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For those petitioners reported qualified for admission by the Board of Bar Examiners to the Massachusetts Bar, the Clerk of the Supreme Judicial Court for The County of Suffolk, Maura S. Doyle, conducts the official admission ceremonies at historic Faneuil Hall. The ceremonies are held twice annually, generally in November and June. For upcoming admission ceremonies, see announcements.
Upon receipt of the passing results from the examination, the petitioners will receive their admission ceremony appearance date and time, or they may choose the alternate admission procedure. The SJC schedules the appearance at the formal admission ceremony generally by the petitioner's last name.
The petitioners are only allowed to invite a limited number of guests to the ceremony. The number of guests permitted will be included with the formal admission ceremony appearance notice. The SJC does not issue invitations, tickets or assigned seating for the guests.
At Faneuil Hall, the petitioners are given an assigned seat. It is general admission for the guests. Faneuil Hall is located at 1 Faneuil Hall Square, Boston, MA 02109 behind Boston City Hall. The Hall is handicap accessible. An elevator is located on the ground level at the left side of the building.
The ceremony is an actual session of the Court, presided over by a Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court and conducted by Clerk Doyle. The ceremony is comprised of greetings from bar association officers, the administration of Oaths, remarks by the Justice, signing of the Roll of Attorneys and the presentation of the licenses.
The entire ceremony is approximately two to three hours. Photos and videos are allowed during the ceremony.
Additional information regarding the formal ceremony process:
The alternate admission procedure allows the qualified petitioners to be sworn into the Massachusetts Bar at a different time and location than the official admission ceremonies.
The petitioner is mailed the admission materials, consisting of the official Massachusetts Attorney's Oaths and the official Roll of Attorneys card. Upon receipt of the admission materials, it is the responsibility of the petitioner to find the appropriate authority to administer the Massachusetts Attorney's Oaths.
A petitioner, at any time, can appear at the office of the Supreme Judicial Court for The County of Suffolk, and be administered the Oaths and sign the Roll of Attorneys.
If the petitioner is resides in another County in Massachusetts or in a different jurisdiction, it is encumbent upon him/her to find out who is authorized to administer said Oaths within that jurisdiction.
Once the Massachusetts Attorney's Oaths are administered and the Roll of Attorneys is signed, the materials must be returned to the office of the Supreme Judicial Court for The County of Suffolk. Upon receipt by the Court, the petitioner becomes a member of the Massachusetts Bar.
Additional information about alternate admission:
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. Below is the list of providers with links to their professionalism course web pages.
Follow links below for specific course and registration information:
Boston Bar Association (BBA)
Greater Lynn Bar Association (GLBA)
Massachusetts Bar Association (MBA)
Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc. (MCLE)
The SJC Standing Advisory Committee on Professionalism is charged with overseeing the implementation of SJC Rule 3:16 on Practicing with Professionalism. The rule was effective on September 1, 2013.
The Committee's duties and responsibilities include: designating approved course providers; making recommendations to the Court regarding the fees to be charged for the course and any circumstances under which the fees may be waived; evaluating the course providers; reporting to the Court on at least an annual basis on the implementation of the course and an assessment of whether the program is accomplishing its intended goals and outcomes; and overseeing the administration of all aspects of SJC Rule 3:16.
Hours: Weekdays (except holidays) 8:30 am - 4:30pm