Alaska Lawyer Reciprocity

A Comprehensive Guide to Bar Reciprocity: What States Have Reciprocit…

Many states open the practice of law to out-of-state applicants who have already been admitted to the bar of another state. While each state establishes its own criteria for admission, reciprocal agreements between states are common. Depending on factors such as the number of graduating law students within the state, geographic desirability (high demand for “Sunbelt” states like California, Florida, and Arizona), or average earnings compared to other states, etc., state bars may lower or raise the threshold for admission of external candidates. Some may require prospective candidates to take the state’s bar exam; others will accept a combination of passing results on the Multi-state bar examination and a minimum number of years’ in practice in another state. For example, as of January 2005, the states of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont entered into a reciprocity agreement allowing attorneys to be admitted to one another’s bars without taking the bar examination for that state. The geographic proximity of the states and the frequent representation by law firms of corporations who operate in all three states prompted the change.

ALABAMA: The state does not offer reciprocity.

ALASKA: The state has reciprocity agreements with the following other states: CO, CT, DC, GA, IL, IN, IA, KY, MA, MI, MN, MO, NE, NH, NY, ND, OH, OK, PA, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WY.

ARIZONA: The state does not offer reciprocity.

ARKANSAS: Admission by motion went into effect in October 2004.

CALIFORNIA: The state does not offer reciprocity, but offers a shorter bar examination for attorneys licensed in other states with good standing for at least four years prior to application.

COLORADO: Other states have to reciprocate for Colorado lawyers.

CONNECTICUT: Other states have to reciprocate for Connecticut lawyers.

DELAWARE: The state does not offer reciprocity.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Lawyers who have been admitted for five years in another jurisdiction immediately preceding application for admission in DC can be admitted without examination; other lawyers can be admitted without examination if they graduated from an ABA accredited law school and obtained certain minimum scores on the Multi-state Bar Examination and the Multi-state Professional Responsibility Examination.

FLORIDA: The state does not offer reciprocity.

GEORGIA: Georgia offers a shorter bar examination for lawyers admitted by examination and in good standing in another state for at least twelve months prior to taking its Attorneys’ Examination. Also offers admission without examination for lawyers from reciprocal states who have practiced at least five years.

HAWAII: The state does not offer reciprocity.

IDAHO: Offers reciprocity only to certain lawyers licensed in Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. However, lawyers who have actively practiced law for at least five of the last seven years immediately preceding their applications for admission do not have to take and pass the Multi-state Bar Examination, but must take and pass the remainder of the Idaho bar examination.


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