Congratulations on successfully passing the Maine Bar. Prior to being sworn in and admitted, you must first pre-register with the Board of Overseers of the Bar. Below you will find links to three required documents you must complete and return to the Board. You may hand-deliver or mail your completed forms to the Board. Once you have pre-registered, the Board will promptly mail to you your certificate and admission card which you MUST bring to the swearing-in ceremony. Once the Board receives your signed admission card, your assigned bar number will be provided to you. You may not begin practicing as a lawyer until you have confirmation of or receipt of your bar number.
Required Registration Forms
• New Admittee Registration Statement
• Annual IOLTA Trust Account Report
• Maine Judicial Information System (MEJIS) Attorney Information Form
Frequently Asked Questions
The registration statement needs to be completed and filed with the Board of Overseers immediately. Maine Bar Rule 6(a) requires that every attorney, including law clerks admitted to practice in this State, upon admission and each year thereafter, to register with the Board. You must register regardless of whether you are actively employed or not. Attorneys who notify the Board that they are members of the armed forces of the United States and are on active duty outside of the State of Maine are exempt from filing the annual registration statement.
As a new Maine attorney, you may choose to register as inactive. Attorneys may advise the Board in writing of their desire to completely discontinue the practice of law in Maine and be placed on inactive status. On the registration statement, check the inactive category and pay the inactive fee plus the Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection. Upon the filing of such notice, the attorney is no longer eligible to practice law in Maine, nor allowed in any manner to indicate or advertise an authority to practice law in Maine. Attorneys on inactive status must file a registration statement with the Board for three (3) years thereafter. During that period, inactive attorneys pay an annual registration fee equal to one-half of the fee required for a similarly situated active attorney under Maine Bar Rule 10.
Maine Bar Rule 12 – Continuing Legal Education
Bar Rule 12 requires all active Maine attorneys to annually complete 11 hours of continuing legal education, with one of those hours being in ethics or professional responsibility. Of the 11 hours required, half (5.5) need to be actual attendance at live programming; the remainder may be earned through self-study, to include in-house programming, audio, video, and other media venues. The complete text of the rule can be found on the Board’s website at www.mebaroverseers.org under the heading MCLE. Upon completion of your registration, you will be assigned a PIN number that will allow you to keep track of your credits online.
Any new attorney who completes the Maine State Bar Association’s Bridging the Gap program in the year of admission is granted an exemption from the CLE requirements for that year and for the following calendar year. To learn more about the Annual Bridging the Gap program, visit the Maine State Bar Association website at www.mainebar.org.
Law Clerks are required to register with the Board of Overseers of the Bar. Law Clerks are exempt from complying with M. Bar R. 12 Continuing Legal Education until after completion of that clerkship and the subsequent assumption of either active practice or inactive status under Maine Bar Rule 6(a)(1). Law Clerks are not required to pay the annual registration fee (see Maine Bar Rule 10(a)).
Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection
Pursuant to Rule 3(a), all attorneys, including non-resident and inactive members and full-time judges, must annually pay $40.00* to the Lawyer’s Fund for Client Protection (law clerks are exempt from paying the $40.00 until the completion of their clerkship). Although the Funds’ assessment is separate from the registration fee, the Board of Overseers collects the annual assessment on behalf of the Court and the LFCP Board. Any attorney who fails to pay that amount is subject to the suspension provision of the Maine Bar Rule 10(b) and (c).
*A portion of this assessment helps fund the Maine Assistance Program for Lawyers and Judges (MAP) which was created by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court in September 2002 to confidentially address the issue of lawyer/judge impairment from the effects of chemical dependency or mental conditions that result from disease, disorder, trauma, or other infirmity that impair the ability of a lawyer or judge to practice or serve.
Active Maine attorneys must annually complete and return the enclosed Trust Account Report and IOLTA Election form for reporting information under Maine Bar Rules 3.6(e)(4),(5) and 6(a)(2). Any registration statements received without an IOLTA form included will be considered incomplete. Please refer to the form and the particular Bar Rules to determine your required IOLTA reporting obligations. Questions regarding IOLTA filing requirements should be directed to the Maine Bar Foundation at 207-622-3477.