General Instructions on How to Apply for Admission by Special Legal Consultant
Rules Regulating Admission to the Bar in the District of Columbia
You are responsible to read and understand the rules governing admission and unauthorized practice of law: D.C. App. R. 46 (https://admissions.dcappeals.gov/rule-46) and D.C. App. R. 49 (https://admissions.dcappeals.gov/admin/getpdfformfromadmin.action?queryType=1&id=389)
Proper Application Filing Process
For your application to be properly filed, you must submit the electronic application, any required supplemental documents, application fees, and the District of Columbia authorization and release form. You will receive an acknowledgement email when you complete the steps and file your application online.
- Create an Account - All applicants for Special Legal Consultant must create an account and answer screening questions even if you have already submitted a paper application. If have already completed a paper application and submitted the character and fitness questionnaire to NCBE, you will not be required to complete another full character and fitness application.
- Application - Complete and submit the application online.
- Filing Fee - Pay the prescribed filing fee, either by credit card, debit card, or e-check. We do not accept any other form of payment. If you have already paid the application fee to the Committee on Admissions please send an email to the staff contact whose email address corresponds to the alphabetic range containing your last name:
- District of Columbia Authorization and Release form - Print the A&R form and sign it in the presence of a notary. Scan and save the notarized A&R as a PDF document. The properly signed and notarized A&R PDF must be uploaded to your account.
- Supplemental forms - Applicants must upload a current certificate from the authority in the foreign country having final jurisdiction over professional discipline certifying that the applicant is authorized to practice law. The certification should include: the date the applicant was admitted to practice law, certification that the applicant is in good standing and does not have any outstanding professional complaints. The certification must be accompanied by an English translation by a credentialed translator.
- Summary of Laws and Customs - Applicants must provide a summary of the laws and customs of the foreign country that demonstrate reciprocity for D.C. licensed attorneys to establish offices and give legal advice to clients in such foreign country.
- Proof of Age - Applicants must demonstrate they are 26 years of age or older. A copy of a birth certificate or official government ID can be uploaded to fulfill this requirement.
- Intent to Practice in the District of Columbia - Applicants must demonstrate the intent to practice as a Special Legal Consultant in the District of Columbia and to maintain an office for such practice in the District of Columbia. Complete the Affidavit of Intent of Practice in the District of Columbia and upload a notarized copy to your account.
- Additional Documentation – The documents that applicants need from third parties or other sources will be determined by your responses to specific questions. Applicants who reply "yes" to questions regarding the following will need to provide additional documentation: arrests, civil litigation, military service, alcohol or drug related traffic violation and tax debt. Note: The analyst performing the background investigation may ask for other information after your application is submitted.
Within 7-10 business days after filing your application with the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, you will receive an email from the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) with instructions on how to submit payment for the background investigation.
If you are a first time applicant to the District of Columbia who has already completed and made payment for a character and fitness questionnaire through the NCBE website for a District of Columbia application, you will also complete the Abbreviated Application. You will not pay additional for the Abbreviated Application and you will not receive an email from NCBE.
All information and announcements are posted on our website at https://admissions.dcappeals.gov/home. You are expected to regularly visit the Committee on Admissions ("COA") web site to review the announcements and information posted there. COA corresponds with applicants primarily via e-mail. You are required to maintain a current e-mail address and mailing address on your personal COA Registration Account, and to regularly read all mail from this office, whether sent electronically or by postal service. It is your responsibility to ensure that e-mails from COA are not filtered as spam and to add @admissions.dcappeals.gov to your e-mail address book.