Applying for Admission on Motion

The Board of Bar Examiners (BBE) accepts attorneys from  U.S. jurisdictions to apply for Admission on Motion pdf format of Application to the Massachusetts Bar on Motion
to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.  A person who has been admitted as an attorney of the highest judicial court of any state, district or territory of the United States may apply to the Supreme Judicial Court for admission on motion as an attorney in this Commonwealth.The BBE is governed by the   Rules of the Supreme Judicial Court and the Board of Bar Examiners  pdf format of Rules of the Board of Bar Examiners
 to determine eligibility for attorneys to apply on Motion.  Applicants for admission on motion can request advanced determination of eligibility relative to the requirement regarding their engagement in the active practice of law by submitting an letter of inquiry to the Executive Director of the BBE.  Please be advised, BBE's responses to a letter of inquiry confirming eligibility expire approximately six months from the date of issue.

All applications for admission on motion will be evaluated regarding the applicants character and fitness for admission to the Massachusetts bar.  The Board considers good character to embody that degree of honesty, integrity and discretion that the public and embers of the bench and the bar have the right to demand of a lawyer. The Board considers sufficient acquirements and qualifications to be those that are necessary to demonstrate a lawyer’s fitness to practice law.

The Application for Admission on Motion will be evaluated over a period up to six (6) months, during which time you may be required  to complete a Request for Preparation of a Character Report from the National Conference of Bar Examiners (the "NCBE Character Report")  See Board of Bar Examiners Rule IV.  Following the initial review by the Board of Bar Examiners (the "Board") of your Petition for Admission on Motion, you will be notified by the Board of your requirement to submit to a request for an NCBE Character Report, including instructions on the procedure for requesting the report. Upon completion of the NCBE's approximately four (4) month investigation and submission of its character report to the BBE, the BBE will review and evaluate the findings of NCBE.  The applicant will be provided with a determination of the BBE's decision following the completion of this process.

Message to Military Spouses 

The Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners (the "Board") welcomes inquiries and applications for Admission on Motion from attorney spouses of service members in the United States Uniformed Services.  The Board understands the unique circumstances faced by those military spouse attorneys who must move frequently as a result of the needs of the Uniformed Services.   Where the needs of the Service result in the necessary relocation of a military spouse attorney to Massachusetts, the Board is committed to working with the applicant to accommodate their unique circumstances and to expedite the bar application process to the extent appropriate.

Military spouse attorneys are encouraged to contact Board of Bar Examiners Executive Director Marilyn Wellington, at (617) 482-4466 or, for more information regarding this process.