North Dakota House Counsel

Rule 3(b) of the North Dakota Supreme Court Rules allows attorneys licensed in other jurisdictions to register and represent clients in an Alternative Dispute Resolution process in North Dakota or register and practice as in-house counsel exclusively for a corporation or its subsidiaries or affiliates, an association, or a business whose lawful activities are not the practice of law or the provision of legal services.

Attorneys cannot be licensed in North Dakota but must be admitted and licensed to practice law in another state or the District of Columbia and must be otherwise qualified for admission to the practice of law in North Dakota. Attorneys currently under suspension, disbarment, or license restriction in any jurisdiction are not eligible for pro hac vice admission or registration.

In-house attorneys seeking to appear in person, by signing pleadings, or by being designated as counsel in actions filed in courts, administrative agencies, or other tribunals in North Dakota must file a separate motion for North Dakota Pro Hac Vice admission. If the attorney is properly registered, there is no separate fee.

Attorneys may provide legal services for five years or until the attorney becomes eligible for admission based on practice as provided by the rules for North Dakota Admission on Motion, whichever is earlier. Attorneys must then apply for and be admitted to the practice of law in North Dakota in order to provide legal services in North Dakota.

Attorneys registered as in-house counsel must also comply with North Dakota’s CLE requirements and have to complete at least 45 hours of approved CLE coursework during each a three-year period.

Application and Registration
Attorneys are required to file with the North Dakota Board of Law Examiners the following:

  • Attorney Affidavit. An affidavit requesting permission to render legal services in North Dakota for the calendar year as in-house counsel or by representing a client in an alternative dispute resolution process.
  • Employer Affidavit. Attorneys registering as in-house counsel must submit an affidavit from an officer, director, or general counsel of the attorney’s employer in North Dakota attesting that the registrant is employed as an attorney exclusively for the employer, that the registrant is an individual of good moral character, and that the nature of the employment qualifies the attorney for registration under these rules.

Attorneys registering to represent clients in an Alternative Dispute Resolution process must submit a letter from the disciplinary authority in each jurisdiction where the attorney is admitted indicating the attorney is in good standing in the jurisdiction.

  • The fee is required for an attorney who has been licensed in North Dakota for five years or more.

Registration is required for each calendar year where the nonresident attorney provides legal services in North Dakota as provided in these rules and North Dakota Multijurisdictional Practice Rule 5.5 of the North Dakota Rules of Professional Conduct.

Registration terminates at the end of each calendar year but may be renewed. Registration also terminates if the employment is terminated or if the attorney becomes eligible for admission through the North Dakota Admission on Motion Rules.