Massachusetts House Counsel

Rule 4:02(9) of the Supreme Judicial Court Rules allows out-of-state attorneys practicing as in-house counsel in Massachusetts on behalf of an organization or governmental entity to register and practice without formal admission to the Massachusetts Bar.

Attorneys must be admitted to another United States jurisdiction and cannot be disbarred or suspended in any jurisdiction.

Attorneys must practice on behalf of a single organization, which includes a government entity, or its organizational affiliates. “Organization” does not include a corporation, partnership, limited liability company, or other entity that itself engages in the practice of law by providing legal services to others.

Attorneys cannot engage in practice where Massachusetts Pro Hac Vice admission is required.

Attorneys are required to advise the Board by filing an initial registration statement and annual registration statements. The registration statements include:

  • A certificate of good standing from each jurisdiction where the attorney is licensed to practice (initial annual registration statement only).
  • An appropriate annual registration statement that he or she will limit legal practice in Massachusetts to practice as in-house counsel, and identifies the organization on whose behalf the legal services are provided.
  • Disclose whether the attorney is in good standing in each jurisdiction where he or she is admitted. If not in good standing in any jurisdiction, the attorney must disclose an explanation of the circumstances.
  • Be signed by an authorized representative of the organization.

Attorneys that change or terminate his or her employment must file a supplemental statement of the changed information under 4:02(1) regardless of whether he or she continues to engage in the practice of law in Massachusetts as in-house counsel in another organization.