Swearing-In Frequently Asked Questions



Q:  I have not yet received my law license/state bar number.  May I still participate in the Swearing-In Ceremony?

A:  No.  The Board of Law Examiners of the State of NC has requested that swearing-in ceremonies do not take place prior to the time the applicants to the North Carolina State Bar have received their licenses from the Board of Law Examiners. In years past, bars and bar associations, including the MCB, conducted swearing-in ceremonies with applicants being sworn-in using their "pass" letter. This was problematic for both the Board of Law Examiners and the State Bar.



The Board of Law Examiners does not consider an applicant to be licensed until the applicant receives his or her physical license. The Board does not certify an applicant to the North Carolina Supreme Court until after the applicant's license has been mailed to the applicant. Additionally, character and fitness issues may arise in the interim period between an applicant's passage of the bar examination and the issuance of his or her license which could affect the applicant's eligibility for licensure.



Further, the swearing-in of new admittees prior to the admittee's receipt of his or her license also creates issues for the State Bar. As the Board of Law Examiners does not forward the list of certified admittees to the State Bar until after the licenses are mailed, the State Bar does not have the new admittee in its system at the time the new admittee is sworn-in. The State Bar is unable to provide the new admittee with a State Bar number or verify the admittee's licensure to the public or potential employers.  The Board has communicated with the State Bar regarding this issue and has revised its "pass" letter in an effort to clarify its position that an applicant cannot be sworn-in prior to receiving his or her license.



Q:  I cannot attend the MCB Swearing-In Ceremony.  How do I schedule an individual swearing in?

A:   Individual swearing-in ceremonies are held at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse every Monday (excluding holidays and court closings) at 2:00 pm in Courtroom 5350 or Thursday at 2:00 p.m. in Courtroom 6310. No appointment is necessary. Individuals should bring three copies of the oath, law license, and a member of the Mecklenburg County Bar for sponsorship. Attorneys must have either their law license or official Bar card to be sworn in. Note: The letter from the Board of Law Examiners is no longer accepted. Attorneys without a sponsor may ask an attorney in the courtroom to act as their sponsor. Upon arrival to the courtroom, please notify the Assistant District Attorney of your wish to be sworn in.



Q:  What is the attire for Swearing In?

A:  As is with any court session, new attorneys and their sponsors MUST be dressed in appropriate court attire.  Gentlemen must wear a tie and jacket, and ladies should wear a suit, preferably neutral colors - blue, black or grey.  (Failure to comply with this dress code will prohibit participation.)



Q:  I have more than 3 guests.  Can you make an exception for me?

A:  Due to space and cost constraints, we are unable to make exceptions.  Please plan accordingly.



Q:  I have a child under the age of 7 that I would like to bring.  Can you make an exception for me?

A:  The court specifically and respectfully requests that no children under the age of 7 be allowed entrance.



Q:  Is my sponsor included in the 3 person guest limit?

A:  Your sponsor is not included in the 3 person guest limit.



Q:  When does my sponsor need to arrive and how long does he or she have to stay?

A:  Your sponsor should arrive no later than 15 minutes before the start of the ceremony.  He or she must stay until they have presented you to the court.  Names are called alphabetically, so the further along in the alphabet you are, the longer your sponsor will be required to stay.



Q:  What does my sponsor need to do in the ceremony?

A:  New attorneys will be called to the stage in groups of 10.  When your name is called, your sponsor will stand next to you and briefly (30 seconds or less) present you to the court.  Suggestions are for the sponsor to state his/her name, the new attorney's name, new attorney's undergraduate school, law school and where he/she will be working.  We encourage you to forward this information to your sponsor so he/she will know the requirements and expectations. 



Q:  I have already been sworn into State Court and would like to be sworn into Federal Court.  Can I still attend the ceremony?

A:  Yes, however, there are new procedures for being sworn into Federal Court.  For more information, please visit the USDC Web site at www.ncwd.uscourts.gov/Attorneys/Admissions.aspx.  We are unable to answer questions on behalf of the Federal Court and request that you contact them directly for more information on their procedures.


More questions?  Please call 704/375-8624 or e-mail events@meckbar.org.


Swearing-In Ceremony