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  • off topic - for lawyers

    would anyone know if a lawyer who graduated outside of the US and has passed the bar (of that country where she graduated from) can pursue law practice in the US, and if there are other requirements? thank you so much.

  • #2
    would anyone know if a lawyer who graduated outside of the US and has passed the bar (of that country where she graduated from) can pursue law practice in the US, and if there are other requirements? thank you so much.

    Comment


    • #3
      As far as I know (I'm not a lawyer) lawyers in the U.S. must be admitted to the bar in the state(s) in which they practice. This most likely means taking and passing the state's test, which can be tough. Some states have reciprocity--if you pass in one state, another state will accept you to practice there as well.
      Don't know if they have such an arrangement with other countries. Best thing to do is check with the state you want to move to as to their requirements.

      There's been some debate as to whether one needs to pass the state bar if one practices in federal courts. I don't know what is required to appear in federal courts.

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      • #4
        I am an attorney, and each state does vary greatly in its own requirements. Most states allow reciprocity with other states after a certain number of years of practice, some do not. I would expect that an out of country education could be permitted to satisfy the education requirement, but I would doubt that the Bar Exam could be waived. I would Google the State Bar of whatever state you are looking at. Or you can look at BarBri's site which provides state by state requirements as well as links.

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        • #5
          I am by no means an expert, simply a potential UK law student who is herself wanting to practice in the US. However, from research I have done, it seems to me that virtually all states only let individuals with a degree from an accredited US law school take their bar exams. An exception is New York, where I believe you need to have 3 years of law education to be eligible for the exam. I won't even satisfy this, as I will only have done 2 years of law education. One possible way to get around this is perhaps to do a master's degree in law as well. Alternatively, I believe that some states let you practice as a foreign legal consultant i.e. you can practice law relating to the country you qualified in.

          Those more qualified than myself, please feel free to correct me on this!

          I would love nothing more than to go to US law school: US law and history is where my academic background lies, and practising in the US would be my ideal. However, I am also a realist, and know that I could not afford the tuition fees of US law schools, especially as it would be difficult to get a loan as a foreign student.

          Any ideas on this would be appreciated! Would being a UK qualified solicitor be of use to some companies in the US? I figure there are enough US law graduates already, perhaps my UK qualifications combined with my interest and experience in America would be useful?

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          • #6
            IT depends on the firm, and on the state - there are state by state requirements, and a variety of ways to deal with it. I work with an attorney who went to law school in Ireland, and came to the US and completed an advanced degree. In order to practice law in the US, you have to meet the requirements of the state you want to practice in - there is no one answer to this question.

            A UK Solicitor could be of great use to firms or companies that practice internationally.

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            • #7
              I remember seeing a site run by a UK atty about taking the bar in NC. I seem to remember that he pursued an LLM here (a Masters taken nortmally after attaining a JD). I would bet there are other sites by foreign attys coming to US.

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              • #8
                Thanks very much for the advice. It's reassuring to know that my choice in persuing American History and Politics at degree level hasn't cut out all hope of me finding work in the US in the future! Honestly, sometimes I really wish I had chosen something 'practical' like engineering or management instead!

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                • #9
                  Addition to Balca elimination message.

                  We need a way to object. Perhaps we can use the fact that the comment period was announced years before the rulemaking was about to become final and that the CIS change eliminating the need for rfes did not offer any comment period at all can be used.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    To practice in the US you must be admitted to a state bar. Almost all states require that you attend a American Bar Association approved law school, which is bascially only US law schools and some Canadian. Most states also require members of the state bar to be US citizens.

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                    • #11
                      I am a US law student wanting to practice in Europe (maybe we could trade places). Many US law firms have offices in London which only hire UK lawyers. This is a good segway into practicing in the US. Also, look for UK firms with office in the US as these could also bring you to practice in the US. Your knowlegde of the UK culture and practices would be of great value to US companies and firms.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        thanks to everyone who replied. thawktx, i am writing for my lawyer cousin. she is canadian but graduated in one of the top universities in the phil. she is a bar topnotcher there. she is practicing corporate law there and right now she wants to move here. do you have an email where she can correspond with you so she would just know the basics, if you don't mind? she just needs to know how much the schooling would cost, how long, maybe tips on where the "better" state to practice is, things like that....thanks again...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thawktx: I'm sure we could go to our respective governments and suggest a swap; what's the problem with that?! Works out for everyone that way...
                          I am currently looking for training contracts, and my plan is to apply to all the US companies first. I already have 18 months experience in US law firms, so I'm hoping that will help!

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                          • #14
                            But you can only practice that way temporarily, you will still have to take the bar exam in the state you are interested in living in.

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