Corporate Counsel Certificate

Rule 1A:5 Virginia Corporate Counsel & Corporate Counsel Registrants.


Any person employed in Virginia as a lawyer exclusively for a for-profit or non-profit corporation, association or other business entity, including its subsidiaries and affiliates, that is not a government entity, and the business of which consists solely of lawful activities other than the practice of law or the provisions of legal services (“Employer”), for the primary purpose of providing legal services to such employer, including one who holds himself or herself out as “in-house counsel,” “corporate counsel,” “general counsel,” or other similar title indicating that he or she is serving as legal counsel to such Employer, shall either (i) be a regularly admitted active member of the Virginia State Bar; (ii) be issued a Corporate Counsel Certificate as provided in Part I of this Rule and thereby become an active ember of the Virginia State Bar with his or her practice limited as provided therein; or (iii) register with the Virginia State Bar as provided in Part II of this rule; provided, however, no person who is or has been a member of the Virginia State Bar, and whose Virginia License, at the time of application, is revoked or suspended, shall be issued a Corporate Counsel Certificate or permitted to register under this Rule.

Effective January 1, 2020 Applications for Rule 1A:5 are available and will be processed as follows:

  • The Board of Bar Examiners will process Virginia Corporate Counsel Certificate, Part I. Click here to access the Corporate Counsel Certificate, Part I application.
  • The Virginia State Bar (VSB) will process Virginia Corporate Counsel Registrants, Part II. Click here for the VSB website.