Practice Pending Admission for Recent Graduates

On May 13, 2020, the Court announced that Gov. Bar R. I, Sec. 19, Practice Pending Admission During the Admission to the Practice of Law Process (PPA) shall be expanded to allow recent law school graduates to apply to the Court for temporary supervised practice.  Applications for PPA will be available on the Office of Bar Admissions website.  The Office of Bar Admissions will begin accepting PPA applications on Monday, June 15, 2020.  Please refer to In re July 2020 Bar Examination and expansion of PPA order.

FAQ
Application Materials

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Who is eligible to submit a PPA application?
  2. An applicant must satisfy the following requirements: 1) must be a December 2019 or 2020 graduate of an ABA accredited law school; 2) must satisfy the provisions of Gov. Bar R. I, Sec. 1-3 and have a Registration Application and Application to take the July 2020 administration of the bar exam already submitted to the Office of Bar Admissions; 3) must receive from the Board of Commissioners on Character and Fitness (Board) final approval of the applicant’s character, fitness , and moral qualifications to practice; 4) must not have failed a bar examination in Ohio or any other jurisdiction.

  3. When can an applicant apply for PPA?
  4. An applicant must receive final character and fitness approval from the Board before submitting an application for PPA. PPA applications will be available online as of June 1, 2020.  The Office of Bar Admissions will begin accepting PPA applications as early as Monday, June 15, 2020.

  5. How does an applicant receive final approval from the Board?
  6. Once an applicant receives provisional approval from the local bar association, the Office of Bar Admissions will submit the applicant for final Board approval.

  7. When will an applicant know they received final character and fitness approval?
  8. The Office of Bar Admissions will send notice to the applicant informing them of the Board’s decision.  The Board will be reviewing applicant files and issuing final approvals on a continuing basis.  If the Board issues final approval, the application materials and instructions for PPA will be provided.  If an applicant does not receive final approval, the applicant will be notified and provided further information.

  9. When does PPA terminate?
  10. PPA terminates upon one of the following: 1) on the Monday after the distribution of the results of the October 2020 Bar Examination if the applicant was unsuccessful; 2) if the applicant was successful on the October 2020 Bar Examination, the PPA shall continue in effect until they are admitted to the practice of law in Ohio as long as the applicant is admitted to the practice of law in Ohio within twelve months following the examination.  If the applicant is not admitted within twelve months of the October 2020 Bar Examination, PPA will automatically terminate; 3) if the applicant withdraws or does not sit for the October 2020 Bar Examination; 4) upon the Board revoking final approval; 5) on the date the applicant is no longer practicing under the supervision of an active Ohio attorney in good standing.

  11. What can an applicant do under PPA?
  12. An applicant can enter appearances, draft legal documents and pleadings, provide legal services to clients, engage in settlement discussions, and provide other counsel consistent with the practice of law in Ohio.

  13. Who may act as a supervising attorney?
  14. The Supervising Attorney must be an active Ohio attorney in good standing, who has been licensed in Ohio for at least three years.  If an applicant is having trouble locating a supervising attorney, they may contact the lawyer to lawyer mentoring program at lawyertolawyer@sc.ohio.gov or they may contact either the Ohio State Bar Association or their local bar association.

  15. Does this affect an applicant’s legal intern license?
  16. If an applicant has been issued a Certified Legal Intern License, they are still subject to the rules and requirements of Gov. Bar R. 2 acting in that capacity.

  17. How should papers filed with a Court be signed?
  18. In addition to the PPA’s name and attorney registration number, the supervising attorney’s name and attorney registration number shall appear on all papers filed with a Court.

  19. How does an applicant know their PPA application was approved?
  20. Upon acceptance of a PPA application, the applicant will be issued an Ohio attorney registration number and will be designated as “Practice Pending Admission” in the attorney directory maintained by the Office of Attorney Services. The Office of Bar Admissions will send a certificate notifying you of your attorney registration number.

  21. What should an applicant do if they become subject to criminal charges or to a disciplinary investigation or sanction in any jurisdiction while authorized to practice pending admission?
  22. The applicant shall notify the Office of Disciplinary Counsel and the Office of Bar Admissions.

  23. What is the fee for PPA?
  24. There is no fee to apply for PPA.

  25. Is the applicant under a continuing duty to update the information contained in their applications after being granted PPA status?
  26. Yes, an applicant is under a continuing duty to update their application until admitted to the practice of law.

  27. Are there Attorney Registration or CLE requirements pursuant to Rules VI or X of the Rules Governing the Bar?
  28. No, these requirements do not exist until fully admitted to the practice of law in Ohio.

  29. Should the supervising attorney sign off on a pleading filed with the Court?
  30. No, the supervising attorney does not need to sign off on a pleading filed with the Court. The purpose for requiring the supervising attorney’s name and attorney registration number on all documents is to inform the Court and/or opposing counsel who is working with the PPA applicant.

  31. Should the supervising attorney be present at all court proceedings?
  32. No, the supervising attorney does not need to be present at all court proceedings. This relationship is not a “supervisory” relationship, but more of a mentorship in which the supervising attorney provides guidance and support to the PPA applicant.

  33. Can the supervising attorney terminate the relationship if the PPA applicant refuses to take their advice?
  34. Yes, the supervising attorney can terminate the relationship at any time and for any reason.

  35. How does the supervising attorney terminate the relationship?
  36. The supervising attorney must notify, in writing, the PPA applicant and the Office of Bar Admissions that they are no longer acting as the applicant’s supervising attorney.

  37. Can the applicant terminate the relationship?
  38. Yes, the applicant can terminate the relationship. The applicant must notify the supervising attorney and the Office of Bar Admissions in writing that the relationship is terminated. However, the applicant must find another supervising attorney or their PPA certification will be terminated.

  39. Where can a PPA applicant find more information and/or guidance about their practice?
  40. Both the Ohio State Bar Association and the Ohio Metropolitan Bar Associations have resources on their website to provide guidance to recent graduates. For more information provided by the OSBA, please visit their website at: https://www.ohiobar.org/membership/Practice-Resources/practice-pending-admission-for-law-school-graduates/. For more information provided by the Ohio Metropolitan Bar Association, please see their best practices guide.

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Application Materials

Practice Pending Admission Documents for Download
1. Application for Certification to Practice Pending Admission
2. Certification
3. Certification of Supervising Ohio Attorney

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