Law Student Practice

A law student can become certified to represent a client in the Northern District of California under the supervision of a member of the bar of this court with the approval of the assigned judge. The criteria are set forth in Civil Local Rule 11-9. See below. 

Application Forms:

These may be submitted to the Clerk's Office by email to admissioninfo@cand.uscourts.gov or by mail to:

United States District Court
Office of the Clerk/Attorney Admissions
450 Golden Gate Avenue, Box 36060
San Francisco, CA 94102-3489

Full Text of Rule:

11-9. Student Practice

  1. (a) Permission to Appear. With the approval of the assigned Judge, a certified law student who complies with these Local Rules and acts under the supervision of a member of the bar of this Court may engage in the permitted activities set forth in this Local Rule.
  2. (b) Permitted Activities. With respect to a matter pending before this Court, a certified law student may:
    1. (1) Negotiate for and on behalf of the client or appear at Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) proceedings, provided that the activity is conducted under the general supervision of a supervising attorney;
    2. (2) Appear on behalf of a client in the trial of a misdemeanor or petty offense, provided the appearance is under the general supervision of a supervising attorney who is immediately available to attend the proceeding if the Judge decides to require the presence of the supervising attorney and, if the client is a criminal defendant, the client has filed a consent with the Court; and
    3. (3) Appear on behalf of a client in any other proceeding or public trial, provided the appearance is under the direct and immediate supervision of a supervising attorney, who is present during the proceedings.
  3. (c) Requirements for Eligibility. To be eligible to engage in the permitted activities, a law student must submit to the Clerk:
    1. (1) An application for certification on a form established for that purpose by the Court. The Clerk is authorized to issue a certificate of eligibility;
    2. (2) A copy of a Notice of Student Certification or Recertification from the State Bar of California, or a certificate from the registrar or dean of a law school accredited by the American Bar Association or the State Bar of California that the law student has completed at least one-third of the graduation requirements and is continuing study at the law school, (or, if a recent graduate of the law school, that the applicant has registered to take or is awaiting results of the California State Bar Examination). The certification may be withdrawn at any time by the registrar or dean by providing notice to that effect to the Court; and
    3. (3) Certification from a member of the bar of this Court that he or she will serve as a supervising attorney for the law student. The certification may be withdrawn at any time by a supervising attorney by providing notice to that effect to the Court.
  4. (d) Requirements of Supervising Attorney. A supervising attorney must:
    1. (1) Be admitted or otherwise permitted to practice before this Court;
    2. (2) Sign all documents to be filed by the student with the Court;
    3. (3) Assume professional responsibility for the student’s work in matters before the Court; and
    4. (4) Assist and counsel the student in the preparation of the student’s work in matters before the Court.
  5. (e) Termination of Privilege. The privilege of a law student to appear before this Court under this rule may be terminated by the Court at any time in the discretion of the Court, without the necessity to show cause.