Applying for Admission on Motion
The Board of Bar Examiners (BBE) accepts attorneys from U.S. jurisdictions to apply for Admission 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 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.
Application for Admission on Motion will be evaluated over a period of approximately six (6) months, during which time the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) will conduct a background investigation and produce a character 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 seeking Admission to the Massachusetts bar
The Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners welcomes inquiries and applications for Admission on Motion from attorney spouses of service members in the United States Uniformed Services. Understanding the unique challenges faced by military spouse attorneys who move frequently in support of the nation’s defense, the Board of Bar Examiners is committed to working with these applicants to accommodate their unique circumstances and to expedite the bar application process to the extent possible when their service brings them to Massachusetts.
Military spouse attorneys are encouraged to contact Board of Bar Examiners Executive Director, Marilyn.Wellington, at (617) 482-4466 or Marilyn.Wellington@bbe.state.ma.us, for more information regarding this process.