Virginia Corporate Counsel

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 member 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.

The Virginia Corporate Counsel, Part I filing fee is $1500. This fee covers the cost of processing the Application, investigating matters contained in the applicant's completed Character & Fitness Questionnaire, and preparing of the Character Report.

The fee is non-refundable and must be in the form of a Money Order, Cashier's Check, or Certified Check made payable to the "Virginia Board of Bar Examiners."

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, Part I. Click here to access the Corporate Counsel, Part I application.

  • Virginia Corporate Counsel Registrant, Part II, is administered by the Virginia State Bar (VSB).

Application Processing

Processing your Virginia Corporate Counsel, Part I application may take six (6) months from the date your complete application package is received by our office. Please remember that these applications are handled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Incomplete applications will not be processed until all required documents are received.