Delaware Law Student Admission

Rule 56 of the Delaware Supreme Court Rules allows law students to practice on a limited basis in Delaware. The law student must be supervised and placed by the Delaware Attorney General’s Office, Public Defender, an organized legal aid or legal assistance program that is sponsored, approved, or recognized by the Delaware Board of Bar Examiners, or the Office of the Child Advocate.

Please also see the Delaware Government Attorneys and Delaware Legal Services Organizations pages for information and rules regulating law school graduates.

The law student interns must:

  • Be attending an ABA approved law school and have successfully completed four semesters as a full-time law student.
  • Be supervised by an attorney (or agency) admitted to practice in Delaware who will appear as counsel of record. The supervising attorney must be personally present in all proceedings before a Judge of the Family Court or Court of Common Pleas unless waived by the court.

Law student interns may appear in the Family Court, the Court of Common Pleas, the Justice of the Peace Courts and before the State Human Relations Commission in the following proceedings:

  • Family Court. Students may participate in all civil matters. For family court criminal matters, arbitrations, and mediations before a Commissioner and Master, law students may participate on appeal from the foregoing to a Judge of the Family Court.
  • Court of Common Pleas. In any case involving any offense set forth in Title 21 of the Delaware Code except driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol offenses and cases where a person sustained a serious physical injury.
  • Justice of the Peace. In any matter.
  • Human Relations Commission. In all proceedings within the jurisdiction of the State Human Relations Commission.
  • Environmental Appeals Board. In all proceedings within the jurisdiction of the Environmental Appeals Board.

Law students cannot ask nor receive any compensation or remuneration of any kind for the student’s services from, or on behalf of, the client. Agencies may pay compensation to the student attorney and may make such charges and payments for the law student’s services as allowed by for statutory fees and allowances.

Requirements and Filings
The client must consent to the law student’s representation by submitting the applicable Consent to Representation Form located in the student practice rules. The consent must be witnessed by the supervising attorney or by the presiding Master or Justice of the Peace and filed with the record.

The law school Dean must certify the student is of good character, competent legal ability, and eligible to participate in the legal intern program. The Law School Dean Certificate Form is found in the student practice rules and must be filed with the Clerk of the Delaware Supreme Court.

In all appearances, the law student is required to file with the Court or the Commission a written certification from the student’s supervisor indicating the student’s name, the supervisor’s name, and case or cases in which the eligible law student is authorized to appear.

The law student must also file the Oath or Affirmation, which is located in the student practice rules. The oath and affirmation must be witnessed by the supervising attorney and filed with the Clerk of the Delaware Supreme Court.

Supervising Attorney
The supervising attorney must:

  • Witness and file the oath and affirmation with the Clerk of the Delaware Supreme Court.
  • Witness the Consent to Representation.
  • Assume personal professional responsibility for the student’s guidance in any work undertaken and for supervising the quality of the student’s work.
  • Assist the law student with preparation to the extent that the supervising attorney considers necessary.

The certification remains in effect, unless withdrawn, until the announcement of the results of the first Delaware Bar Exam following the student’s graduation if the student is registered to sit for that bar exam. If the student is not registered for that bar exam, the certificate expires upon graduation from law school. For any students passing the bar exam, the certificate continues in effect until the date the student is admitted to the Delaware Bar.

The Dean may withdraw the certificate at any time without cause by sending a notice to the Clerk of the Delaware Supreme Court. The Delaware Supreme Court, law school Dean, or head of the agency where the student is supervised may terminate the certificate at any time without a hearing or showing of any cause.