Effective December 4, 2013, the Court of Appeals amended Part 522 to permit registered in-house counsel to provide pro-bono legal services in New York State.

Effective April 20, 2011, the New York State Court of Appeals adopted a rule (22 NYCRR 522) requiring registration by attorneys who, though not admitted to the New York bar, are employed full-time in this state as in-house counsel by a corporation, partnership, association, or other legal entity that is not itself engaged in the practice of law or the rendering of legal services outside such organization. While registration as in-house counsel is not the equivalent of being admitted or licensed to practice law in New York, it permits the attorney to provide legal services in this state to a single employer (or its affiliates) and its officers, directors and employees on matters related to the attorney’s work for that employer. Failure to register is deemed professional misconduct under Part 522.7(b). Attorneys already admitted to the New York bar who are employed as in-house counsel are not subject to Part 522's registration requirement. The complete rule, including definitions of the scope of legal services which may be performed by registered in-house counsel, is available at: www.nycourts.gov/ctapps/522rules11.htm.

Effective December 4, 2013, the Court of Appeals amended Part 522 to permit registered in-house counsel to provide pro-bono legal services in New York State.

Additionally, the rules now make in-house counsel registration available to foreign attorneys who (1) are members in good standing of a recognized legal profession in a non-United States jurisdiction, the members of which are admitted to practice as lawyers or counselors at law or the equivalent and are subject to effective regulation by a duly constituted professional body or public authority. This foreign jurisdiction must also permit attorneys admitted to the New York bar to practice as In-House Counsel in that non-United States jurisdiction; and (2) are admitted in at least one other jurisdiction, within or outside the United States, that would similarly permit an attorney admitted in New York to register as in-house counsel.

In-house counsel application forms and instructions are available by clicking on the links below:

A searchable directory of registered in-house counsel is available at:


The Registration Process

Registration requires submission of an application to the Clerk of the Appellate Division in the judicial department where the applicant resides or is employed (the jurisdiction of each Appellate Division department may be reviewed at www.nycourts.gov/courts/appellatedivisions.shtml). Certain original documentation must accompany the registration application:

  • a certificate of good standing from each jurisdiction in which the applicant is licensed to practice law;
  • a letter from the grievance committee or attorney disciplinary body in each jurisdiction where the applicant is licensed to practice law certifying whether or not charges have ever been filed against the applicant, and, if so, the substance of the charges and the disposition thereof;
  • an affidavit of the applicant attesting that legal services will be performed in New York solely for the identified employer and consenting to be subject to the disciplinary authority of New York State; and
  • an employer’s affidavit or affirmation attesting that the applicant is or will be employed by that employer and that the nature of the employment conforms to Part 522.

Further, the applicant must be admitted to the practice of law in at least one jurisdiction which permits attorneys admitted in New York to practice as in-house counsel in that jurisdiction. At present, New York recognizes these States and Districts for this purpose.

If the Appellate Division accepts a candidate for registration as in-house counsel, the candidate will receive further instructions by mail on how to register with the Office of Court Administration (OCA) as required pursuant to Part 522.3(c) and Part 118.3. Registered in-house counsel must renew their status on a biennial basis with OCA, which maintains a database of registered in-house counsel.

At this time, in-house counsel applicants are not assessed application or registration fees, nor are they required to complete New York State Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits.