Q: Where can I find the Student Practice Rule?
A: Rules 91 to 95 of the Supreme Court of Georgia (the “Student Practice Rule”) can be found on the Supreme Court’s website and are available through this link. Any student interested in registering under the Student Practice Rule should read the entirety of the relevant rules.
Q: Should I register under the Student Practice Rule?
A: Students who want to know whether they should register under the Student Practice Rule should review Rule 92 of the Supreme Court of Georgia (available here), which sets out the parameters of what a student is authorized to do if registered under the Student Practice Rule. Specifically, eligible students may, when under the supervision of a member of the State Bar of Georgia, advise, prepare legal instruments, appear before courts and administrative agencies and otherwise take action on behalf of: (1) any state, local, or other government unit or agency; (2) any person who is unable financially to pay for the legal services of an attorney; or (3) any non-profit organization the purpose of which is to assist low or moderate income persons. The Student Practice Rule does not allow students to engage in activities outside these parameters.
Q: Am I eligible to register under the Student Practice Rule?
A: In order to apply for certification under the new Student Practice Rule, you must satisfy the following criteria: (1) you must have completed (and received credit from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School for) at least 30 credit hours of law school courses; and (2) you must have a cumulative grade point average of at least a 2.0 and otherwise be in good standing.
Q: If I want to register and I am eligible, how do I go about doing so?
A: In order to register under the new Student Practice Rule, you must submit a request to Dean Barger in writing (email is sufficient), along with a signed copy of the Student Practice Act Oath. The Oath is available on the Forms page here. The Georgia Bar has requested that submissions from schools be “in bulk” rather than one at a time. Therefore, Dean Barger will not be able to accommodate individual requests for certification. She will be submitting certifications to the Bar one time at the beginning of each of the fall and spring semesters (i.e., two times per academic year). She will email the student body the submission dates in advance. Once Dean Barger receives your signed Oath and has confirmed that you are eligible for certification, she will send you a link to fill out some additional information. Once you have done so, your part in the process is complete. Dean Barger will submit the certifications to the Bar on the date she has sent out by email to the student body. The Office of Bar Admissions will issue each registered student a registration number, which they will send to Dean Barger on a Certificate of Registration. Dean Barger will have those certificates distributed to students upon receipt from the Bar (approximately 2 -10 days after the submission date). Only upon your receipt of the Certificate of Registration will the registration process be final. It will be up to your individual employer/supervisor whether to accept your Certificate of Registration.
Q: Do I have to re-register if I am already certified under the old Third-Year Student Practice Rule?
A: Yes. However, the Supreme Court of Georgia has stated the following: “Notwithstanding that the Student Practice Rule shall supersede the Third-Year Law Students Rule on that date, any law student authorized by a judge as of that date to assist in proceedings pursuant to the Third-Year Law Students Rule may continue to do so until such time as the student has been registered under the new Student Practice Rule.”
Q: Are there any additional things I need to do to be certified as a student to practice in the district attorney’s office?
A: Yes. In order to be certified to practice in the district attorney’s office in Georgia, pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 15-18-22, a student must satisfy the criteria required of the old Third-Year Student Practice Rule. In other words, the student must be in good standing and have completed (and received credit from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School for) 59 credit hours of law school credits. Therefore, in addition to providing your supervisor with your Certificate of Registration under the Student Practice Rule, you will need to request that Dean Barger submit a good standing letter to this effect to your supervisor. Such requests should be made via email to Dean Barger and include the name and address of the supervisor to whom the letter should be sent.
Q: Do I have to re-register each year? When and how may my registration be terminated?
A: A registration under the Student Practice Rule remains effective until the student graduates unless the Office of Bar Admissions receives notice from the law school that: (1) the student has been placed on academic probation; or (2) the student is no longer enrolled at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School. Additionally, the law school may decide to terminate a prior certification at any time without prior notice or hearing and without any showing of cause, pursuant to new Rule 94.