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Sphere on Spiral Stairs
Sphere on Spiral Stairs

Understanding DC Bar Rule 49(c)(3)(A)(B): Pro Hac Vice Admission and Legal Service Provision


DC Bar Rule 49(c)(3)(A)(B) plays a crucial role in regulating the provision of legal services in the District of Columbia for attorneys practicing in federal courts under Pro Hac Vice admission. This rule outlines specific conditions under which attorneys are not required to register with the DC Bar and can hold themselves out as attorneys, provided they adhere to certain guidelines.

Pro Hac Vice Admission:

The rule recognizes the unique circumstances of attorneys practicing in federal court on a temporary basis through Pro Hac Vice admission. This admission allows attorneys not licensed in the jurisdiction to represent clients in specific cases, acknowledging the need for specialized legal expertise in certain matters.

Exemption from DC Bar Registration:

One of the key aspects of Rule 49(c)(3)(A)(B) is the exemption from the requirement to register with the DC Bar for attorneys practicing under Pro Hac Vice admission. This exemption streamlines the process for out-of-state attorneys, eliminating the need for a full DC Bar registration when their practice is limited to specific cases in federal court.

Holding Out as an Attorney:

Attorneys benefiting from Pro Hac Vice admission must be mindful of how they hold themselves out as practitioners in the District of Columbia. While not obligated to register with the DC Bar, they are still required to explicitly specify the scope of legal services they can provide. This ensures transparency and clarity for clients seeking legal representation.

Specification of Services:

To comply with the rule, attorneys must explicitly outline the legal services they can provide while practicing under Pro Hac Vice admission. This specification is essential in maintaining transparency and preventing any misunderstandings regarding the attorney's role and capabilities in the representation of clients in the District.


DC Bar Rule 49(c)(3)(A)(B) strikes a balance between facilitating the temporary practice of law by out-of-state attorneys in federal court cases and maintaining oversight to protect the interests of clients and the public. Attorneys should be aware of the specific conditions outlined in the rule to navigate the legal landscape effectively while providing transparent and ethical legal services in the District of Columbia.

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