Rule: New Jersey Rules 1:21-3(b)
Eligible students: Any 3rd year law student (plus certain graduates) at an accredited law school.
Eligible law offices; required supervision: Law school clinics, legal service society or project, agency of local or state government.
Permitted scope of practice: Trial court or agency.
Programs intending to allow students to appear in court must be approved by the New Jersey Supreme Court, and students practicing under the rule must be reported to the Administrative Office of the Courts.
1. For approval of the “program” referred to in the rule, an office proposing to have law students practicing under this rule submits a petition to the New Jersey Supreme Court. There is no prescribed format for the petition, which may be a letter on the office’s letterhead stating generally what the students would do, affirming that the student would be supervised by a licensed New Jersey attorney. The letter-petition is sent to
Christine Lewis Knightly
Chief, Judicial Education and Performance
Administrative Office of the Courts
Box 037, Hughes Justice Complex
25 W. Market St.
Trenton, NJ 08625
Ms. Lewis Knightley presents the petition to the Court in a session addressing such administrative matters.Interns may not appear in court until the program is approved by the Supreme Court..
2. “Report of participants and the nature of their assignments” are made to Ms. Lewis Knightly, as interns are hired by an agency. Such reports will include the name of students, a statement that the students are third year law students in good standing, the nature of the work they will do and the supervision that will be provided. Her office keeps a record of such reports, so that any question about a student eligibility can be resolved. Confirmaion is sent within two weeks of receipt of the report; if confirmation is needed sooner, a phone call can be made and the office may be able to fax the confirmation.
IF YOU ARE A STUDENT: Responsibility for compliance with the N.J. student practice rules is placed on the supervising attorney, who will be reporting your name to the Administrative Office of the Courts, as described here. NOTE, HOWEVER that, apart from practice rules, your employing agency may require documentation from your law school to satisfy their internal rules or the requirements of their legal malpractice carriers before they will allow you to appear in court. We have found that this is the usual practice of Legal Services offices.
For more information, contact Ms. Lewis Knightly: 609-292-0622, or at Christine.Lewis@judiciary.state.nj.us
New Jersey Rules of Court, as amended through July 20, 2001
1:21-3. Appearance by Law Graduates and Students; Special Permission for Out-of-State Attorneys (b) Appearance by Law Students and Graduates. A third year law student at, or graduate of, a law school approved by the American Bar Association may appear before a trial court or agency in accordance with a program approved by the Supreme Court on submission by such law school, a legal aid society, legal services project, or an agency of municipal, county or state government. A program once approved, need not be resubmitted to the Supreme Court provided that reports are filed listing the participants and the nature of their assignments, as required by the Administrative Office of the Courts. Participation in a program pursuant to this paragraph by a law graduate who has not passed the New Jersey bar examination shall terminate upon his receiving notification that he has been unsuccessful on the examination for the third time, or after two years of employment following graduation, whichever is sooner.