SJC Rule 3:03, Legal Assistance to the Commonwealth and to
Indigent Criminal Defendants, and to Indigent Parties in Civil
This Rule permits eligible students in their next to last year of law school to appear in civil proceedings and permits eligible students in their final year of law school to appear in
civil & criminal proceedings on behalf of the Commonwealth or indigent parties under the general supervision of a member of the bar of the Commonwealth.
The Dean of the law school must provide the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County an account of the student's character, legal ability, and training; a statement indicating that the student has successfully completed or is enrolled in a course for credit in evidence or trial practice; and, must provide the Court with the student's supervising Attorney's name, office address and Board of Bar Overseers number. In accordance with this Rule, the Supreme Judicial Court mandates a Rule 3:03 Student Practitioner Form that must be filed with the Clerk's office by the Dean of the Law School.
Within seven (7) to ten (ten) business days of the law school's Dean filing the completed Form, the student may be granted a Student Practitioner certification, which corresponds to his/her eligibility. Notice of the student's practitioner certification will be sent to the law school, the supervising attorney and the student.
Student Practitioner status shall be in effect until such time that a student no longer meets the criteria of the Rule, and shall be in effect, unless withdrawn earlier, until the date of the first bar examination following the student's graduation, and as to a student taking that examination, until the announcement of the results thereof. The approval for any student who passes that examination, the approval shall continue in effect for six months after the date of examination or until the date of his/her admission to the bar, whichever is sooner, unless otherwise ordered by the Supreme Judicial Court.