How To Apply
Instructions for Application for Admission on Motion (Comity)
The process for submitting an Application for Admission on Motion (Comity/Without Examination) to the Tennessee Bar is completed exclusively online at synergy.tnble.com. Applications received in the mail will be returned for online submission and will not be recorded as filed.
Comity admission is governed by Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 7, Article V. An applicant must have been engaged in the active practice of law as defined in Rule 7 for five of the seven years immediately preceding the application and must meet the education and character and fitness requirements of Rule 7. If your law school education was completed at a non-ABA accredited, non-Tennessee approved school or in a foreign country, you are not eligible for admission without examination.
Applications for Admission on Motion take up to eight months to complete, sometimes longer. If you wish to practice in Tennessee while your application is pending, you MUST register to practice pending admission and can find information here. See: Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 8, RPC 5.5 regarding unauthorized practice of law and exceptions.
Please follow the steps below to apply for Admission on Motion in Tennessee:
Read and familiarize yourself with Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 7 and the Board Policies and Procedures, found under "TN Supreme Court Rule 7" in the bar at the top of this page or under Governing Authorities in the list to the left or by clicking the link. The full version of Rule 7 and the Board Policies are at the bottom of the Governing Authorities page.
Go to www.ncbex.org and create a secure NCBE number account. The NCBE number will be required on all forms completed for the NCBE and the TBLE application process.
Go to www.ncbex.org and complete the character and fitness application. You may begin the NCBE Application at any time within six (6) months prior to the date your application is received by the TNBLE. When you have completed the application form on-line, save your completed NCBE application and all attachments to a .pdf file. It is highly recommended that you keep a copy of the application for your records. Submit the materials and payment to the NCBE in as required in the NCBE instructions. The saved .pdf file will be uploaded to your Tennessee application; see Steps 4 and 5, below.
Failure to provide complete information may result in denial of your application. A duty of candor applies (Rule 7, Sec. 6.04).
- Expunged matters: A matter that has been expunged MUST be disclosed unless it is a matter that was resolved as a juvenile. See generally State v. Schindler, 986 S.W.2d 209 (Tenn. 1999), Wright v. Tennessee Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission, 277 S.W.3d 1 (Tenn. 2008).
- Note: The NCBE application and all attachments must be submitted to the NCBE and a .pdf uploaded to your Synergy Application. You will upload the saved .pdf file to your Synergy Application as provided in Step 5, below. Failure to complete the background investigation process and to upload the NCBE application to your Tennessee application will delay the review of your application by the Board.
- Important Note: The NCBE and the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners are separate entities. The NCBE conducts background investigations for the TBLE. Submitting documents only to the TBLE or only to the NCBE will not meet the filing requirements and will not constitute a complete application. You MUST submit your application to the NCBE and upload a .pdf of your complete NCBE application to your Tennessee Synergy Application (see Steps 4 and 5).
Go to www.tnble.org (this website) and click on the Synergy portal tab at the top of the screen to the left of the “Search” bar. Complete the new user registration and submit. You will receive an email to confirm your registration. Once you have completed the confirmation, you may log in to Synergy. From the dashboard select “Application for Comity Applicants”. Complete the application and then click Finish. You will be able to review your application. Once you have reviewed your application, click on “submit and finalize” (bottom left button)
Once your application has been finalized, return to the dashboard and click the “details” button next to the application. From there you will upload the following documents:
a. the .pdf file of the NCBE application completed online including all attachments uploaded or required to be uploaded to the NCBE (created in Step 3, above);
b. completed Affidavit of Past Practice (form available under FILES at bottom of page);
c. letters of good standing from the highest court of each state in which you are licensed, dated no earlier than 6 months from the date of application; SEE BELOW for Other Bar Admissions (.pdf file only);
d. your current resume (.pdf format only);
e. an official transcript from the school at which you received your bachelor's degree or higher, which can be uploaded or mailed directly to our office (see additional information below including petition requirement for undergraduate degree from non-SACS approved* schools); and
f. an official transcript from the law school from which you received your J.D. degree, which can be uploaded or mailed directly to our office.
* The Comity Application fee may be paid online by credit card after completing the online Synergy application. A convenience fee will be charged as a separate transaction; the amount depends on the type of card used. Fees paid by check or money order must be payable to the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners and mailed to our office at TBLE, 511 Union Street, Suite 525, Nashville, TN 37219, or paid in person by check, money order, or cash.
ADDITIONAL EXPLANATION OF DOCUMENTATION REQUIREMENTS:
OTHER BAR ADMISSIONS (Step 5c.): With your application, you must submit certification from the highest court of each state in which you are or have been licensed, dated within the 6 months preceding your application, indicating (1) that you are admitted to the highest court of the jurisdiction and (2) the standing of your licensed in the jurisdiction (good, inactive, suspended, etc). This may be a single or multiple certificates, depending on the certification process of each state. A certificate from the state bar is not sufficient unless the State Bar is the agency charged with maintaining the official admission and disciplinary records. If you become licensed in another jurisdiction while your Tennessee application is pending, you must amend your application and provide certification of admission to the highest court and good standing (see Amendments, below).
Applicants who are educated at an unaccredited undergraduate college or who have an undergraduate degree from a foreign country (Step 5e.): If you received your undergraduate education from a college that was not on the approved list of the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools (SACS) or equivalent regional accrediting association, or you received your undergraduate education at a school located in a foreign country, you must include with your application a request for waiver with evidence that your undergraduate education is substantially equivalent to an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited school, see Rule 7, Sec. 2.01(c). Applicants who received their legal education in a foreign country and who did not receive a J.D. from an ABA-accredited or Tennessee-approved law school are not eligible for admission without examination (Rule 7, Section 7.01).
AMENDMENTS TO APPLICATION: While your Comity application is pending, if you have supplemental, new or different information to report, you must print and complete the application amendment form (see files below). Once completed, the form should be saved as a .pdf file and uploaded to your Synergy application under 'Applicant Additional Documentation'. Please note that if your NCBE application is still pending, you are required to amend your application with the NCBE as well. Visit http://www.ncbex.org for amendment requirements. A change to your personal address and phone number are done in Synergy (https://synergy.tnble.com) in your system profile (My Profile Page). To change an email address only, please send an email to BLE.firstname.lastname@example.org requesting the change.