Avoiding Unauthorized Practice of Law in the District of Columbia

D.C. Bar Conference Center
1101 K Street NW
Washington DC 20005


  • Rachel Cotton, Zuckerman Spaeder
  • Thomas Mason, Harris Wiltshire & Grannis

New law graduates or lawyers admitted elsewhere who seek to practice from an office in the District of Columbia can only do so as permitted by D.C. Court of Appeals Rule 49 and D.C. Rule of Professional Conduct 5.5. This program will address the steps that law graduates, newly admitted lawyers, and law firm managers must take to comply with Rule 49 and Rule 5.5, including the permissible scope of work for a new law graduate awaiting bar results, and the requirements for compliance with Rule 49's temporary practice exception. The temporary practice exception applies not only to recent law graduates but also to non-D.C. admitted lawyers moving from government positions to private practice. The program will review a sample D.C. Bar application and point out common mistakes and will discuss disclaimers required to comply with Rule 49 and, for law firm managers, Rule 5.5.

Register for the In-Person session.

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