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Home Frequently Asked Questions - Office for Professional Matters

Answers to these frequently asked questions provide general guidance and are not intended to provide legal assistance.

SECTION I - GENERAL QUESTIONS
SECTION II - WAIVER PETITIONS


Q: Does the New York State Court of Appeals have a separate admission procedure?
A: No. If an attorney has been admitted to practice law in New York State by one of the four Departments of the Appellate Division, he or she is admitted to practice in all courts of record in New York State, including the Court of Appeals.

Q: How do I obtain a Certificate of Good Standing?
A: A Certificate of Good Standing must be obtained from the Appellate Division Department of admission. The Court of Appeals cannot issue Certificates of Good Standing. Instructions for obtaining a Certificate of Good Standing can be found on the following websites:

Appellate Division, First Department
Appellate Division, Second Department
Appellate Division, Third Department
Appellate Division, Fourth Department

Q: How do I obtain information regarding attorney registration?
A: Inquiries regarding an attorney's registration status should be directed to the Office of Court Administration's Attorney Registration Unit at 212-428-2800. The Office of Court Administration also maintains an attorney registration database that is accessible to the public.

Q: How do I obtain a Certificate of Admission for the purpose of a United States Supreme Court admission?
A: A request for a Certificate of Admission must be in writing and addressed to the Clerk of the Court. The Court of Appeals does not charge a fee for a Certificate of Admission.

Q: How do I file a Certificate of Commencement of Clerkship?
A: An applicant seeking to file a Certificate of Commencement of Clerkship pursuant to Rule 520.4 should submit the completed Certificate and a copy of the determination of the New York State Board of Law Examiners of the credit for law school attendance to which the applicant is entitled. This information should be mailed to the Clerk of the Court. The Court will advise the applicant of the date the certificate is filed, i.e., received, from which date the law office study period begins (Rule 520.4[e]).

Certificate of Commencement of Clerkship form

Q: How do I become admitted pro hac vice at the Court of Appeals?
A: An attorney who is a member in good standing of the bar of another state, territory, district or foreign country may be admitted pro hac vice on specific matters pending before the Court of Appeals (Rule 520.11[a][1]). If the requested pro hac vice admission pertains to a motion before the Court, contact the Chief Motion Clerk at 518-455-7705. If the requested pro hac vice admission pertains to an appeal or certified question before the Court, contact an Assistant Deputy Clerk at 518-455-7701 or 455-7702.

Q: How do I become admitted pro hac vice in other New York courts?
A: Contact the clerk of the court where the matter for which pro hac vice admission is sought is pending (Rule 520.11[a][1]). A person seeking an 18-month pro hac vice admission pursuant to Rule 520.11(a)(2) or 520.11(b) should contact the appropriate Appellate Division Department.

Q: How do I seek review of an order of the Appellate Division in an attorney disciplinary proceeding or in a proceeding for admission to the bar?
A: Such order may be appealable as of right (see CPLR 5601) or by motion for leave to appeal (see CPLR 5602). Inquiries related to an appeal of an Appellate Division order in such proceedings should be directed to the Assistant Deputy Clerks at 518-455-7701 or 455-7702. Inquiries related to a motion for leave to appeal in such proceedings should be directed to the Chief Motion Clerk at 518-455-7705.

Q: How do I register as in-house counsel in New York?
Information regarding registration as in-house counsel may be obtained here.


 

Q: What is the form of a petition under Rule 520.14?
A: Generally, a petition may be prepared in letter or affidavit form, and must be verified, i.e., notarized. It must set forth the petitioners name, age, residence; the facts relied upon; and a request for relief. Please also include an email address or telephone number where the petitioner can be reached. The Court requires an original petition and one copy. Only one set of exhibits or attachments, if any, is required. The petition must indicate the reason(s) why strict compliance with the rules will cause a hardship to the applicant. All petitions should be addressed to Clerk of the Court. The Court does not accept submissions by fax or email.

Hon. Andrew W. Klein
Chief Clerk and Legal Counsel
New York State Court of Appeals
20 Eagle Street
Albany, New York 12207

The following information is specific to more common petitions seeking a waiver of certain rule requirements:

Rule 520.3 - Residency Weeks. For an applicant seeking a waiver of strict compliance with former Rule 520.3's residency weeks or scheduled days requirements, the following information is necessary in determining the petition: the month and year of the the bar exam for which the applicant plans to sit; the applicant's law school and month and year of graduation; for each term of study in law school, the number of credits successfully completed in each term, whether the study was full- or part-time, and the number of scheduled class days per week. The applicant must include a law school transcript. In addition, the applicant must include a copy of any correspondence from the State Board of Law Examiners denying the applicant's request to sit for the bar exam.

Rule 520.3 - Approved Degree Requirement. For an applicant seeking a waiver of strict compliance with Rule 520.3's approved degree requirement, the following information is necessary in determining the petition: the month and year of the bar exam for which the applicant plans to sit; the applicant's law school and dates of attendance; the month and year of law school graduation; if applicable, the date of the law school's provisional and/or full approval; whether, and when, the applicant was admitted to practice in any jurisdiction; if applicable, a description of any legal or law-related employment since the applicant's graduation from law school, including the month and year the applicant began and ended such employment, the applicant's job title, and the address of the office out of which the applicant worked. In addition, the applicant must include a copy of a law school transcript, and any correspondence from the State Board of Law Examiners denying the applicant's request to sit for the bar exam.

Rule 520.3 - Months of Attendance. For an applicant seeking a waiver of strict compliance with Rule 520.3's months of attendance requirement, the following information is necessary in determining the petition: the month and year of the bar exam for which applicant plans to sit; the applicant's law school; the month and year applicant commenced legal studies; the month and year of graduation; for each term of study in law school, whether the study was full- or part-time, and how many credits were completed each term; and an explanation as to why the applicant does not satisfy the months of attendance requirement of Rule 520.3. The applicant must include a law school transcript, and a copy of any correspondence from the State Board of Law Examiners denying the applicant's request to sit for the bar exam.

Rule 520.3 - Credits Earned Via Distance Learning. For an applicant seeking a waiver of strict compliance with Rule 520.3's limitation on the number of credits that may be earned via distance learning, the following information is necessary in determining the petition: the month and year of the bar exam for which the applicant plans to sit; the applicant's law school and month and year of graduation; for each term of study in law school, the number of credits earned via distance education; a description of whether the distance education was synchronous or asynchronous, as those terms are used in Rule 520.3(c)(6); and an explanation as to why applicant exceeded the distance learning credit limitation of Rule 520.3. The applicant must include a law school transcript that clearly indicates the courses taken via distance learning, and a copy of any correspondence from the State Board of Law Examiners denying the applicant's request to sit for the bar exam.

Rule 520.4 - Filing a Certificate of Commencement of Clerkship Nunc Pro Tunc. For an applicant seeking permission to file nunc pro tunc a Certificate of Commencement of Clerkship under Rule 520.4, the following information is necessary in determining the petition: the applicant's law school and dates of attendance; the date law office study began; name and address of the applicant's supervising attorney(s); and, if applicable, the date a previous Certificate of Commencement of Clerkship was filed with the Court. In addition, the applicant must include a copy of the letter from the State Board of Law Examiners indicating the law school attendance credit to which the applicant is entitled and a completed Certificate of Commencement of Clerkship reflecting the actual date of commencement of the clerkship.

Rule 520.6 - Foreign Legal Education. For an applicant seeking a waiver of strict compliance with the substantive or durational equivalency requirements in Rule 520.6 for foreign legal education, the following information is necessary in determining the petition: the month and year of the bar exam for which the applicant plans to sit; a description of the applicant's foreign legal education, including the degree completed and the month and year of graduation; a description of any legal studies in the United States, including the month and year of graduation; if applicable, the month and year of any foreign admission(s); a description of any legal or law-related employment in or outside the United States, including the month and year the applicant began and ended such employment, the applicant's job title, and the address of the office out of which the applicant worked. In addition, the applicant must include a copy of any correspondence from the State Board of Law Examiners denying the applicant's request to sit for the bar exam; transcripts from each law school that the applicant attended; and proof of admission to practice in the foreign country, if applicable.

Rule 520.10 - Admission on Motion. For an applicant seeking a waiver of strict compliance with the 60-month practice requirement of Rule 520.10, the following information is necessary in determining the petition: the applicant's law school and date of graduation; the month and year of each bar admission and whether the applicant is in good standing in each jurisdiction where admitted; a description of any legal employment, including the month and year the applicant began and ended such employment, the applicant's job title, and the address of the office out of which the applicant worked.

Rule 520.12 - Three-Year Filing Deadline to Apply for Admission. For an applicant seeking a waiver of the three-year deadline to apply for admission after notification of passing the bar exam under Rule 520.12, the following information is necessary in determining the petition: the applicant's law school and date of graduation; the date the applicant passed the New York State bar exam; the date of the letter sent by the New York State Board of Law Examiners notifying the applicant that the applicant passed the bar examination; if applicable; the month and year of each bar admission and whether the applicant is in good standing in each jurisdiction where admitted; a description of any legal or law-related employment since passing the New York bar exam, including the month and year the applicant began and ended such employment, the applicant's job title, and the address of the office out of which the applicant worked; an explanation for the delay in seeking New York admission; and an explanation of why the applicant seeks admission at this time.

Q: If I am granted a waiver to sit for the bar exam, but fail the exam, must I obtain a waiver to take a subsequent bar exam?

Yes. The Court's orders are exam specific; therefore, an applicant who fails the bar exam must re-petition the Court for an order admitting the applicant to a subsequent exam. The re-petition must (1) be notarized and addressed to the Clerk of the Court; (2) set forth the petitioner's name, mailing address, and e-mail address; (3) state the month and year of the bar exam for which the applicant seeks to sit; (4) indicate the reason(s) why strict compliance with the rules will cause undue hardship to the applicant; and (5) include any newly relevant facts or circumstances such as whether the applicant has had any additional law-related work experience or legal studies since submitting the original petition. It is not necessary to include copies of the original petition or any of its exhibits or attachments as the Court will have retained the original documents. The re-petition may be submitted as soon as the applicant learns he or she has failed the bar exam.