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Certificate of Admission and Good Standing (Attorneys)

A Certificate of Admission and Good Standing may be needed by an attorney as proof of admission for other court jurisdictions, at the request of a potential employer, to obtain a real estate broker's license, or to form a limited liability partnership, professional corporation, etc. The process for ordering a certificate can be found on this page. Please read carefully.

Table of Contents

Notice

Please be advised that the Clerk's Office of the Supreme Judicial Court for the County of Suffolk has changed to an electronic order and payment process for all Certificates of Admission and Good Standing for Massachusetts attorneys. Requests for certified copies of Petitions for Admission can made from this site, as well. All requests must now be generated by following the instructions below.

Please note that all requests will be handled in order of submission. There is no expediated process. Attorneys are responsible for making requests that will allow the timely return of the CGS for their business purposes. While this new, online process and electronic returns should allow for improved service, customers are advised to allow up to seven (7) days to complete the process.

Overview

Certificate of Admission and Good Standing (Attorneys)

A Massachusetts attorney may need a Certificate of Admission and Good Standing (CGS) issued from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in order to verify their admission, favorable disciplinary history and current good standing with the Massachusetts Bar as proof to other court jurisdictions, at the request of a potential employer, to obtain a real estate broker's license, or to form a limited liability partnership, professional corporation, etc.

Certified Copy of a Massachusetts Petition for Admission

Under certain circumstances, an individual may have the need for a certified copy of their Massachusetts Petition for Admission. Certified copies of Petitions for Admission can also be requested through the same process as a CGS.

Please review the information below before proceeding with your order.

Requirements

Any Massachusetts Attorney requesting verification of admission and good standing can order a Certificate of Admission and Good Standing  by submitting required data and making electronic payment. Certified copies of Petitions for Admission can be made using the same process. To initiate a request, the following information is required for each attorney seeking a certificate:

  • Attorney's Name
  • The month and year of bar exam
  • Date of bar admission
  • Attorney BBO (Registration) Number

There also needs to be certain information directing where to send the certificate or certified copy:

  • Recipient Name and Address
  • Contact Telephone Number
  • Recipient Email Address

Payment information will also be required. Payment may be made using VISA, Mastercard, American Express, Discover or by using and electronic check/ACH.

Answers to other questions may be found in the FAQs.

Process

Beginning February 1, 2022, requests for Certificate of Admission and Good Standing and/or certified copies of Petitions for Admission should be submitted online and payment made electronically. A digital version will be sent in return once your request is processed.

Armed with the information detailed in Requirements above, you can complete your request by following these instructions:

  • Enter the information for the attorney who is the subject of the CGS or certified copy of a Petition for Admission .
  • Complete all required fields, then complete the contact information for the person or entity to whom you want the CGS/Petitions for Admission sent.
  • If the same item needs to be sent to additional persons or entities, you can enter those details as well.
  • If you require these items for additional attorneys, you can enter that information in the same way.
  • Once you are done entering data, you can proceed with final payment, using one of the available payment methods.

Our office must then review your request, confirm your good standing with the Board of Bar Overseers, and prepare your CGS/Petition for Admission for electronic delivery. This process should generally take 3-5 days, but you are advised to allow up to 7 days given the added difficulties of the current COVID pandemic. Once you submit your order, it will be handled in the order in which it arrives at our office. There is no special preference or expedited service. Please plan ahead to accommodate the necessary processing time.

Fees

The fee for a Certificate of Admission and Good Standing is $15.00 per certificate. 

The fee for a certified copy of a Petition for Admission is $10.00 per petition.

These fees are non-refundable. See the FAQs for further information.

Payment may be made using VISA, Mastercard, American Express, Discover or by using and electronic check/ACH.

There is a 2.79% non-refundable convenience fee for processing credit card payment(s) and a $0.35 convenience fee for Electronic Check/ACH online.

Ordering

In order to place your request for a Certificate of Admission and Good Standing or a certified copy of a Massachusetts Petition for Admission, you will be using the link below to reach our vendor site, maintained by nCourt.

Click here to order : Certificates of Admission and Good Standing and Certified Copies of Petitions for Admission

If you have additional questions, please refer to the FAQs, or go to Contact Us below.

FAQs

Is there an expedited process for obtaining a Certificate of Admission or Good Standing?  No. All requests will be handled in order of submission. There is no expedited process. Attorneys are responsible for making requests that will allow the timely return of the CGS for their business purposes. While this new, online process and electronic returns should allow for improved service, customers are advised to allow up to seven (7) days to complete the process. If necessary, the receipt for the Certificate should provide proof of processing. 

Is there any other way to request a Certificate of Admission and Good Standing or certified copy of a Petition for Admission? No.

Can I request more than one Certificate of Good Standing?  Yes.  You can request more than one certificate for more than one attorney or multiple certificates for the same attorney. 

Can I request that the CGS be sent to more than one person/place?  You would need to make separate requests with separate recipient addresses. 

Can I have the original documents mailed to me?  Yes.  Contact the sjccertsgs@sjc.state.ma.us and provide your name, date you purchased the Certificate, and, where you would like the materials mailed.

Can I pick up the original documents?  Yes. Send an email with a copy of your receipt to sjccertsgs@sjc.state.ma.us.  Provide your name, contact information and request a date and time to pick up the Certificate. Obviously getting your CGS at the Courthouse will not reduce your processing time.

How long is the Certificate valid?  Massachusetts’ CGS are valid for thirty (30) days.

How will I know if my Certificate is being processed?  The receipt for you Certificate of Good Standing ensures that your CGS is being processed.  If you do not receive your Certificate within 5 days, email sjccertsgs@sjc.state.ma.us.

Is the Certificate the same as a “disciplinary history?  No.  To obtain a letter of grievance or a letter of disciplinary history, follow the instructions in Other Requirements in Certain Jurisdictions

What if the jurisdiction does NOT want a Certificate but, instead, has its own form?  After you submit the payment and have a confirmation number, follow the instructions in Other Requirements in Certain Jurisdictions

What if I do NOT have a registration (BBO Number Yet)?  Use not applicable.

What if I do NOT remember when I took the bar exam?  Use your best guess.  We will contact you if there is an issue.

What if I do NOT remember the actual date of admission?  Use your best guess.  We will contact you if there is an issue.

When should I receive the Certificate or Certified copy of a Petition?  Barring any issues, the Certificate of Admission and Good Standing is usually issued within 3-5 business days and the certified copy of a Petition for Admission within 5-10 business days.

How do I get more information about paying by ACH? There is a link on the ordering website with a link for ACH FAQs.

What if I have a question that is not answered by these FAQs? Then please refer to Contact Us and email this office. We will try to respond as quickly as possible.

Other Requirements in Certain Jurisdictions

Letters of Grievance or Disciplinary History 

In some circumstances, you may be asked to provide a letter regarding your disciplinary history along with your Certificate of Admission and Good Standing. Those letters are not provided by this office, but by the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers.

To obtain a letter of grievance or a letter of disciplinary history, please email your request to registrationdept@massbbo.org or mail to the following address: 

Board of Bar Overseers
Registration Department
99 High Street
Boston, MA 02110

Please include the following in your request:

  1. The jurisdiction or state to which you are applying for admission.
  2. The address of the jurisdiction for which you are applying for admission. If you are applying in New York, please specify the judicial department.
  3. If you are requesting a letter for any reason other than admission, please state the address of the organization which requested the above letter (e.g. prospective employer, university, etc.)

Certificates of Passage, Confirmation Letters and Other Forms

In some jurisdictions, there are additional forms to be completed by the Court when providing a Certificate of Admission and Good Standing for the purpose of bar admission. If you require these forms to be processed in addition to obtaining your CGS, please do the following:

E-mail your additional form or request to sjccertsgs@sjc.state.ma.us.

Please include the following in your request:

  1. An attached copy of the required form.
  2. A copy of your receipt for the Certificate of Admission and Good Standing and/or certified copy of your Petition for Admission.
  3. An address of the jurisdiction to which you are applying for admission. If you are applying in New York, please specify the judicial department.

Contact Us

Our email address for all communications related to Certificates of Admission and Good Standing and certified copies of Petitions for Admission is: sjccertsgs@sjc.state.ma.us. 

Additional questions regarding your request for a Certificate of Admission and Good Standing or certified copy of a Petition for Admission can be posed the Attorney Services Department by sending an email message to sjccertsgs@sjc.state.ma.us. Please do not telephone the office to request a status. Our limited staff resources are focused on turning around your request in five (5) or less. Please send an email with your contact information and question and we will respond as quickly as possible. Thank you for this consideration.

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