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Status Definitions

Attorney statuses eligible to practice law in Pennsylvania: Active, Emeritus*, In-House Corporate Counsel*, Defender or Legal Services*, Foreign Legal Consultant*, Military Attorney*, and Attorney Spouse of Active-Duty Military*.

Attorney statuses ineligible to practice law in Pennsylvania: Inactive, Retired, License Expired, Administrative Suspension, Disbarred, Suspended, and Disability Inactive Pa.R.D.E. 301.

 *Denotes limited license 


Active: Status of an attorney who is a member of the Pennsylvania bar, is current on all registration requirements, and is thus permitted to practice law in Pennsylvania. To maintain this status, the attorney must register annually.

Administrative Suspension: Status of an attorney who is a member of the Pennsylvania bar and who has failed to pay the annual fee, failed to satisfy continuing legal education requirements, or failed to pay expenses taxed in a disciplinary proceeding. Such attorneys are notified in advance of suspension with adequate time to come into compliance. An attorney whose status is Administrative Suspension is prohibited from practicing law in Pennsylvania.

Attorney Spouse of Active-Duty Military (limited admission)Status of an attorney who is not a member of the Pennsylvania bar, but is qualified to practice in the courts of another state. Such attorney has been granted limited admission while their active-duty military spouse is assigned or was most recently assigned duty in Pennsylvania. While employed in the practice of law in Pennsylvania, such attorney is required to be supervised by a Pennsylvania-licensed attorney currently engaged in the practice of law. To maintain this status, the attorney must register annually. See Pa.B.A.R. 304.

Defender or Legal Services Attorney (limited admission)Status of an attorney who is not a member of the Pennsylvania bar, but is qualified to practice in the courts of another state. Such attorney is employed by or associated with an organized legal services program in Pennsylvania providing legal assistance to indigents in civil matters or a public defender’s office or defender association providing legal assistance to indigents in criminal matters. To maintain this status, the attorney must register annually. See Pa.B.A.R. 311.

Disability Inactive Pa.R.D.E. 301: Status of an attorney, after Supreme Court Order, who has been declared incapacitated or severely mentally disabled. An attorney whose status is Disability Inactive Pa.R.D.E. 301 is prohibited from practicing law in Pennsylvania. See Pa.R.D.E. 301.

Disbarred: Status of an attorney who has been disciplined by Supreme Court Order and is prohibited from practicing law in Pennsylvania. A person who has been disbarred may not apply for reinstatement until at least 5 years from the effective date of the disbarment.

Emeritus (limited scope of practice)Status of an attorney who is a member of the Pennsylvania bar, but is authorized solely to provide pro bono legal services under the auspices of an eligible legal aid organization and without charge or an expectation of fee by the attorney. To maintain this status, the attorney must register annually. See Pa.R.D.E. 403.

Foreign Legal Consultant (limited admission)Status of an attorney who is not a member of the Pennsylvania bar, but may render legal services in Pennsylvania with respect to the law of the foreign country where the foreign legal consultant is admitted to practice law. To maintain this status, the attorney must register annually. See Pa.B.A.R. 341-342.

Inactive: Status of an attorney who is a member of the Pennsylvania bar and who has elected to transfer to this status while not engaged in the practice of law. To maintain this status, the attorney must register annually. An attorney whose status is Inactive is prohibited from practicing law in Pennsylvania.

In-House Corporate Counsel (limited admission)Status of an attorney who is not a member of the Pennsylvania bar, but is qualified to practice in the courts of another state. Such attorney is employed by and performs legal services in Pennsylvania for a corporation, company, partnership, association or other non-governmental business entity. To maintain this status, the attorney must register annually. See Pa.B.A.R. 302.

Judge: Status of an attorney who has been elected or appointed to serve in courts of record in Pennsylvania or judges or justices serving an appointment for life on any federal court.

License Expired: Status of an attorney previously granted limited admission, but such attorney no longer meets the qualifications of that limited license. An attorney whose status is License Expired is prohibited from practicing law in Pennsylvania.

Military Attorney (limited admission)Status of an attorney who is not a member of the Pennsylvania bar, but is qualified to practice in the courts of another state. Such attorney has been granted limited admission to practice law only to represent active duty military personnel in enlisted grades E-1 through E-4, their dependents, and other active duty military personnel and their dependents. The right to practice under this rule shall be limited to a period of four years unless extended by the Court Prothonotary. Such attorney shall not be required to register annually. See Pa.B.A.R. 303.

Retired: Status of an attorney who is a member of the Pennsylvania bar and who voluntarily ceases to practice law or hold themselves out as authorized to practice law in Pennsylvania. An attorney whose status is Retired is prohibited from practicing law in Pennsylvania. 

Suspended: Status of an attorney who has been disciplined by Supreme Court Order and is prohibited from practicing law in Pennsylvania for a period of time determined by the Court.