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Supreme Court Swearing-In Ceremony 2018

Supreme Court

AS GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY LAW CENTER ALUMNI, YOU ARE INVITED TO APPLY FOR ADMISSION TO THE BAR OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES. 

One of the benefits of a Georgetown Law education is the close proximity to all the resources the nation's capital has to offer. Last year, nearly 3,000 attorneys joined the rolls of the Supreme Court Bar. Bar admission is essential for attorneys practicing before the highest court in the United States. Public seating in the Supreme Court courtroom is extremely limited;as a member, you will have access to the members-only section in the courtroom, located directly behind the arguing attorneys. Bar members also have access to the court's library. Beyond these reasons, of course, you'll certainly enjoy having the impressive framed document on your office wall. As a bonus, Supreme Court justices have been known stop by our post-swearing-in ceremony reception. 

The swearing-in ceremony will take place at the Supreme Court, followed by a reception for all newly admitted members. Alumni who have been practicing members of the highest court of a U.S. state, commonwealth, territory or possession, or the District of Columbia for a minimum of three years and are in good standing are eligible to apply. We've compiled this information to guide you through the application process. Completed applications must be received by the Office of Alumni Affairs no later than April 16th. Space for this event is limited, and reservations will be accepted on a first-come basis. We hope to hear from you soon! 

GENERAL EVENT INFORMATION

The swearing-in ceremony will take place in the main courtroom of the Supreme Court. Before the swearing-in ceremony, our group will meet in one of the Court's conference room for light breakfast and to go over logistics. At the post-swearing-in reception, we will celebrate, mingle, and possibly be visited by one (or more) of the Justices. Per Court rules, you are only allowed one guest to accompany you to the actual swearing-in ceremony in the main courtroom. At our pre and post-reception, however, you are allowed to bring as many guests as you would like. 

SAMPLE ITINERARY

8:00 a.m. All bar applicants and their guests arrive promptly at the corner of First St. NE and East Capitol Avenue. The Visitors Entrance is to the left of the stairs if you are facing the Court with the Capitol at your back. Upon entry, U.S. Marshals will escort our group to our conference room for our pre-swearing-in reception.  

9:30 a.m. U.S. Marshals will escort bar applicants through security and into the main courtroom.  

10:00 a.m. The Court session begins. The Justices will read opinions first, and then move to the swearing-in. 

11:00 a.m. We will return to the reception room for the post-ceremony celebration. A few Justices may join us for greetings and photos. 

12:00 p.m. Group photograph on steps of the Court and event closing.  

CHECKLIST OF GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

To be considered for the Supreme Court Bar, you must be in good standing with your state's bar and in practice for at least 3 years. If you meet the previous requirements, you are eligible to apply. 

1) To apply, please: Fill out the online form of intent. This reserves your place as one of the 50 alumni participating in the ceremony (given all of your materials are submitted by April 15th). In the event that the ceremony is at maximum capacity, you will be placed on a wait-list and notified if a spot opens. 

2) Complete the Bar Application. Full instructions from the Supreme Court can be found online. Each applicant must have the endorsement of two sponsors, who must each be a member of the Bar of the Supreme Court. If you need assistance finding sponsors, please contact the Office of Alumni Affairs at alumnlaw@georgetown.edu or (202) 662-4078. 

3) Obtain a Certificate of Good Standing from the highest court of the state, commonwealth, territory, possession, or District of Columbia evidencing the fact that you have been a member in good standing of the Bar of such for at least three years. 

4) Pay the admission fee of $200, made payable to the "U.S. Supreme Court" and signed and dated the date of the swearing-in ceremony. 

5) Submit all materials together by April 16th to: 

Georgetown University Law Center 
ATTN: Lindsey Difazio
Alumni Affairs, Hotung 2006 
600 New Jersey Avenue, NW 
Washington, DC 20001 

Completed applications will be accepted from the first 50 alumni who submit the Form of Intent by April 15th. After that date, materials will be accepted from the wait-list. A completed application includes the Bar Application, a Certificate of Good Standing, and a check for $200. 

OBTAINING A CERTIFICATE OF GOOD STANDING

You must obtain an original certificate of good standing from the presiding judge, clerk, or other authorized official of the highest court of a state, commonwealth, territory, possession, or of the District of Columbia, evidencing the fact that you have been a member of the Bar of such court for at least three years and are in good standing. Do not submit a Bar Association Certificate in place of the clerk's certificate, or a duplicate of a certificate of good standing. Each state court follows a slightly different procedure for requesting a Certificate of Good Standing. Please follow the instructions for your state. 

Alabama, Online Instructions

Alaska, Call 907-272-7469

Arizona, Online Instructions 

Arkansas, Call 501-682-6849

California, Call 415-865-7000 

Colorado, Online Instructions

Connecticut, Online Instructions

Delaware, Call 302-856-5229

Florida, Call 850-488-0125

Georgia, Online Instructions

Hawaii, Call 808-539-4919

Idaho, Online Instructions

Illinois, Online Instructions

Indiana, Online Instructions

Iowa, Online Instructions

Kansas, Online Instructions

Kentucky, Call 502-564-5444

Louisiana, Online Instructions

Maine, Call 207-822-4146

Maryland, Online Instructions

Massachusetts, Online Instructions

Michigan, Online Instructions

Minnesota, Online Instructions

Mississippi, Online Instructions

Missouri, Online Instructions

Montana, Call 406-444-3858

Nebraska, Call 402-471-3731

Nevada, Online Instructions

New Hampshire, Online Instructions

New Jersey, Online Instructions

New Mexico, Online Instructions

New York:

Appellate Div., 1st Dept, Online Instructions

Appellate Div., 2nd Dept, Online Instructions

Appellate Div., 3rd Dept, Online Instructions

Appellate Div., 4th Dept, Online Instructions

North Carolina, Online Instructions

North Dakota, Call 701-328-2221

Ohio, Online Instructions

Oklahoma, Call 405-556-9300

Oregon, Online Instructions

Pennsylvania, Online Instructions

Rhode Island, Online Instructions

South Carolina, Online Instructions

South Dakota, Call 605-773-3511

Tennessee, Online Instructions

Texas, Online Instructions

Utah, Online Instructions

Vermont, Online Instructions

Virginia, Online Instructions

Washington, Online Instructions

West Virginia, Call 304-558-2601

Wisconsin, Online Instructions

Wyoming, Call 307-777-7316

FAQs - GENERAL

What if I'm not practicing or am currently inactive in my bar?

Inactivity does not preclude participation. 

What if I'm a member of bars in multiple states? 

You only need one Certificate of Good Standing. You may choose which one to obtain. 

How do I obtain a Certificate of Good Standing? 

It varies by state. Please follow your state's instructions.

Can I apply if I'm a licensed attorney in a country other than the United States? 

Unless you are barred in a US State or territory, or have reciprocity with a state bar, you are ineligible to participate. 

What if I want someone I know to sign as my movant? 

You would need to be admitted on a separate motion or by Written Motion, and in either case, not stand up in court with our group. That is the only way to have a different name on the Certificate. 

Is attending the ceremony mandatory for admission into the bar? 

No. If you are applying with Georgetown Law, it's for the entire event. However, if you're not interested in the ceremony and reception, you are welcome to apply on your own and be admitted via written motion. 

Are my sponsors required to attend the ceremony? 

No, your sponsors do not have to be present - unless, of course, you want them to be! 

Who can be my sponsor? 

Any attorney who is a member of the Supreme Court Bar. They do not need to be fellow Georgetown Law Alumni. 

What if I don't know two people who can sponsor me? 

If you know one sponsor, great. Have them sign your paperwork. Leave the second sponsor blank. If you don't know any, not to worry. Leave them both blank and turn in your complete application packet. Georgetown will help source sponsors for you once we have all application materials, including the certificate of good standing and your application fee. 

Can my preferred city differ from the state from which I obtain a Certificate of Good Standing (e.g., listing Rome, Italy as preferred city and providing a certificate from New York)? 

Yes. 

What does "Alternate Certificate described in the instructions" mean in the application? 

The standard certificate evidencing admission contains the following words: "in the year of the Lord, two thousand…" An alternate certificate omits the underlined words. 

FAQs -FEES

In what form should my payment of $200 be submitted? 

The Court accepts money orders and checks. 

When will the Court cash my check? 

The Court will cash your check the day after the ceremony. 

Are there any reoccurring dues? 

No. Admission is perpetual. 

To whom should I make the check payable? 

"U.S. Supreme Court" and dated the date of the swearing in ceremony. 

FAQs - EVENT LOGISTICS

What if something comes up and I can no longer attend the ceremony? 

If you cannot attend, let the Alumni Office know. We will notify the court and contact you directly with information on proceeding via written Motion or choosing an alternative date to appear as an individual. 

Are there any age restrictions on my guests? 

Yes, no guests under the age of six may view the swearing-in ceremony in the main courtroom. Younger guests are welcome at the reception before and after the swearing-in ceremony. 

How many guests can I bring? 

Each person being sworn into the Supreme Court Bar is allowed one guest who can sit and witness the swearing-in ceremony in the main courtroom. At the reception before and after the swearing-in, you are able to have as many guests as you would like. However, following court rules, only one guest per person is allowed to witness the swearing-in in the main courtroom. Please plan accordingly. 

Can my guests who are not witnessing the ceremony arrive at a later time? 

Everyone should arrive at the same time. We will be escorted as a group into areas of the Court that are closed to the public. 

Will my guests have to leave the reception room during the ceremony? 

No. Any guests you have that are not attending the ceremony with you can stay in our reception room, or they can explore the museum/lobby area. 

Can I leave my belongings in the reception room while I go into the ceremony? 

Yes. The room will be secure. Cameras, cellphones, and electronic devices are allowed into the building, but not into the main courtroom. 

Can I bring a stroller into the Supreme Court? 

Yes, but you will have to check it. Guests under age 15 are not permitted into the main courtroom. 

Is there parking at the court? 

No. We recommend that you take alternative transportation to the court. If you plan to drive, the nearest parking lot is at Union Station. 

Union Station Parking Garage 
50 Massachusetts Avenue NE 
Washington, DC 20002 
(202) 898-1950 
Open 24 hours 

 

Keep in mind that this parking garage is still a half-mile away from the Court. If you have guests with disabilities or uncomfortable shoes, we recommend dropping them at the Court first, parking, and walking back. 

May I record the ceremony? 

It is not permitted to take a camera, cell phone, tablet, Blackberry, etc., into the main courtroom. However, they are allowed in the building and in the conference room where our reception will take place. The reception room will be secured during the ceremony, so all belongings can remain safely there. 

POST-SWEARING-IN 

How do I get my certificate? Does it come framed? 

The court will mail your certificate about 6 weeks after the ceremony. It does not come framed but includes framing information. You can place an order for framing online or by telephone. If you do not receive the certificate by the fall, please contact the Georgetown Law Office of Alumni Affairs at alumnlaw@georgetown.edu 

 

To receive a formal Admission to the Bar Application Guide, e-mail Lindsey Difazio at kld83@georgetown.edu. 

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