What new attorneys need to know about registering with the Board of Professional Responsibility
Upon notice from the Board of Law Examiners (BLE) that you have passed the Tennessee bar examination, you must complete the following steps in order to practice law:
- Completely read the contents of the packet mailed to you from the BLE.
- Receive an email from the Board of Professional Responsibility (BPR) with your specific User ID and Password to the BPR’s Online Attorney Portal.
- Log on to BPR's Online Attorney Portal (http://portal.tbpr.org) and complete all fields, including the "Registration Option" that pertains to taking the Oath of Admission (you must choose either a scheduled Supreme Court Ceremony or via Affidavit if there is no ceremony scheduled). While still in the Portal, you must also pay the New Attorney invoice with a MasterCard or VISA.
- After paying the invoice, wait 5 minutes and log back into the Portal to view your BPR number on your Attorney Information Screen.
- When Step #3 above has been completed, the Board of Law Examiners (BLE) will mail your Temporary Law Certificate to you within 3 to 5 business days. ALL NEW ADMITTEES MUST PRESENT THEIR TEMPORARY LAW CERTIFICATE WHEN TAKING THE OATH OF ADMISSION. You must take the Oath of Admission (be sworn in) within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Temporary Law Certificate. In accordance with T.C.A. 23-1-108, you may not practice law in Tennessee until the oath has been administered (see http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/tncode/).
- Taking the Oath of Admission: The Oath of Admission can be administered in two ways, either during a scheduled group swearing-in ceremony at the Supreme Court or via Affidavit by making an appointment with an authorized judicial official pursuant to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 6, paragraph (5). To read Rule 6, go to http://www.tncourts.gov/rules/supreme-court/6. Group ceremonies are scheduled twice a year; in early summer and late fall.
- If a group ceremony is available, you can make a reservation via the BPR's Attorney Portal as described in Step #3 above (group ceremonies are scheduled twice a year, in June and November). If a group ceremony is not available, the Affidavit for Admission can be found on the Supreme Court's website at http://www.tncourts.gov/courts/appellate-court-clerks-office/admission-practice-law.
- If the Oath of Admission was administered via Affidavit, forward all original documents with original signatures (no scanned or email copies) to the Supreme Court Clerk's office at 401 7th Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37219-1407. When the Clerk's office has processed your paperwork, they will notify the BPR. The BPR will update the status of your law license to "Active" and forward a BPR card to you. The Supreme Court Clerk's office will forward your Supreme Court Enrollment Certificate to you, and the BLE will send you your permanent law license. PLEASE NOTE: Pursuant to Tenn. Sup. Ct. Rule 9, Sec. 10.1, written notice to the BPR is required within 30 days of any changes of address or status. This is because the BPR is the lawyer disciplinary agency for the State of Tennessee.
- To obtain information regarding Tennessee's Mandatory Continuing Legal Education requirements (CLE), please contact the Tennessee CLE Commission at (615) 741-3096 or go to www.cletn.com.
Pursuant to Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 9, Sec. 10, all non-exempt attorneys must renew their law license with the BPR once a year on the 1ST DAY OF THEIR BIRTH MONTH. Given all the expenses new Bar Exam admittees incur, the Supreme Court has given you a three month reprieve period beginning the month after you are sworn in. When the three-month reprieve period is about to expire, the BPR will send you an email regarding an Interim invoice that will bridge your registration to your birth month. The Annual Registration (renewal) fee will then be due on the first day of your birth month every year from that point forward.
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions on this information, and be sure to include your BPR number on all communication with our office.