Rule 9.46 permits in house counsel to practice in California only to the qualifying institution that employs the attorney. An attorney practicing under Rule 9.46 cannot make court appearances in California state courts or engage in any activities for which pro hac vice admission is required if they are performed in California by an attorney who is not a member of the State Bar of California and the attorney may not provide personal or individual representation to any customers, shareholders, owners, partners, officers, employees, servants, or agents of the qualifying institution. Please see subsections (c), (d) and (f) for eligibility and application requirements. In-House counsel must renew his/her registration annually and there is no limitation on the number of years house counsel may register under this rule except that you must remain employed by the same qualifying institution that provided the declaration in support of your application. If registered house counsel leaves he employment he/she must notify the State Bar of California within 30 days. To practice as house counsel for a new employer, you must first register as in-house counsel for that employer.
IN-HOUSE COUNSEL RULES
Rule 5.5 and Comment
(1) Rule 9.45 - Registered legal aid attorneys
An attorney practicing under Rule 9.45 may practice law in California only while working, with or without pay, at an eligible legal aid organization, and at that institution and only on behalf of its clients, may engage, under supervision, in all forms of legal practice that are permissible for a member of the State Bar of California.
(2) Rule 9.47 Attorneys practicing law temporarily in California as part of litigation
An attorney may under Rule 9.47 temporarily practice law in California as part of litigation if they meet the requirements in Rule 9.47(b) and adhere to the restrictions in 9.47(d) and abide by the conditions in 9.47(e).
(3) Rule 9.48 Nonlitigating attorneys temporarily in California to provide legal services
An attorney may practice under Rule 9.48 if they meet the requirements of 9.48(b) and adhere to the restrictions and conditions of 9.48(d)-(e). Under Rule 9.48 an attorney may provide legal assistance or legal advice in California to a client concerning a transaction or other nonlitigation matter, a material aspect of which is taking place in another jurisdiction where the attorney is licensed to provide legal services, provide legal assistance or legal advice in California on an issue of federal law or of the law of another jurisdiction to attorneys licensed to practice in California, or is an employee of a client and provide legal assistance or legal advice in California to the client or to the client’s subsidiaries or organizational affiliates.
For further information please see the State Bar of California’s Page on Multijurisdictional practice.
PRO HAC VICE
Rule 9.40 governs pro hac vice admission in California. If you are a resident, regularly employed in or regularly engaged in substantial business, professional, or other activities in California you are not eligible to appear as counsel pro hac vice. Further, the Rule does not condone repeated appearances as counsel pro hac vice. Please see subsection (c)-(d) for application instructions. For further information please see The State Bar of California’s Page on Pro Hac Vice.
ADMISSION ON MOTION
California does not allow admission without examination.
The State Bar of California
San Francisco (Main Office)
180 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone (415) 538-2000
845 S. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90017-2515
State Bar Ethics Information
Last Updated 20 March 2023.