Rule 10.03(4)(f) of the Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules allows attorneys admitted in other United States jurisdictions, or foreign jurisdictions, who are employed as attorneys in Wisconsin on a continuing basis and employed exclusively by a corporation, association, or other nongovernmental entity, which is a lawful business engaged in activities other than the practice of law or the provision of legal services, to register as in-house counsel. Rule 10.03(4)(f) coincides with the Wisconsin Multijurisdictional Practice Rules (MJP), which governs the unauthorized practice of law as defined by the Wisconsin Rules of Professional Conduct.
In-house attorneys are authorized to provide legal services to the entity, client, or its organizational affiliates. This includes entities that control, are controlled by, or are under the common control with the employer. In-house attorneys may provide legal services for employees, officers, and directors of such entities, but only on matters directly related to their work for the entity and only to the extent consistent with SCR 20:1.7 (rule of professional conduct relating to conflicts with current clients).
In-house attorneys may also provide pro bono legal services to qualified clients of a legal services program. Attorneys who provide legal services in Wisconsin pursuant to the house counsel rules and applicable MJP rules who desire to appear, either in person, by signing pleadings, or by being designated as counsel in actions filed in courts, administrative agencies, or other tribunals in Wisconsin, must file a separate motion for Wisconsin Pro Hac Vice Admission.
Application and Certification
In-house attorneys must Register within 60 days of the commencement of employment and must submit the following to the Board of Bar Examiners:
- A $250 nonrefundable fee.
- Documents proving admission to practice law in the primary jurisdiction where the attorney is admitted.
- Employer Affidavit. An affidavit from an officer, director, or general counsel of the employing entity that attests to the lawyer’s employment and the capacity in which the lawyer is employed.