Guide Foreign Practitioners and Foreign Legal Consultants

Supreme Judicial Court 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. Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:05 allows attorneys from foreign countries to apply to be licensed to practice as a foreign legal consultant in this Commonwealth.

Foreign Practitioners

Requirements

Supreme Judicial Court 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. Permission to appear under this Rule is effective upon the foreign attorney filing with Supreme Judicial Court for The County of Suffolk Clerk's office a certificate(s) of any such court of another jurisdiction(s) certifying that the attorney is a member in good standing at the bar of that court and a statement signed by a representative of the organized legal services program that the attorney is currently associated with.

To practice as a foreign practitioner, you must file the following documents with the Supreme Judicial Court Clerk for the County of Suffolk:

  • A statement from a representative of the organization that you are associated with
  • A Certificate(s) of Admission and Good Standing from the jurisdiction(s) you are a member of

Process

Within two weeks of the requisite documents being filed with the office, your information will be sent to the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers. The Board of Bar Overseers will then send you your Foreign Practitioners Registration Number and required registration materials.

Validity

Your status as a foreign practitioner becomes effective upon filing the requisite materials with the office. In no event shall an attorney engage in practice under this rule for more than two years. See Paragraph (2) of SJC Rule 3:04.

The entire application process can take 4-6 months.

Requirements

Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:05 allows attorneys from foreign countries to apply to be licensed to practice as a foreign legal consultant in this Commonwealth.

Although this Rule allows a Scope of Practice with limitations to those foreign attorneys who are granted the license to practice as a foreign legal consultant, it does not allow those licensed foreign legal consultants to engage in the practice of case law in Massachusetts. This Rule does not apply to attorneys seeking to appear by permission of a court pursuant to Massachusetts General Law chapter 221, section 46A (pro hac vice).

For foreign legal consultant qualifications, see General Qualifications of SJC Rule 3:05, sec. 1.2. For foreign legal consultant practice restrictions, see scope of practice of Rule 3:05. 

Application Process

There are three different ways to obtain an application to be licensed as a foreign legal consultant:

The following documents are required to be submitted for the application:

  • Your application with its attachments.
  • $510 non-refundable filing fee in the form of a money order or bank check made payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (no personal checks will be accepted).
  • Certificate(s) from the highest jurisdiction(s) in which you are an admitted member in good standing, along with the English translation of those documents.
  • A letter of recommendation from a member of the bar in which you are a member (if applicable, an English translation of the recommendation).
  • One (1) Affidavit from a Massachusetts attorney stating your good moral character and fitness.
  • Two (2) Affidavits from residents of Massachusetts also stating your good moral character and fitness.
  • Other evidence as to the nature and extend of your educational and professional qualifications, good moral character, and general fitness.

All materials must be submitted in duplicate attached to the application and sent to the following address:

Maura S. Doyle, Clerk
Supreme Judicial Court for The County of Suffolk
John Adams Courthouse, 1st Floor
One Pemberton Square, Suite 1300
Boston, MA 02108-1707

Licensing

After the Board of Bar Examiners finds you qualified to be licensed and recommends your licensing to the court, you must be administered the official Massachusetts Foreign Legal Consultants Oath and file the required Agent for Service of Process form with this court.

You will be notified of your qualification to be licensed. At that time you may email the Clerk's Office, to schedule a date and time to have the oath administered to you and to obtain the required Agent for Service of Process information.

Contact Information for the Board of Bar Examiners

Board of Bar Examiners
Edward W. Brooke Courthouse
24 New Chardon Street, First Floor
Boston, MA 02114
Phone: 617-482-4466
Fax: 617-542-5943

Contact Information for the Supreme Judicial Court for the County of Suffolk Clerk's Office

Mailing Address

John Adams Courthouse
One Pemberton Square, Suite 1-300
Boston, MA 02108

Main Contact Information

Telephone: 617-557-1100
Fax: 617-557-1117
Email: sjccountyclerk@jud.state.ma.us

Attorney Services Department

Telephone: 617-557-1050
Fax: 617-557-1055
Email: sjcattorneyservices@jud.state.ma.us

Clerks' Direct Contact Information

Clerk Maura S. Doyle
617-557-1180
Maura.Doyle@jud.state.ma.us

1st Assistant Clerk Eric Wetzel
617-557-1186
Eric.Wetzel@jud.state.ma.us

2nd Assistant Clerk Amy Stewart
617-557-1184
Amy.Stewart@jud.state.ma.us

3rd Assistant Clerk Stephen Cronin
617-557-1117
Stephen.Cronin@jud.state.ma.us

Clerks' direct fax: 617-557-1117

 

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