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Supervised Practice or Practice Pending Admission

THE BOARD OF LAW EXAMINERS IS OPERATING REMOTELY.

Tennessee Board of Law Examiners

Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 7, Sections 10.04 and 10.07 – Supervised Practice and Practice Pending Admission

Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 7 includes provisions for recent law school graduates and for applicants licensed in another U.S. jurisdiction to practice under certain conditions upon submission of an Application to Tennessee for Admission by Examination, by Re-Examination, or by UBE Score Transfer.

Recent law school graduates who have applied for admission in Tennessee may register to practice under supervision pursuant to Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 7, Section 10.04. The purpose of this provision is to allow new law school graduates, not licensed in any other jurisdiction, to practice under supervision while studying for the examination and awaiting results.

  • Services permitted under supervision of a Tennessee attorney and with consent of the client include, but are not limited to, appearances in trial courts, courts of review and administrative tribunals; drafting pleadings and other documents and working with clients.
  • The supervising attorney must be licensed and in good standing in Tennessee, have practiced a minimum of 3 years, and assume professional responsibility for the direct and immediate supervision for the professional work of the applicant.
  • The Applicant cannot accept direct compensation from a client but can be a salaried employee if the salary is independent of compensation paid for representation.  
  • Work pending admission can be billed at normal entry level rates.
  • New associates who are recent law school graduates and who have applied for admission in Tennessee can begin practicing under supervision immediately after completing registration for practice under Section 10.04.
  • Disclosure and registration requirements are not extensive and easy to complete.

Applicants who are licensed and in good standing in another U.S. jurisdiction who apply for admission in Tennessee may register to practice pending admission under Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 7, Section 10.07. The purpose of this provision is to permit attorneys licensed and in good standing in another jurisdiction with a pending application for admission in Tennessee to practice during the pendency of the application. Attorneys who plan to relocate to Tennessee to practice law should begin the application process prior to the move to Tennessee as completion of the application and the background investigation take time.

  • The attorney-applicant must have an  active license, in good standing in at least one other U.S. jurisdiction and must associate with a lawyer who is admitted and in good standing in Tennessee.
  • Within 30 days of establishing a presence for the practice of law in Tennessee, the attorney-applicant must notify the Board of Professional Responsibility in writing that the attorney has done so pursuant to Rule 7, Sec. 10.07. 
  • The attorney-applicant does not need to be employed by or working with the associated attorney and is not required to be supervised by the associated attorney.
  • Once registered, the attorney-applicant may engage in the active practice of law in Tennessee under Section 10.07.

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REQUIREMENTS AND REGISTRATION PROCESS FOR LAW SCHOOL GRADUATES NOT LICENSED IN ANY U.S. JURISDICTION: TENN. SUP. CT. R. 7 SEC. 10.04 – SUPERVISED PRACTICE BEFORE ADMISSION BY EXAMINATION SCORE (See Note 1 below)

Applicants who have never been licensed in another jurisdiction in the United States, the District of Columbia, or U.S. Territories and who:

  • Have submitted an application for admission by examination, re-examination or transfer UBE score;
  • Meet the educational requirements of Rule 7;
  • Work in Tennessee under the supervision of a licensed Tennessee attorney; and
  • Have:
    • not yet had to opportunity to take the Tennessee bar examination, or
    • taken the examination but have not received notification of grades, or
    • have been notified of a score on the Uniform Bar Examination that meets the Tennessee minimum score requirements but have not yet been admitted as a member of the Tennessee bar (see Note 2 below)

may register to provide supervised legal services in this jurisdiction during the pendency of the application for admission to the extent provided in Rule 7 Section 10.04 until such approval expires. Applications for examination are open March 1 – May 20 and October 1 – December 2.

Permission to engage in supervised legal service expires:

  • Upon admission in Tennessee or any other state;
  • For unsuccessful examinees who do not apply for re-examination within 10 days of release of examination scores; or
  • Upon issuance of an order to show cause; and
  • In no event, for no more than sixteen (16) months from the date applicant graduated from law school.

HOW TO REGISTER FOR SUPERVISED PRACTICE

The Application to Register for Practice under Supervision can be found in the forms at the bottom of this page. Submit the completed form and the $40 fee by check via U.S. mail to: Tennessee Board of Law Examiners, 511 Union Street, Suite 525, Nashville, TN, 37219. (See Note 3 below).

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REQUIREMENTS AND REGISTRATION PROCESS FOR APPLICANTS LICENSED IN ANOTHER JURISDICTION: TENN. SUP. CT. R. 7 SEC. 10.07 – PRACTICE PENDING ADMISSION

Attorneys who hold a license to practice law that is active and in good standing in another jurisdiction in the United States, District of Columbia or a U.S. Territory, and who:

  • Have submitted an application for admission by examination, re-examination, or UBE score transfer; and
  • Move to Tennessee and begin employment or open an office prior to approval for licensing and admission to the bar of Tennessee

may provide legal services in this jurisdiction during the pendency of the application for admission but for no more than 365 days under certain circumstances. Please see Rule 7, Section 10.07 and Policy P-10.07 for complete details.

An attorney licensed in another U.S. jurisdiction who will be seeking admission to Tennessee by examination, or re-examination, and who moves to Tennessee and begins employment or opens an office during a time that applications for admission by examination or re-examination are not open, may register for practice pending admission provided that the attorneys submits the application for admission within 5 business days of the opening date of applications for admission by examination. Applications for examination are open March 1 – May 20 and October 1 – December 20.

HOW TO REGISTER FOR PRACTICE PENDING ADMISSION

The Application to Register for Practice Pending Admission can be found in the forms at the bottom of this page. Submit the completed form and the $40 fee by check or money order via U.S. mail to: Tennessee Board of Law Examiners 511 Union Street, Suite 525 Nashville, TN, 37219. (See Note 3 below).

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RE-REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS:

Applicants who change jobs or supervisors must submit an application to re-register under §§ 10.04 or 10.07 and pay the fee of $25. The form can be found at the bottom of this page.

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NOTES

1. See Policies P-10.04 and P-10.07 for Application and Registration requirements.

2. If your application for admission in Tennessee is pending at the time you become licensed in another state or U.S. jurisdiction, you must amend your application and register for practice pending admission under Rule 7, Sec. 10.07. 

3. The registration fee must be paid by check or cash for practice pending admission; credit card payments are not available for registration at this time. Please be sure to clearly mark your name and NCBE number on the check or money order; you may pay in cash in person.