Massachusetts Legal Services Organizations

Rule 3:04 of the Supreme Judicial Court Rules allows certain out-of-state attorneys associated with graduate programs or organized legal services organizations to practice in Massachusetts without formal admission to the Massachusetts Bar.

Applicants must be either:

  • Enrolled in a graduate criminal law or poverty law and litigation program in an approved Massachusetts law school; or
  • Have graduated from an ABA approved law school and are employed or associated with an organized non-profit legal services program providing
    legal services to indigents in civil or criminal matters.

Attorneys must also be members of the bar of the highest court or any state, district, or territory of the United States.

Attorneys may practice before the Massachusetts courts in all causes in which he or she is associated with the graduate program, non-profit public defender program, or non-profit legal services program.

Attorneys are subject to the registration and assessment requirements of Rules 4:02 and 4:03 of the Supreme Judicial Court Rules.

Attorneys are required to file with the Clerk of the Court for Suffolk County:

  • A certificate of good standing where admitted.
  • An organized legal services program statement that the attorney is currently associated with the organization.

The authorization is valid for no more than two years and terminates when the attorney ceases to be associated with the program or organization. The program or legal services organization must file a statement with the Clerk of Court for Suffolk County a statement that the attorney has ceased to be associated with the program or organization.