Bar admission without exam

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ndirish2010

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Bar admission without exam

Postby ndirish2010 » Wed Feb 22, 2017 6:31 pm

I have been looking at the chart showing the requirements for each state on admitting practicing attorneys barred in other states without examination. Many require that the applicant been "practicing" for a certain time (3 of 5 or 5 of 7 years) to take advantage of this process. By the time I'll want to do this, I'll be out of school five years (September 2018) and have been a member of a bar for five years (inactive in one state, active in another, but I now live in a third state). I'll have clerked for three years (one at D. Ct. and two at COA) with two years of practice in between. Is there any way to tell which states will give me credit for having practiced for five years based on the three years of clerking? Maybe none will, but I'd like to try, and I don't know if this has been answered elsewhere (I did a cursory search but I admit it wasn't exhaustive).

Thanks for any help!

clerk1251

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Re: Bar admission without exam

Postby clerk1251 » Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:07 pm

You're fine. Essentially, when it says that you've been practicing for 3 of the last 5 years, that basically just means an active member of the bar in good standing.

There are one or two states that have an extra stipulation that you need to have actively been practicing in the state it has reciprocity with, but that isn't that common. In those instances, it is essentially just to prevent someone trying to circumvent the reciprocity restrictions of that state and it usually plays out like this: You're from a state (let's call it state A) and you want to practice in another state (State B) but State B doesn't have reciprocity with State A, so you waive into a third state, State C, which does have reciprocity with State B, and then from State C you waive into State B. So a few (very few) states might have restrictions to the affect of requiring you to have actively practiced in State C for three of the last five years before waiving in.

Generally speaking though, as long as you were licensed and active, it won't matter if you were "practicing" at a firm vs clerking. Clerking counts as much as anything else would.

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ndirish2010

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Re: Bar admission without exam

Postby ndirish2010 » Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:26 pm

clerk1251 wrote:You're fine. Essentially, when it says that you've been practicing for 3 of the last 5 years, that basically just means an active member of the bar in good standing.

There are one or two states that have an extra stipulation that you need to have actively been practicing in the state it has reciprocity with, but that isn't that common. In those instances, it is essentially just to prevent someone trying to circumvent the reciprocity restrictions of that state and it usually plays out like this: You're from a state (let's call it state A) and you want to practice in another state (State B) but State B doesn't have reciprocity with State A, so you waive into a third state, State C, which does have reciprocity with State B, and then from State C you waive into State B. So a few (very few) states might have restrictions to the affect of requiring you to have actively practiced in State C for three of the last five years before waiving in.

Generally speaking though, as long as you were licensed and active, it won't matter if you were "practicing" at a firm vs clerking. Clerking counts as much as anything else would.


Oh, this is very good to know! So I should be okay to waive into most jurisdictions with the five years combined of practicing and clerking, even though it's in three different states. Obviously, I'll have to check with the individual states when it gets closer, but I wanted to try to gauge how likely it would be that I'll need to sit for another exam.

clerk1251

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Re: Bar admission without exam

Postby clerk1251 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:55 am

ndirish2010 wrote:
clerk1251 wrote:You're fine. Essentially, when it says that you've been practicing for 3 of the last 5 years, that basically just means an active member of the bar in good standing.

There are one or two states that have an extra stipulation that you need to have actively been practicing in the state it has reciprocity with, but that isn't that common. In those instances, it is essentially just to prevent someone trying to circumvent the reciprocity restrictions of that state and it usually plays out like this: You're from a state (let's call it state A) and you want to practice in another state (State B) but State B doesn't have reciprocity with State A, so you waive into a third state, State C, which does have reciprocity with State B, and then from State C you waive into State B. So a few (very few) states might have restrictions to the affect of requiring you to have actively practiced in State C for three of the last five years before waiving in.

Generally speaking though, as long as you were licensed and active, it won't matter if you were "practicing" at a firm vs clerking. Clerking counts as much as anything else would.


Oh, this is very good to know! So I should be okay to waive into most jurisdictions with the five years combined of practicing and clerking, even though it's in three different states. Obviously, I'll have to check with the individual states when it gets closer, but I wanted to try to gauge how likely it would be that I'll need to sit for another exam.


Yes, I don't think you'll have any problem. It's pretty easy to just google the reciprocity rules for the state you are looking to waive into and see the exact language from the state bar. If for whatever reason you are still concerned, I'd suggest simply calling the bar you are planning on waiving into and asking them if you qualify.

Also, one other thing to note is that in most states, waiving in (or admission by motion, as a number of states call it) will take a few months. I've heard of states that it took at least 8-10 months. So you may want to consider getting the ball rolling early, if you are planning on being admitted by the day you leave your clerkship.



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