New Jersey Board of Bar Examiners
New Jersey Board of Bar Examiners
PO Box 973
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0973
IN-HOUSE COUNSEL LIMITED LICENSURE PURSUANT TO RULE 1:27-2
The Supreme Court has adopted Rule 1:27-2, which governs the mandatory limited licensing of in-house
counsel who work in New Jersey and who are not already members of the Bar of this State. Please see
Rule 1:27-2 to determine if you are required to file this application.
Please read this entire document prior to beginning the application process.
STARTING THE PROCESS
Applicants must create an account on-line. The link to register/log in is located on the top right hand side of the home page of the web site.
The registration form asks for the state in which you are taking the MBE. This question is not relevant to In-House Counsel application. You may choose New Jersey for the MBE state.
Once you have registered, you will receive an activation email firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure you check your spam folder and/or permit emails from njbarexams.org. If you have not received this e-mail within 24 hours, use the link on the bottom of the webpage to contact technical support.
After you have activated your account, you can begin an application. Log into your user account, and click “Application Forms” then “Apply” under the In-House Counsel header.
A complete In-House Counsel application consists of several elements as follows:
1. A one-page paper application form, which must be completed, signed and uploaded from your User Home Page;
2. A one page Authorization and Release form, which must be signed, notarized and uploaded from your User Home Page;
3. A two-page Certification of Applicant, which must be completed by the applicant and uploaded from your User Home Page;
4. A two-page Certification of Employer, which must be completed by the applicant’s employer and uploaded from your User Home Page or sent directly to the New Jersey Board of Bar Examiners;
5. The $750 filing fee, paid by credit card (on-line at the time of submission) or in the form of a business check, certified check, cashier’s check or money order (NO personal checks) attached to the original application. Payment should be made to Secretary, Board of Bar Examiners. Payment must be attached to the IHC Non-credit Card Payments form.
NOTES: Personal checks are not accepted for the In-House Counsel filing fee. Fees submitted in the wrong form or amount will be subject to late filing fees and procedures.
All fees are nonrefundable once they are surrendered to the US Postal Service or other carrier for delivery to the Board.
As of May 1, 2019, credit cards transactions cannot be processed from 11:30 p.m.-12:00 a.m. EST. Credit card payments must be received prior to 11:30 p.m. EST to ensure they are posted on the same day.
6. The on-line Character and Fitness Questionnaire (also referred to as character statement or character and fitness form), which must be submitted on-line within 60 days of the commencement of eligible employment. Once all sections of the questionnaire are complete, a submit button will be activated. Until you press "submit", your application will not be submitted to the Board of Bar Examiners.
NOTES: Do not send a paper copy of your Character and Fitness Questionnaire.
You are required to amend your Certified Statement within 30 days of any change to the information provided. This requirement remains in effect until your application has been approved or denied. To amend your application, go to your User Home Page and select "Amend Application." After you have made your changes, return to your user home page and click “Submit Amendment.”
Items 1-4 are available for download on your user home page, under Forms & Progress. Click “View PDF,” download and print all four documents. Payment (if not using a credit card) should be submitted to the appropriate address listed below.
Retain a copy of your payment form and the originals of all documents uploaded. To guard against loss and ensure proof of timely filing, ship by overnight carrier, return receipt and/or required signature by receiver to one of the following addresses:
Overnight Delivery via DHL, FedEx, UPS, etc.:
**NOTE: The US Postal Service will not deliver to this address**
Board of Bar Examiners
Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex
25 West Market St., 8th Fl, North Wing
Trenton, NJ 08611
Certified/First Class/Express/Priority Mail via United States Postal Service ONLY:
Board of Bar Examiners
PO Box 973
Trenton, NJ 08625-0973
NOTE: Supplemental documents (Certificates of Good Standing, Driver’s abstracts, etc) should not be included with your initial submission. Please see the Supplemental Documents section below for submission instructions and applicable deadlines.
Items 1 through 6 must be submitted within 60 days of commencement of employment for your application to be considered timely. Failure to file within 60 days of commencement of employment requires additional fees and procedures as detailed below.
Applications/submissions which do not contain the six items above will be considered incomplete and not accepted for filing until the issue(s) is corrected. Upon resubmission, you will be responsible for any applicable late fees and procedures as detailed below.
Supplemental Documents (Certificates of Good Standing, Disciplinary Letters, etc.) have a later deadline and should not be included with your initial filing. Please see the supplemental documentation section for submission procedures.
Pursuant to the Notice to the Bar, issued March 2007, (available at www.njbarexams.org, under the In-House Counsel drop down menu), if your application is not submitted within 60 days of commencement of employment, you must first Petition the Court for Leave to File your application out of time. The instructions to petition the Court are available at www.njbarexams.org. Look under the FAQ’s under “General.”
If your petition is granted, you must submit your completed application, the filing fee and late fee by the date indicated in the Order you receive. Attach a copy of this Order to your submission.
NOTE: The $150 fee, in the form of a business check, certified check, cashier’s check or money order, should made payable to: “Secretary, Board of Bar Examiners.” This payment can be submitted in the same payment as the filing fee ($900 total) or separately ($750 + $150).
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS AND OTHER CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE OFFICE
Once your paper documents are received, your case file manager/processor will look for your on-line submitted character questionnaire. Applications are processed in the order the documents are received in the office. Once your case file manager processes your submission, you will receive an acknowledgement packet and fingerprint information posted to your User Home Page. Please read both of these documents carefully.
Communication with your case file manager can be accomplished in one of three ways:
- Messaging from your User Home Page;
- Email; and
Please select only ONE method for each question you have; sending the same inquiry multiple times slows down response time. During peak periods, case file managers' voice mailboxes are often filled to capacity. Please allow at least two business days for your case file manager to respond before sending a follow up.
CHECK YOUR SPAM FOLDER PERIODICALLY AND/OR ALLOW EMAILS FROM THE BAR ADMISSIONS OFFICE.
Supplemental documents must be submitted on-line AFTER submitting the Character and Fitness Questionnaire. Once the questionnaire is submitted, a link to upload documents will be activated (lower right hand side of your User Home Page). Supplemental documents are due within 30 days of submission of your application. If the deficiencies are not cured within 30 days, the application will be denied due to non-compliance and your employer will be notified in writing.
1. DRIVER'S ABSTRACTS
You must submit a certified complete record of your driving history, which is maintained by the Division of Motor Vehicles in the state or jurisdiction (including foreign jurisdictions) in which you hold (or have held) a driver's license in the last seven years. Any on-line abstracts that are submitted MUST be obtained from the motor vehicle agency of the respective state or jurisdiction; no third-party abstracts will be accepted. You must request a COMPLETE abstract. Abbreviated abstracts are not accepted.
NEW JERSEY LICENSED DRIVERS:
Applicants must check the box "CERTIFIED COMPLETE RECORD - $15 PER SEARCH (Court/Bar Exam)." Complete abstracts must be requested through the mail. Do not visit a DMV office to obtain this document. You will not receive a complete abstract.
NEW YORK LICENSED DRIVERS:
PENNSYLVANIA LICENSED DRIVERS:
These request forms can also be accessed from the "General Application Information" tab on our web site. Driver's abstracts cannot be dated more than six (6) months prior to the date of application.
2. CERTIFICATES OF GOOD STANDING
Applicants must upload a Certificate of Good Standing, or evidence of Resignation without Prejudice, from any jurisdictions in which the applicant has ever been admitted. The Certificate must have been issued within six months of the application, and must state that the applicant is ‘In Good Standing’ in the jurisdiction.
Pursuant to Rule 1:27-2, Attorneys applying for In-House Counsel must be active in at least one jurisdiction. Attorneys who cannot provide a Certificate of Good Standing or evidence of Resignation without Prejudice from every jurisdiction in which he or she has EVER been admitted will be denied.
3. DISCIPLINARY HISTORIES
All applicants must submit documentation regarding the applicant’s disciplinary history from all jurisdictions in which the applicant has ever been admitted. If you have never been the subject of a disciplinary action, you are still required to submit confirmation of that information. Printouts from online sources are not acceptable.
NOTE: In many jurisdictions, this document is separate from the Certificate of Good Standing. A list of disciplinary offices is available on our website under the "General Application Information" tab.
4. APPLICANT SPECIFIC SUPPLEMENTAL DOCUMENTS BASED ON CHARACTER QUESTIONNAIRE RESPONSES
Thoroughly review your Character questionnaire for documentation you are required to submit. Provide personal narratives and documents from external agencies as required. These documents include, but are not limited to:
- Court reports;
- School transcripts;
- Police documentation;
- Other documents as indicated when required based on answers to the character questionnaire;
- Any documentation requested by your reviewing attorney, typically due within 30 days of the request.
NOTE: If you are no longer in possession of the required documents, you must make a reasonable attempt to procure the documentation. If the required documentation is unavailable from the appropriate external sources, you must provide confirmation on the agency’s letterhead.
1. CRIMINAL HISTORY CHECK / FINGERPRINTING
All applicants must be fingerprinted in connection with their In-House Counsel Application. By law, fingerprinting results are only available to the agency requesting the prints. Applicants who have previously been fingerprinted by another agency must be re-printed. Detailed instructions regarding the fingerprinting process will be provided in your on-line acknowledgement. You cannot be printed until you have received instructions and a "Contributor's Case Number" for Box 7 of the form, which will be included with your acknowledgement information. Once you have been fingerprinted, results will be forwarded to the Board of Bar Examiners.
2. CREDIT REPORT
The Board of Bar Examiners will obtain a credit report for each applicant as part of the character review process.
The applicant should not submit a credit report at the time of application.
3. ADDRESS / EMPLOYMENT CHANGES
Any address changes, home or business must be reported to the Board of Bar Examiners as soon as possible. This requirement remains throughout your admission. The required forms are available under the In-House Counsel menu.
NOTE: Prior to your admission, you are also required to amend the appropriate sections of your Character and Fitness Questionnaire. On your user home page, click “Amend Application” and update the appropriate sections. Be sure to return to your user home page and click “Submit.” If you would like the new address to be your mailing address, you must also update your personal info via the link in the upper right corner. Upon your admission, your employment address will be your primary mailing/billing address.
REVIEW BY THE COMMITTEE ON CHARACTER
After all required documentation and the results of your criminal history check are received, your application will be reviewed for certification. The Committee on Character may request additional information regarding disclosures made in your Character and Fitness Questionnaire. If information is not provided timely, your application may be denied.
Once your file has been approved/certified by the Committee on Character, you will receive a roll of attorneys card. This card will be mailed to the current business address on file. Be sure to keep all addresses updated. This card must be completed and returned to effectuate your admission.
OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION:
Although Rule 1:27-2 supersedes Opinion 14 of the UPLC, the limitations have not changed. In-House Counsel Licensure does not permit you to appear in New Jersey Courts or litigate on behalf of your employer. You may not appear as the attorney of record, and you may not represent public clients. Attorneys seeking to file pleadings, litigate or appear in New Jersey Courts or any quasi-judicial body on behalf of their employer or any public client must be admitted with a plenary license by taking the New Jersey Bar Examination, or be admitted on a per case pro hac vice basis, pursuant to Rule 1:21-2.
Pursuant to the Notice to the Bar, issued March 2007, (available at www.njbarexams.org, under the In-House Counsel drop down menu), a lawyer who files a timely application for limited licensure may continue to work for his or her employer under the dictates of UPLC Opinion 14 until the applicant either receives a limited license under the Rule, or is informed that the application has been rejected.