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Attorney Admissions - Frequently Asked Questions
How do I check my bar status?
An attorney may access the Attorney Admission Status Checker to check his or her current status.
What are the possible statuses in the Court and what do they mean?
Active - Attorney is eligible to practice in this Court
Active on request - Attorney has not entered an appearance in this Court in the last five years, but has updated his/her contact information and has indicated that he/she wants to remain in active status in this Court. Attorney is eligible to practice in this Court.
Inactive - Attorney is not currently eligible to practice in this Court; Adjustment of bar status to active status is governed by R.A.D.E. 17.6.
Disability Inactive - Attorney is currently on disability status and is not currently eligible to practice in this Court; Adjustment of bar status to active status is governed by R.A.D.E. 16.5.
How do I change my status to active?
You must complete the Attorney Admission Renewal/Adjustment of Status Form.
I am active on request. How long will I remain in this status?
The active on request status applies for five years from the date the status is assigned, unless the attorney enters an appearance in a case. If the attorney enters an appearance, the status will change from active on request to active and will remain counsel's status for five years from the date of the appearance. Each time a subsequent appearance is entered the five years starts anew. You may confirm the date of the most recent status update by consulting the Attorney Admission Checker.
I entered an appearance in a case, but this entry of appearance does not appear as the last appearance entry in the Attorney Admission Checker. Why doesn't my most recent entry of appearance display?
An entry of appearance is linked to the ECF filer who entered the appearance transaction on the Court's docket. If someone other than the attorney (e.g. co-counsel) entered an appearance on that attorney's behalf, the entry of appearance is linked to that particular ECF filer and not the individual attorney.
Why doesn't my information appear in the Attorney Admission Status Checker?
The Attorney Admission Status Checker pulls data from the Court's ECF system. Although you may be admitted to the Court's bar, this information may have not been entered in the Court's ECF database but only appears in the Court's paper legacy files. You may request that your information be entered in the Court's ECF database by sending an email to email@example.com requesting that your information be added. Please include your date of admission in the email along with a completed Attorney Admission Renewal/Adjustment of Status Form.
Some attorneys incorrectly believe that they have been admitted to the Court's bar. You will be notified if we are unable to locate an admission record in our legacy files.
How do I update my contact information?
If you are a Third Circuit ECF filer any updates to name, address, e-mail, phone numbers, etc. should be done through PACER using My Account tab.
If you are NOT a Third Circuit ECF filer any updates to name, address, e-mail, phone numbers, etc. should be done by completing the Attorney Information Contact Update Form.
How do I know if I am a Third Circuit ECF filer?
An attorney may access the Attorney Admission Status Checker to check if he or she is an ECF filer.
If I am a federal government attorney must I become a member of this Court's bar?
The Court does not require attorneys who work for a federal government agency to become admitted to this Court's bar in order to appear before the Court. Attorneys who work for a federal government agency are exempt from the renewal process under R.A.D.E. 17 and their status will appear as federal government.
If I am a government attorney for the Virgin Islands must I become a member of this Court's bar?
The Court does not require attorneys who work for the Virgin Islands government to become admitted to this Court's bar in order to appear before the Court. Attorneys who work for the Virgin Islands government are exempt from the renewal process under R.A.D.E. 17 and their status will appear as VI government. Non-government Virgin Islands attorneys are required to be admitted and are subject to the renewal process under R.A.D.E. 17.
I cannot find my Third Circuit Bar number. Where can I locate it?
Currently, the Third Circuit does not assign bar numbers when an attorney is admitted.
What if I delete the original email issued as part of the Attorney Bar Status Program under R.A.D.E. 17 containing the hyperlink to update my contact information?
What if I don’t have an email address tied to my bar membership, but I wish to remain in active status?
It has been less than 5 years that I have practiced in the Third Circuit, but I would like to maintain active status, what can I do?
I would like to become admitted to the Third Circuit. How do I apply for admission?
You may apply for admission in two ways. The first way is to submit an electronic application through PACER. The instructions for submitting an electronic application are here. The other way is to submit a paper application. The instructions for submitting a paper application for admission are here.
If you are unsure whether you have been admitted to the Court previously, please check the Attorney Admission Status Checker before applying for admission.
I would like to become admitted to the Third Circuit, but I do not have a sponsor. What should I do?
One of the attorneys in the Clerk’s office will act as a sponsor upon request. Such sponsorship is based solely on the certificate of good standing providing by the applicant.
For electronic applications, counsel should leave the Sponsoring Attorney section blank on that part of the electronic application and answer “Yes” to the question Do you require a sponsor from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals? that appears further down that page of the application. For paper applications, counsel can check the box requesting that one of the attorneys employed by the Circuit Clerk’s office act as a sponsor under the Sponsor’s Motion and Certification portion of the application.
How long will it take to process my application for admission?
Please allow up to three business days to process applications for admissions.
May I submit a photocopy of a framed bar certificate as my certificate of good standing for the application?
No. An original certificate of good standing dated within 1 year of the application date evidencing admission to the Supreme Court of the United States, any United States Court of Appeals, any United States District Court, the District Court of the Virgin Islands, or the highest court of a state is required. For electronic applications submitted via PACER, a PDF version of the original certificate of good standing is permitted.
Does my application need to be notarized?
Unless you will be admitted in open court, all applicants must submit a completed oath form with their application. The oath must be administered by a notary or other person authorized to administer oaths.
What is the current fee for admission?
The current fee schedule is available on the Court's website. Checks and money orders accompanying paper applications should be made payable to Clerk, U.S. Court of Appeals. For electronic applications submitted through PACER, the fee must be paid using a credit card or ACH payment.
Can I pay the admission fee by credit card?
If you applied electronically through PACER, you must pay by credit card or ACH payment. Credit-card payments are not accepted for paper applications, however.
Does the Court hold regular in court admission ceremonies?
The majority of admission applications are submitted on written application only. The Court does not have a regularly scheduled date for in court admissions. Open court admissions may occur in conjunction with any regularly scheduled court sitting.
Admission in open court is subject to approval by the panel for the scheduled sitting. If approved, your completed application and the necessary documents must be filed in the Clerk's Office at least two business (2) days prior to the date of the scheduled court session. You are asked to appear in the Clerk's Office with the attorney who will move for your admission at least one-half hour prior to the time when the Court is scheduled to convene. Because the opening time varies, it is requested that you call the business day prior to the date you intend to seek admission to determine what time you and your sponsor need to appear.
Will I be notified when my application for admission has been processed?
Applicants who apply electronically through PACER will be notified by email once their application has been reviewed and their fee is due. Admission is completed upon payment.
Applicants who submit paper applications will be notified by email that their application has been processed and informed of how to register on PACER as a Third Circuit ECF filer.
Upon admission, a certificate of bar membership suitable for framing will be mailed within seven to ten days.
Does the Court permit admission Pro Hac Vice?
Pro Hac Vice admission is available only to attorneys who have been appointed by this Court to represent a litigant pro bono. All other attorneys cannot appear Pro Hac Vice and must follow the standard admission process in order to enter an appearance with this Court.
How do I obtain a certificate of good standing?
Please send a letter to the Clerk requesting a certificate of good standing along with the applicable fee. In the cover letter you should include your date of admission. If you do not know your admission date, you may check the Attorney Admission Status Checker. If your information cannot be found by using the checker, you should include the approximate date of admission and the last 4 digits of your social security number. If you were admitted to this Court under a different name, please indicate that name. The fee is payable by check or money order to the Clerk of Court.
Who do I call if I have questions regarding Attorney Admissions?
Any questions regarding Attorney Admissions should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or the Clerk’s Office general number at (215) 597-2995. Please ask to speak to someone who handles Attorney Admissions.