California

Rule 5.5 MJP/UPL Current

California has adopted several rules that govern the Unauthorized Practice of Law and the Multijurisidictional Practice of Law. These rules permit the limited practice of law in California by in house counsel, legal services attorneys, litigation attorneys in California in anticipation of litigation or in connection with litigation elsewhere, and non litigation attorneys licensed to practice in other jurisdictions will be authorized to practice in California.

(1) Rule 9.45 Registered Legal Services Attorneys which requires registration.

An attorney practicing under Rule 9.45 may practice law in California only while working, with or without pay, at a qualifying legal services providers, and at that institution and only on behalf of its clients, may engage, under supervision, in all forms of legal practice that are permissible for a member of the State Bar of California for no more than a total of three years. Please see 9.45(c)-(d) for eligibility and application requirements.

(2) Rule 9.46 Registered In-House Attorneys which requires registration.

An attorney practicing under Rule 9.46 permits in house counsel to practice in California only to the qualifying institution that employs the attorney. An attorney practicing under Rule 9.46 cannot make court appearances in California state courts or engage in any activities for which pro hac vice admission is required if they are performed in California by an attorney who is not a member of the State Bar of California and the attorney may not provide personal or individual representation to any customers, shareholders, owners, partners, officers, employees, servants, or agents of the qualifying institution. Please see Rule 9.46(c), (d), and (f) for eligibility and application requirements.

(3) Rule 9.47 Attorneys temporarily in California as part of litigation (not required to register with the State Bar); and

An attorney may under Rule 9.47 temporarily practice law in California as part of litigation if they meet the requirements in Rule 9.47(b) and adhere to the restrictions in 9.47(d) and abide by the conditions in 9.47(e). An attorney practicing under 9.47 may provide services for a formal legal proceeding that is pending in another jurisdiction and in which the attorney is authorized to appear, a formal legal proceeding that is anticipated but is not yet pending in another jurisdiction and in which the attorney reasonably expects to be authorized to appear, a formal legal proceeding that is anticipated but is not yet pending in another jurisdiction and in which the attorney expects to be authorized to appear, or a formal legal proceeding that is anticipated or pending and in which the attorney’s supervisor is authorized to appear or reasonably expects to be authorized to appear. An attorney must attempt to seek authorization promptly after it becomes possible to do so.

(4) Rule 9.48 Transactional attorneys temporarily in California (not required to register with the State Bar).

An attorney may practice under Rule 9.48 if they meet the requirements of 9.48(b) and adhere to the restrictions and conditions of 9.48(d)-(e). Under Rule 9.48 an attorney may provide legal assistance or legal advice in California to a client concerning a transaction or other nonlitigation matter, a material aspect of which is taking place in another jurisdiction where the attorney is licensed to provide legal services, provide legal assistance or legal advice in California on an issue of federal law or of the law of another jurisdiction to attorneys licensed to practice in California, or is an employee of a client and provide legal assistance or legal advice in California to the client or to the client’s subsidiaries or organizational affiliates.

For further information please see the State Bar of California’s Page on Multijurisdictional practice or contact the Office of Special Admissions & Specialization at (415) 538-2325 or mjp@calbar.ca.gov.

Rule 5.5 MJP/UPL Proposed

For information on Advisory Opinions, Proposed Amendments, News Releases and other information from the courts please visit the California Court’s page on Supreme Court Committees.

In-House Counsel Rule

In-house counsel is governed by Rule 9.46.

Rule 9.46 permits in house counsel to practice in California only to the qualifying institution that employs the attorney. An attorney practicing under Rule 9.46 cannot make court appearances in California state courts or engage in any activities for which pro hac vice admission is required if they are performed in California by an attorney who is not a member of the State Bar of California and the attorney may not provide personal or individual representation to any customers, shareholders, owners, partners, officers, employees, servants, or agents of the qualifying institution. Please see subsections (c), (d) and (f) for eligibility and application requirements. House counsel must renew his/her registration annually and there is no limitation on the number of years house counsel may register under this rule except that you must remain employed by the same qualifying institution that provided the declaration in support of your application. If registered house counsel leaves he employment he/she must notify the State Bar of California within 30 days. To practice as house counsel for a new employer, you must first register as house counsel for that employer.

Pro Hac Vice

Rule 9.40 governs pro hac vice admission in California. If you are a resident, regularly employed in or regularly engaged in substantial business, professional, or other activities in California you are not eligible to appear as counsel pro hac vice. Further, the Rule does not condone repeated appearances as counsel pro hac vice. Please see subsection (c)-(d) for application instructions. For further information please see The State Bar of California’s Page on Pro Hac Vice. You may also contact:

Pro Hac Vice Program
The State Bar of California
180 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone (415) 538-2111
Email: ProHac@calbar.ca.gov

Admission on Motion

California does not allow admission without examination, however, attorneys admitted in other jurisdiction who are active and in good standing for four years immediately preceding the first day of the administration of the California Bar Examination may take the Attorneys’ Examination, which is two days instead of the three required of other applicants, consisting of six essay questions and two performance test questions from the California Bar Examination. For further information on how to opt for the Attorneys’ Examination please see The State Bar of California’s handout on Admission to practice Law in California By Attorneys Admitted to Practice in the US or visit The State Bar of California’s Page on Attorney Applicants.

Contact

The State Bar of California

San Francisco (Main Office)
180 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone (415) 538-2000

Los Angeles
845 S. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90017-2515
(213) 765-1000

Sacramento
1201 K Street, Ste 720
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 442-8018 (Legislative Office)

State Bar Ethics Information