Student Practice Policy
Students who wish to qualify for certification to appear before the courts or administrative tribunals of the State of Connecticut, the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut or the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit under the applicable student practice rules must comply with the requirements established by the various courts.
For admission to practice before Connecticut courts or administrative tribunals, a student must:
- have completed two semesters of law school or its equivalent and be in good academic standing;
- obtain from the Registrar's Office a copy of the Student Practice Form, complete the upper portion of the form and leave it with the Registrar's Office for processing and delivery to the assistant dean for finance and administration;
The assistant dean for finance and administration will send the required letter of certification to the clerk of the Superior Court in Hartford. The clerk of the Superior Court in Hartford immediately duplicates the certification letter and forwards a copy to the clerk of the Connecticut Appellate and Supreme Courts so that the same certification is applicable in those courts also. Note: The assistant dean for finance and administration may require that the student meet with him or her for a personal interview before he or she prepares the certification letter.
Both the student and the supervising attorney should read carefully and understand the rule(s). Complete texts of the three rules are included on the following pages. Note that the supervising attorney, not the assistant dean for finance and administration, files the necessary written notice with the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut. Note also that in the case of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the student must have completed four semesters (full-time equivalent) of law study and that a letter from the assistant dean for finance and administration is required.
Connecticut Student Practice Rules
Connecticut Practice Book (Revision of 1998)
Sec. 3-14--Appearances--Legal Interns An eligible legal intern may, under supervision by a member of the Connecticut bar, as provided in Sec. 3-15, appear in court with the approval of the judicial authority or before an administrative tribunal, subject to its permission, on behalf of any person, if that person has indicated in writing his or her consent to the intern's appearance and the supervising attorney has also indicated in writing approval of that appearance.
Sec. 3-15--Appearances--Legal Interns--Supervision of Legal interns The member of the bar under whose supervision an eligible legal intern does any of the things permitted by these rules shall:
- be an attorney who has been admitted to the Connecticut bar for at least three years, or one who is employed by an attorney of five years' standing, or one who is employed by an accredited law school in Connecticut, or one who is approved as a supervising attorney by the presiding judge in the case at bar;
- assume personal professional responsibility for the intern's work
- assist the intern in his or her preparation to the extent the supervising attorney considers necessary;
- be present in court with the intern.
Sec. 3-16--Appearances--Legal Interns--Requirements and Limitations
- In order to appear pursuant to these rules, the legal intern must:
- be certified by a law school approved by the American Bar Association;
- have completed legal studies amounting to at least two semesters of credit in a three or year course of legal studies, or the equivalent if the school is on some basis other than a semester basis except that the dean may certify a student under this section who has completed less than two semesters of credit or the equivalent to enable that student to participate in a faculty-supervised law school clinical program;
- be certified by the dean of his or her law school as being of good character and competent legal ability;
- be introduced to the court in which he or she is appearing by an attorney admitted to practice in that court;
- comply with the provisions of Sec. 3-21 if enrolled in a law school outside the State of Connecticut.
- A legal intern may not be employed or compensated directly by a client for services rendered. This section shall not prevent an attorney, legal aid bureau, law school, public defender agency or the State from compensating an eligible intern.
Sec. 3-17--Appearances--Legal Interns--Activities of legal intern
- The legal intern, supervised in accordance with these rules, may appear in court or at other hearings in the following situations:
- where the client is financially unable to afford counsel; or
- where the intern is assisting a privately retained attorney; or
- where the intern is assisting an established legal aid bureau or organization, a public defender or prosecutor's office, or a state agency.
- In each case, the written consent and approval referred to in Sec. 3-14 shall be filed in the record of the case and shall be brought to the attention of the judicial authority of the court or the presiding officer of the administrative tribunal.
- In addition, an intern may, under the supervision of a member of the bar:
- prepare pleadings and other documents to be filed in any matter;
- prepare briefs, abstracts and other documents.
- Each document or pleading must contain the name of the intern who participated in drafting it and must be signed by the supervising attorney.
Sec. 3-18--Appearances--Legal Interns--Certification of Intern The certification of an intern by the law school dean:
- shall be filed with a clerk of the Superior Court in Hartford and, unless it is sooner withdrawn, shall remain in effect until the announcement of the results of the second Connecticut bar examination following the intern's graduation. For any intern who passes that examination, the certification shall continue in effect until the date of admission to the bar;
- shall terminate if the intern, prior to graduation, is no longer duly enrolled in an accredited law school;
- may be terminated by the dean at any time by mailing a notice to that effect to the clerk of the Superior Court and to the intern. It is not necessary that the notice to the Superior Court state the cause for termination;
- may be terminated by the Superior Court at any time upon notice to the intern, to the dean and to the Superior Court in Hartford.
Sec. 3-19--Appearances--Legal Internship Committee There shall be established a legal internship committee appointed by the chief justice and composed of four judges, four practicing attorneys, three law professors, and three law students. This committee shall consult with the deans of law schools located in Connecticut, review the progress of the legal internship programs, and consider any complaints or suggestions regarding the program.
Sec. 3-20--Appearances--Legal Interns--Unauthorized Practice Nothing contained in these rules shall affect the right of any person who is not admitted to the practice of law to do anything that he might lawfully do prior to their adoption, nor shall they enlarge the rights of persons, not members of the bar or legal interns covered by these rules, to engage in activities customarily considered to be the practice of law.
Sec. 3-21--Appearances--Legal Interns--Out-of-State Interns A legal intern who is certified under a legal internship program or student practice rule in another state or in the District of Columbia may appear in a court or before an administrative tribunal of Connecticut under the same circumstances and on the same conditions as those applicable to certified Connecticut legal interns, if the out-of-state intern files with the clerk of the Superior Court in Hartford, with a copy to the legal internship committee, a certification by the dean of his or her law school of his admission to internship or student practice in that state or in the District of Columbia, together with the text of that state's or the District of Columbia's applicable statute or rule governing such admissions.
Student Practice Rule--U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut
Local Rule 83.9 -- Law Student Internship Rules
- Appearance of Law Student Intern. An eligible law student intern may, with the Court's approval, under supervision by a member of the bar, appear on behalf of any person who has consented in writing to the intern's appearance.
- Requirements of Supervising Attorney. The attorney who supervises an intern shall:
- be a member of the bar of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut;
- assume personal professional responsibility for the student's work;
- assist the student to the extent necessary;
- appear with the student in all proceedings before the Court unless the attorney's presence is waived by the Court;
- indicate in writing his or her consent to supervise the intern under this Rule.
- (c) Requirements of Law Student Intern. In order to appear pursuant to this Rule, the law student intern shall:
- be enrolled in good standing in a law school approved by the American Bar Association;
- have completed legal studies amounting to at least two semesters of credit, or the equivalent if the school is on some basis other than a semester basis;
- be introduced to the Court in which he or she is appearing by the supervising attorney;
- not be employed or compensated by a client. This Rule shall not prevent an attorney, legal aid bureau, law school, public defender, or other agency from compensating a law student intern.
- (d) Privileges of Law Student Intern. The law student intern, supervised in accordance with this Rule, may:
- appear as counsel in Court or at other proceedings when the consents of the client and supervising attorney referred to in subdivisions (a) and (b) of this Rule have been filed, and the Court has approved the intern's request to appear; and
- prepare and sign motions, petitions, answers, briefs and other documents in connection with any matter in which the law student intern has met the conditions of Rule 83.9(c). Each such document must also be signed by the supervising attorney.
Student Practice Rule--U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
(Quoted verbatim from the Rules of the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, as amended 7/1/96)
Sec. 46(e). Appearance and Argument by Eligible Law Students
- An eligible law student acting under a supervising attorney may appear in this court on behalf of any indigent person, the United States, or a governmental agency, provided the party on whose behalf the student appears has consented thereto in writing.
- The supervising attorney shall be a member of the bar of this court and, with respect to the law student's proposed appearance upon an appeal or other matter before this court, shall:
- file with this court the attorney's written consent to supervise the student;
- assume personal professional responsibility for the student's work;
- assist the student to the extent necessary;
- appear with the student in all proceedings before this court and be prepared to supplement any written or oral statement made by the student to this court or opposing counsel.
- In order to be eligible to appear, the student shall:
- be enrolled in a law school approved by the American Bar Association. The student shall be deemed to continue to meet this requirement as long as, following graduation, the student is preparing to take the first state bar examination of the state of the student's choice within this circuit for which the student is eligible or, having taken that examination, the student is awaiting publication of the results or admission to the bar after passing that examination;
- have completed legal studies amounting to at least four semesters, or the equivalent;
- be certified, by either the dean or a faculty member of the student's law school designated by the dean, as qualified to provide the legal representation permitted by this rule. This certification may be withdrawn by mailing a notice of withdrawal to the clerk of this court or it may be terminated, by vote of a majority of the panel sitting on a case in which the student is appearing, at any time without notice or hearing and without any showing of cause. The loss of certification by action of this Court shall not be considered a reflection on the character or ability of the student. The dean or a faculty member designated by the student may recertify such a student for appearances before other panels;
- be introduced to this court by an attorney admitted to practice before this court;
- neither ask for nor receive any compensation or remuneration of any kind for the student's services from the party on whose behalf the student renders services, but this shall not prevent an attorney, legal aid bureau, law school, public defender agency or the United States from paying compensation to the eligible law student, nor shall it prevent any agency from making proper charges for its services;
- certify in writing that the student is familiar and will comply with the Code of Professional Responsibility of the American Bar Association;
- certify in writing that the student is familiar with the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, the Rules of this court, and any other federal rules relevant to the appeal in which the student is appearing.
- Upon filing with the clerk of this court the written consents and certifications required by this rule, an eligible law student supervised in accordance with this rule may with respect to any appeal or other proceeding for which the student has met the requirements of this rule:
- engage in the drafting or preparation of briefs, appendices, motions, or other documents;
- appear before this court and participate in oral argument.