As you may know, the California Supreme Court recently approved New Rule 9.49, which implements a Provisional Licensure Program for 2020 law school graduates (including December 2019 graduates) in response to the challenges posed by COVID-19. In short, this rule allows for certain law graduates to apply for a provisional license to practice law until June 1, 2022. A link to the State Bar’s Provisionally Licensed Lawyers information page is here.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
- Anyone who became eligible to sit for the California Bar Exam between December 1, 2019 and December 31, 2020.
- You do not need to have sat for or passed the California Bar Exam to apply.
WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO APPLY?
- You must have submitted a complete Application for Determination of Moral Character to the State Bar (that has not resulted in an adverse determination of moral character by the State Bar) and otherwise meet the requirements for admission.
- You will need to submit a signed declaration agreeing that you will be subject to the disciplinary authority of the Supreme Court of California and the State Bar.
- You will need to submit a signed declaration from your supervising lawyer.
- You do not need to have taken a bar exam before applying.
- The fee is $75, or $55 if the employer paying the fee is a qualified legal services project or support center and receives State Bar Legal Services Trust Fund grants. There is NO fee for applicants whose sole use of the Provisional License will be in an unpaid volunteer capacity under the direction of the Supervising Lawyer.
HOW WILL I APPLY?
- You will be able to apply through the California State Bar’s application portal, which will be available on November 17, 2020.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE PROVISIONAL LICENSURE PROGRAM?
Some of the main requirements are as follows:
- Complete the State Bar New Attorney Training program by the end of the first 12 months of your provisional licensure. (If you have not passed the MPRE, you will need to take four hours of legal ethics training included in the 10-hour New Attorney Training within the first month of provisional licensure, or within the first month of the training’s availability.)
- Maintain employment under the supervision of a licensed lawyer.
- Clearly disclose to clients and the public that you are a “provisionally licensed lawyer.”
- Include on every document that you file in court or with any other tribunal the following information about the Supervising Lawyer: name, mailing address, telephone number, and State Bar number.
- As a provisionally licensed attorney, you will have multiple opportunities to sit for and pass the California Bar Exam, so failure to pass any bar exam prior to June 1, 2022 does not end provisional licensure.
Please let contact us if you have any questions about this program.