***IMPORTANT NOTICE TO ALL ATTORNEYS LICENSED IN VERMONT***
Attorney licensing has implemented a new online Attorney Portal that is now live. Vermont attorneys will conduct their licensing business, such as renewing their license, requesting certificates of good standing, and submitting a certification of completion of a MCLE makeup plan, through the Portal. A User Guide to the Portal is available here.
The licensing of attorneys in Vermont is governed primarily by Administrative Order No. 41, which includes provisions for each licensing status available to attorneys, as well as for initial licensure, license renewal, pro hac vice licensure, and license relinquishment.
If you are not admitted to the Bar of the Vermont Supreme Court and would like to apply for admission, see the Admission to the Vermont Bar page.
If you are an attorney licensing for the first time, you must complete and submit the certification of oath and the Attorney Licensing Statement:
On the Attorney Licensing Statement, leave the space for your license number blank; you will be given a license number when your license is issued. If you hold client funds, you must open a pooled interest-bearing lawyer trust account (IOLTA) at an approved financial institution. If you are exempt from having to open an IOLTA, note that on the Attorney Licensing Statement.
The completed Attorney Licensing Statement and certification of oath should be mailed or hand-delivered to the address at the bottom of this page along with a check (made payable to ATTORNEY LICENSING) for the appropriate licensing fee as specified in the fee schedule approved by the State Court Administrator:
After receiving your license card, you must comply with the email reporting requirements specified in Administrative Order No. 44. You will also be subject to post-admission first-year requirements as well as the general mandatory continuing legal education requirements applicable to all attorneys.
Learn about about the first-year CLE and mentorship requirements for newly admitted attorneys.
All licensed attorneys, including those on Inactive status, must renew their license to practice law every two years on or before June 30 or be subject to administrative suspension of their license. (If you do not know your reporting year, please contact the Office of Attorney Licensing.) When it is time to renew your license, you will receive a reminder email at the address you have given in the Attorney Portal.
To renew your license, you must file an Attorney Licensing Statement and pay the licensing fee through the Attorney Portal.
As part of the renewal process, you must certify that you are in compliance with the Rules for Mandatory Continuing Legal Education. For more information on those Rules, please visit the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education page.
If you wish to retire from the practice of law or otherwise relinquish your license, you should submit the Notice of License Relinquishment through the Attorney Portal. Alternatively, you can complete the Notice of License Relinquishment form below and submit it either by mail or email to the Office of Attorney Licensing.
Change in Licensing Status
If you wish to change your licensing status in the middle of a reporting period, please submit a Request for Change in Status through the Attorney Portal. If you are seeking to change to Active status, you are also subject to the following:
MCLE Requirement: If you have been on inactive status for the last three years or more or are on Special Waiver status (you previously changed to Inactive status prior to completing the MCLE requirement for the reporting period), you must complete the full MCLE requirement described in Rule 3 of the Rules for Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (available here) within the two years immediately preceding the date that you wish to become active.
Fees: You must pay the Active fee for the current reporting period, prorated based on the date of activation and minus any previously-paid Inactive fee.
Reinstatement from Administrative Suspension
If you wish to reinstate your license from administrative suspension, please send an email requesting the change (with a requested effective date) to the Office of Attorney Licensing at JUD.AttyLicensing@vermont.gov. We will respond and detail the steps you will need to take to reinstate your license.
If you are licensed and in good standing in at least one other state or the District of Columbia and are not currently suspended or disbarred in any state or the District of Columbia, you may obtain a pro hac vice license to appear in a Vermont court in a single case. To do so, complete and submit the Pro Hac Vice Application:
Send the completed Pro Hac Vice Application, an original Certificate of Good Standing (dated within three months of the Pro Hac Vice Application), and a check for the $200 fee to:
Office of Attorney Licensing
32 Cherry Street, Suite 213
Burlington, VT 05401
Make your check payable to ATTORNEY LICENSING. Allow two weeks for processing.
A pro hac vice licensing card will be mailed to the Vermont sponsoring attorney, unless you direct otherwise. You or your sponsoring attorney must file the card in the court in which the case is pending. In addition, the sponsoring member of the Vermont Bar must file a motion to allow the pro hac vice appearance. The court will notify you once your motion is granted. See V.R.C.P. 79.1(e), V.R.Cr.P. 44.2(b), V.R.F.P. 15(e), V.R.P.P. 79.1(d), and V.R.A.P. 45.1(e) on the Vermont Statutes Unannotated and Vermont Court Rules LexisNexis site.
If your case is appealed, you do not have to pay another pro hac vice fee to appear in the Supreme Court. However, the Vermont sponsoring attorney must file a motion in the Supreme Court to allow your pro hac vice appearance there. See V.R.A.P. 45.1(e) on the Vermont Statutes Unannotated and Vermont Court Rules LexisNexis site.
If you are admitted in Vermont or any other U.S. jurisdiction and wish to “semi-retire” from the practice of law, you can do so through Pro Bono Emeritus licensure. This limited license allows you to practice law for or on behalf of persons of limited means under the auspices of a nonprofit organization, without fee or expectation of fee. Licensing fees and mandatory continuing legal education requirements are reduced for Pro Bono Emeritus licensees. Also, attorneys admitted in other states can obtain a Pro Bono Emeritus license without getting admitted to the Vermont bar.
For more information on the pro bono emeritus licensing rule, see Section 11 of Administrative Order No. 41.
To obtain pro bono emeritus status for the first time, you should fill out the Pro Bono Emeritus Licensing Statement and forward it to the Office of Attorney Licensing, along with a check for $75 made payable to Attorney Licensing.
For more information on pro bono opportunities, visit the Vermont Bar Association’s page on pro bono opportunities and its list of pro bono programs, or call Mary Ashcroft, VBA Legal Access Coordinator, at (802) 223-2020. You can also call Sam Abel-Palmer, Executive Director of Law Line Vermont, at (802) 383-2213.
A person who is not yet licensed to practice law in Vermont may appear as legal counsel in a Vermont court (with possible restrictions), if certain eligibility requirements are met. Those requirements, along with the rules pertaining to the authorized activities of the legal intern and the responsibilities of the supervising attorney, are laid out in Part VI of the Rules of Admission. The Rules of Admission are available here: https://www.vermontjudiciary.org/attorneys/admission-vermont-bar.
Legal interns who meet the eligibility requirements and wish to appear on behalf of a Vermont state agency can fill out and submit the following to the requisite court:
Legal interns who meet the eligibility requirements and wish to appear on behalf of a client other than a Vermont state agency can fill out and submit the following to the requisite court:
The list of attorneys in good standing has been temporarily removed from the website as the Office of Attorney Licensing transitions from one data management system to another. We hope to have this list back up soon. In the interim, if you have any questions about the licensing status of a particular attorney, please email your inquiry to JUD.AttyLicensing@vermont.gov. Please include the attorney's license number in the email. And please allow 1 to 2 weeks for a response.
Certificate of Good Standing/Certificate Suitable for Framing
To request a Certificate of Good Standing or a Certificate Suitable for Framing, you should file a request and pay the appropriate fee through the Attorney Portal.
A Certificate of Good Standing will certify that an attorney is not suspended or disbarred and is current on licensing fees and CLE credits. The Certificate will also include the attorney’s date of admission.
If you need your disciplinary history, you must send a request by email to email@example.com or by mail to:
Professional Responsibility Program
Vermont Supreme Court
109 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05609-0703
There is no fee for a disciplinary history.
The fees associated with attorney licensing can be found on the fee schedule approved by the Court Administrator’s Office.