Rhode Island Legal Services Organizations

Article II, Rule 2(e) of the Rhode Island Supreme Court Rules allows attorneys licensed in the highest court of a state, district, or territory of the United States to be admitted before the Rhode Island courts when associated with an organized, and Rhode Island Supreme Court approved, program providing legal services to indigents. The authorization also allows attorneys for programs sponsored by the Rhode Island Public Defender. The permitted practice cannot last more than two years.

Time spent practicing under the legal services authorization does not qualify for the practice requirement of the Rhode Island Modified Bar Exam.

The Rhode Island Supreme Court may grant approval to programs providing legal services to indigents that are either funded in whole or in part by a federal government or the Rhode Island Bar Foundation or those sponsored by a law school accredited and approved by the American Bar Association.

Application and Certification
The Board of Bar Examiners must be satisfied that the attorney is a member in good standing in their home jurisdiction and he or she will be associated with an approved legal services program. The attorney must then file a written Application with the Clerk’s Office.

Permission to practice cannot last longer than two years and ceases when the attorney is no longer associated with the legal services program.