Rule 716 of the Rules on Admission and Discipline of Attorneys allows attorneys licensed in another jurisdiction to receive a limited license to practice in Illinois as house counsel. House attorneys must practice exclusively for a single corporation, partnership, association, or other legal entity, including any parent subsidiary, or affiliate. The organization’s business cannot consist of the practice of law or provision of legal services.
House attorneys may act on behalf of his or her employer as if licensed to practice in Illinois, but he or she cannot practice for the employer until the application is accepted and approved. Attorneys cannot offer legal services or advice to the public or in any manner hold him or himself or herself out as being engaged or authorized to engage in the practice of law. Attorneys may provide voluntary pro bono services.
Attorneys are subject to the jurisdiction of the Illinois Supreme Court for disciplinary purposes to the same extent as all other Illinois lawyers. Attorneys who are newly employed as house counsel in Illinois are not deemed to have engaged in the unauthorized practice of law in Illinois prior to licensure if the application is made within 90 days of the commencement of such employment.
Attorneys are required to file with the Board of Admissions the following:
Renewal and Registration
House attorneys must annually register with the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission and pay the fee for active attorneys and fully comply with the MCLE requirements.
The house counsel license and authorization terminates upon the earliest of the following:
Attorneys failing to obtain new employment within 120 days must promptly notify the Clerk of the Illinois Supreme Court in writing regarding the date of termination and can no longer practice under the house counsel rules.