Rule 2.540 of the Kentucky Supreme Court Rules allows law students to practice on a limited basis in Kentucky.
Eligibility and Practice
Law students must have successfully completed two-thirds of the academic hour requirement at an ABA approved law school and are participating in a law school sponsored clinic, intern, extern, or public service program. The students may provide legal services to, and may appear in any proceeding in any court of Kentucky, on behalf of any person financially unable to employ counsel or on behalf of the of state of Kentucky or the United States Attorney.
Law students who have successfully completed two-thirds of the academic hour requirements for the first degree in law may provide legal advice, counseling, and negotiation services to a college or university student, regardless of that student’s financial status, in connection with an approved law school clinic program.
The following requirements apply:
- The student is providing services on behalf of a person assigned to the student through a clinic, intern, extern, or public service program operated by an approved law school under the direction of a full or part-time law school director.
- The Chief Justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court, the law school Dean, and the director of the law school program have filed written approvals of the law student with the Clerk of the Kentucky Supreme Court, the clerk of the courts where the student is to appear, and the clerk of the circuit court in the county where the student’s law school is located.
- A member in good standing of the Kentucky Bar must personally supervise all of the law student’s activities. Without personal supervision, the law student may consult with the client or potential clients, but may not advise, negotiate, or appear alone in administrative proceedings or in the Kentucky courts in civil or criminal matters without personal appearance and supervision by a member in good standing of the Kentucky Bar.
- Criminal Cases. In all criminal cases involving crime where the defendant may be punished by a fine of more than $500 or by confinement for more than 12 months, the law student’s activities must be personally supervised by a member in good standing of the Kentucky Bar. The supervising attorney must be present for all proceedings that take place before a judge.
In all criminal cases involving crime where the defendant may be punished by a fine of more than $500 or by confinement for more than 12 months, and is being prosecuted in a county not having a formal public defender program, the judge of the court must appoint the attorney who is supervising the student.
- Law student cannot ask nor receive any compensation or remuneration of any kind for his or her services. Law schools may award scholarship or fellowships to law students authorized to perform legal services.
Law students are required to submit the Application and take the prescribed oath.
The law student approval is effective until the Monday following the distribution of the results of the first bar exam that an approved law graduate could be admitted to practice.