last year of law school to appear in civil proceedings and permits eligible students in their final year of law school to appear in civil & criminal proceedings on behalf of the Commonwealth or indigent parties under the general supervision of a member of the bar of the Commonwealth. More information and the relevant form are available on this page.
- Professionalism Course for New Lawyers
SJC Rule 3:16 on Practicing with Professionalism requires a mandatory course on professionalism for new lawyers admitted to the Massachusetts bar, effective September 1, 2013. A list of providers with links to their professionalism course webpages are available on this page.
- Adams Pro Bono Publico Awards
The Supreme Judicial Court Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services annually presents the Adams Pro Bono Publico Awards to honor Massachusetts lawyers, law students, small and large law firms, government attorney offices, corporate law departments, law schools or other institutions in the legal profession that demonstrate outstanding and exceptional commitment to providing volunteer legal services for those in need.
- Pro Bono Honor Roll
The Pro Bono Honor Roll, administered by the Supreme Judicial Court Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services, honors each year those law firms, solo practitioners, in-house corporate counsel offices, government attorney offices, non-profit organizations, law school faculties, and law students which certify that, in the relevant time period, they have met the relevant criteria. Honor Roll materials for calendar year 2015 are now available.
- Certificate of Admission and Good Standing
A Certificate of Admission and Good Standing is needed as proof of admission, at the request of a potential employer, to obtain a real estate broker's license, and/or to form a limited liability partnership. More information and the form are available on this page.
- Foreign Practitioners and Foreign Legal Consultants
SJC 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. SJC Rule 3:05 allows attorneys from foreign countries to apply to be licensed as a foreign legal consultant in this Commonwealth. More information and relevant forms are available on this page.
- Supreme Judicial Court's Judicial Evaluation Program of Trial Court Judges
The Supreme Judicial Court's judicial performance evaluation program is the primary method for members of the bar to provide feedback about the judges before whom they have appeared.Questionnaires are distributed to attorneys (via a confidential, secure website), to court employees (paper questionnaires sent to their home addresses) and jurors (distributed at a trial's conclusion). All responses are anonymous and cannot be traced back to the respondent. Each trial court judge is evaluated approximately every three years.
Supreme Judicial Court Offices
- Clerk's Office for the Commonwealth
The Office of the Clerk for the Commonwealth maintains the docket and calendar for the Supreme Judicial Court full bench, attends sessions of the full court, maintains the docket, processes pertinent filings, serves as the court's liaison to parties or their counsel and is the keeper of the records.
- Clerk's Office for The County of Suffolk
The Clerk's Office for the County of Suffolk is primarily responsible for the single justice caseload of the Supreme Judicial Court, matters filed by the Board of Bar Overseers pertaining to attorney discipline and administrative matters affecting members of the bar, and matters relating to admission to the Bar and the practice of law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
- Office of the Reporter of Decisions
The Office of the Reporter of Decisions publishes and maintains the official written opinions of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and the Appeals Court.
- Public Information Office
The Public Information Office of the Supreme Judicial Court is the central communications office for media and public inquiries and requests concerning the Massachusetts judicial branch.