.0905 Pro Bono Practice by Out of State Lawyers
(a) A lawyer licensed to practice in another state but not North Carolina who desires to provide legal services free of charge to indigent persons may file a petition with the secretary addressed to the council setting forth:
(1) the petitioner’s name and address;
(2) the state(s) in which the petitioner is or has been licensed and the date(s) when the petitioner was licensed;
(3) the name of a member who is employed by a nonprofit corporation qualified to render legal services pursuant to G.S. 84-5.1 and has agreed to supervise the petitioner; and
(4) any other matters pertinent to the petition as determined by the council.
(b) Along with the petition, the petitioner shall provide in writing:
(1) a certificate of good standing from each jurisdiction in which the petitioner has been licensed;
(2) a record of any professional discipline ever imposed against the petitioner;
(3) a statement from the petitioner that the petitioner is submitting to the disciplinary jurisdiction of the North Carolina State Bar, and will be governed by the North Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct in regard to any law practice authorized by the council in consequence of the petition; and
(4) a statement from the member identified in the petition agreeing to supervise the petitioner in the provision of pro bono legal services exclusively for indigent persons.
(c) The petition shall be referred to the Administrative Committee for review. After reviewing the petition and other pertinent information, the committee shall make a recommendation to the council regarding whether the petition should be granted.
(d) Upon receipt of a petition and other information satisfying the provisions this rule, the council may, in its discretion, enter an order permitting the petitioner to provide legal services to indigent persons on a pro bono basis under the supervision of a member employed by a nonprofit corporation qualified to render legal services pursuant to G.S. 84-5.1. The order shall become effective immediately upon entry by the council. A copy of the order shall be mailed to the petitioner and to the supervising member. No person permitted to practice pursuant to such an order shall pay any membership fee to the North Carolina State Bar or any district bar or any other charge ordinarily imposed upon active members, nor shall any such person be required to attend continuing legal education courses.
(e) A petitioner may be a compensated employee of a nonprofit corporation qualified to render legal services pursuant to G.S. 84-5.1 and, if granted pro bono practice status, may provide legal services to the indigent clients of that corporation subject to the following conditions:
(1) the petitioner has filed an application for admission with the North Carolina Board of Law Examiners (BLE) and has never previously been denied admission to the North Carolina State Bar for any reason; a copy of the petitioner’s application shall be provided with the petition for pro bono practice;
(2) if the petitioner is granted pro bono practice status, that status will terminate when the BLE makes its final ruling on the petitioner’s application for admission; and
(3) the petitioner is supervised in the provision of all legal services to indigent persons as set forth in paragraph (d).
(f) A lawyer who is paid in-house counsel for a business organization with offices in North Carolina may petition under this rule to provide legal services to indigent persons on a pro bono basis under the supervision of a member employed by a nonprofit corporation qualified to render legal services pursuant to G.S. 84-5.1.
(g) Permission to practice under this rule terminates upon notice from the member identified in the petition pursuant to Rule .0905(a)(3) above, or from the nonprofit corporation employing such member, that the out-of-state lawyer is no longer supervised by any member employed by the corporation. In addition, permission to practice under this rule being entirely discretionary on the part of the council, the order granting such permission may be withdrawn by the council for good cause shown without notice to the out-of-state lawyer or an opportunity to be heard.
History Note: Statutory authority G.S. 84-7.1
Adopted by the Supreme Court March 6, 2008
Amendments Approved by the Supreme Court: September 24, 2015; September 22, 2016