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Transactional work and state bar admission

Posted: Mon May 04, 2020 2:46 am
by Anonymous User
Sorry this might be a stupid question but for corporate work, I heard that you don't have to be admitted to the state bar where your client is located...

Does that apply to firms only if they have another partner or lawyer located in that state who can sign off on that work? Or is that in general?

For example, can a small firm with only California lawyers take on a Florida client If they have no contacts in Florida?

Re: Transactional work and state bar admission

Posted: Mon May 04, 2020 3:39 am
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:Sorry this might be a stupid question but for corporate work, I heard that you don't have to be admitted to the state bar where your client is located...

Does that apply to firms only if they have another partner or lawyer located in that state who can sign off on that work? Or is that in general?

For example, can a small firm with only California lawyers take on a Florida client If they have no contacts in Florida?
It's true in general. For example, I'm advising a Mississippi-incorporated client right now on Mississippi corporate law even though we don't have an office in Mississippi and I'm certainly not licensed there. Most of my clients are Delaware-based but I'm not licensed there and we don't have an office there. We have engaged local counsel at times when needed (or, more realistically, advised the client to obtain local counsel so they can formally decline it as a CYA thing), but that's rare.

I'm too far removed from my law school PR class to be certain, but my understanding is that you can give legal advice on any matter in which you are "competent" as long as you are within your state of licensure, and you can travel out of state to represent one of your clients as long as it's done on a temporary, ad hoc basis and not a permanent office. I don't think the location of the client matters, since you can't restrict people to only hiring lawyers in their state, particularly if the issue concerns law in another state.