Rule 1:21-3(c) of the New Jersey Court Rules – Rules of General Application allows out-of-state attorneys that are employed or associated with an approved organization, or serving as a volunteer pro bono attorney with an approved organization, to practice law under the supervision and association of a New Jersey Bar member before all courts in New Jersey.
Permission to practice remains in effect for no longer than 2 ½ years. There is no time limit on volunteer pro bono service with an approved organization.
Attorneys must be licensed in another state or the District of Columbia.
Legal Assistance Organizations – Rule 1:21-1(e)
A “legal assistance organization” is a non-profit organization incorporated in New Jersey or another state for the purpose of providing legal assistance to the poor or functioning as a public interest law firm. Legal assistance organizations also include other federally tax exempt legal assistance organizations or trusts (such as those defined by 26 U.S.C.A. 120(b) and 501(c)(20)) that provide legal assistance to a defined and limited class of clients. Qualifying legal assistant organizations may practice law under their own names through staff attorneys who are members of the New Jersey Bar, provided that:
- The legal work serves the intended beneficiaries of the organizational purpose.
- The staff attorney responsible for the matter signs all papers prepared by the organization.
- The relationship between the staff attorney and client meets the attorney’s professional responsibilities to the client and is not subject to interference, control, or direction by the organization’s board or employees except for a supervising attorney who is a member of the New Jersey Bar.
Attorneys are required to file with the Clerk of the New Jersey Supreme Court evidence of:
- Graduation from an approved law school.
- Certificate of any court of law resort certifying that the out-of-state attorney is a member in good standing of the bar of another state or
the District of Columbia.
- For attorneys approved by a Rule 1:21-1(e) organization, a statement signed by the President, Legal Services of New Jersey, that the attorney
is currently employed by or associated with the organization; or
In cases where the pro bono attorney is approved by a Rule 1:21-1(e) organization, the executive director’s filing statement must certify that the attorney is serving on a voluntary pro bono basis.
Attorneys cannot represent themselves to be members of the New Jersey Bar.
Permission to practice terminates when the attorney ceases to be employed by, associated with, or serving as a volunteer pro bono attorney with an approved organization in New Jersey. The President, Legal Services of New Jersey, or executive director must file notice of the cessation with the Clerk of the New Jersey Supreme Court.
The New Jersey Supreme Court may revoke or suspend the permission to practice in New Jersey, in its discretion, at any time either by written notice or deletion of the rules.