Hiring an Out of State Attorney
License to Practice Law
As a general rule, an attorney needs to be admitted to practice in the state in which he or she is representing an individual. That is true whether the attorney is negotiating a contract, representing someone in court or representing someone in a real estate transaction.
Exceptions to the General Requirement for State Bar Admission
However, there are exceptions to that rule in many jurisdictions. Some states will grant limited law licenses to attorneys who are licensed to practice law in another state. For example, some states will allow attorneys from other states to practice law as legal services attorneys. These attorneys typically work in public defender offices or for legal aid services.
For This One Case
It is possible for an attorney to represent a client in court without qualifying for an exception to the bar admission requirement for a particular state. Some states allow an attorney to represent a client “pro hac vice” or “for this one case.”
Full State Licensure Without the Bar Exam
Further, there are ways for attorneys who are licensed in one state to gain admission to another state’s bar without taking the bar exam. Some states will grant reciprocity to a licensed attorney who has been practicing law in another state for a certain number of years. In many cases, this can result in faster admission to the bar of the second state.
The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.
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