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Blog - Lawyers

​Licencing Bodies, Types of Licences and Statistics/Demographics by State of Lawyers/ Solicitors in USA

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Practicing law in the United States requires “admission to the bar “ through the grantingof permission by a each state’s particular court system to a lawyer to practice law in that system.

Each US state and jurisdiction has its own court system and sets its own particular set rules for admission to the bar, the privilege to practice law in that state. There are different admission standards among states, including differences in education requirements, examinations, and training, if any.

At the end of 2014, the American Bar Association estimated that there were 1.3 million licensed lawyers in the 50 states, plus Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

All states and jurisdictions require that a candidate, in order to practice as a lawyer, must possess the following minimum qualifications:

-Have a degree from an accredited college or university (California, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming may waive law school requirements based on certain conditions).

-Pass a bar examination. Some states require/accept a candidate taking the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) in lieu of the state examination.

- Pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) which relates to a lawyer's professional conduct. The MPRE should be taken within a specified number of months after passing or taking the bar examination.

Most states accept a reciprocity agreement where they can take a duly licensed attorney who is a member of a bar in another state.

Admission to a state’s bar differs with each state. Below are the licensing bodies and a summary of “special” admission requirements specific to each state (Bar Association of the State in parenthesis:

Alabama – (Alabama State Bar)- Graduates of foreign law schools eligible for admission; Accepts UBE scores;

Alaska –( Alaska Bar Association) – Graduates of foreign law schools eligible for admission; Accepts reciprocity from other states; Accepts UBE scores;

Arizona (Arizona State Bar) - Accepts UBE scores;

Arkansas (Arkansas Bar Association) - Eligibility to take the bar exam is limited to J.D. or LL.B. graduates of ABA-approved law schools.

California (California State Bar) - Graduates of foreign law schools eligible for admission; Attendance of law school not required but certain conditions need to be met;

Colorado (Colorado Bar Association) - Graduates of foreign law schools eligible for admission; Accepts UBE scores;

Delaware (Delaware State Bar Association) - Eligibility to take the bar exam is limited to J.D. or LL.B. graduates of ABA-approved law schools.

Florida (Florida Bar) - Graduates of foreign law schools eligible for admission;

Georgia (Georgia State Bar) - Graduates of foreign law schools eligible for admission;

Hawaii (Hawaii State Bar Association) - Graduates of foreign law schools eligible for admission;

Idaho (Idaho State Bar) - Eligibility to take the bar exam is limited to J.D. or LL.B. graduates of ABA-approved law schools; Accepts UBE scores;

Illinois (Illinois State Bar Association) - Graduates of foreign law schools eligible for admission;

Indiana (Indiana State Bar Association) - Eligibility to take the bar exam is limited to J.D. or LL.B. graduates of ABA-approved law schools.

Iowa (Iowa State Bar Association) - Eligibility to take the bar exam is limited to J.D. or LL.B. graduates of ABA-approved law schools.

Kansas (Kansas State Bar Association) - Eligibility to take the bar exam is limited to J.D. or LL.B. graduates of ABA-approved law schools.A felony conviction disqualifies a candidate from admission to the bar.

Kentucky (Kentucky Bar Association) - Graduates of foreign law schools eligible for admission;

Louisiana (Louisiana State Bar Association) - Graduates of foreign law schools eligible for admission;

Maine (Maine State Bar Association) - Graduates of foreign law schools eligible for admission; Attendance of law school for entire four years is not required but certain conditions need to be met;

Maryland - ( Maryland State Bar Association) - Graduates of foreign law schools eligible for admission;

Massachusetts (Masachussetts Bar Association) - Graduates of foreign law schools eligible for admission;

Michigan (Michigan State Bar)

Minnesota (Minnesota State Bar Association)- - Accepts UBE scores;

Mississippi (Mississipi Bar) - Eligibility to take the bar exam is limited to J.D. or LL.B. graduates of ABA-approved law schools. A felony conviction disqualifies a candidate from admission to the bar.

Missouri (Missouri Bar)- Graduates of foreign law schools eligible for admission; Accepts UBE scores;

Montana (Montana State Bar) - Eligibility to take the bar exam is limited to J.D. or LL.B. graduates of ABA-approved law schools; Accepts UBE scores;

Nebraska (Nebraska State Bar Association) - Eligibility to take the bar exam is limited to J.D. or LL.B. graduates of ABA-approved law schools; Accepts UBE scores;

Nevada (State Bar Nevada)- Graduates of foreign law schools eligible for admission;

New Hampshire (New Hampshire State Bar Association) - Graduates of foreign law schools eligible for admission; Accepts UBE scores;

New Jersey (New Jersey State Bar Association) - Eligibility to take the bar exam is limited to J.D. or LL.B. graduates of ABA-approved law schools.

New Mexico (State Bar of New Mexico) - Graduates of foreign law schools eligible for admission; Attendance of law school for entire four years is not required but certain conditions need to be met;

New York (New York State Bar Association) - Graduates of foreign law schools eligible for admission;

North Carolina (North Carolina State Bar) - Eligibility to take the bar exam is limited to J.D. or LL.B. graduates of ABA-approved law schools.

North Dakota (North Dakota State Bar Association) - Eligibility to take the bar exam is limited to J.D. or LL.B. graduates of ABA-approved law schools; Accepts UBE scores;

Ohio (Ohio State Bar Association) - Graduates of foreign law schools eligible for admission;Applicants convicted of a felony must meet specific conditions and undergo additional review before they can be approved.

Oklahoma (Oklahoma Bar) - Eligibility to take the bar exam is limited to J.D. or LL.B. graduates of ABA-approved law schools.

Oregon (Oregan State Bar) - Graduates of foreign law schools eligible for admission;

Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania Bar Association) - Graduates of foreign law schools eligible for admission;

South Carolina (South Carolina Bar) - Eligibility to take the bar exam is limited to J.D. or LL.B. graduates of ABA-approved law schools.

South Dakota (South Dakota State Bar) - Eligibility to take the bar exam is limited to J.D. or LL.B. graduates of ABA-approved law schools.

Tennessee (Tennessee Bar Association) - Graduates of foreign law schools eligible for admission;

Texas (Texas State Bar) - Graduates of foreign law schools eligible for admission; A felony conviction disqualifies a candidate from admission to the bar.

Utah – (Utah State Bar) Graduates of foreign law schools eligible for admission; Accepts UBE scores;

Vermont (Vermont Bar Association) - Graduates of foreign law schools eligible for admission;

Virginia (Virginia State Bar) - Attendance of law school not required but certain conditions need to be met;

Washington – (Washington State Bar Association)- Graduates of foreign law schools eligible for admission; Attendance of law school not required but certain conditions need to be met;

West Virginia (West Virginia State Bar Association) - Graduates of foreign law schools eligible for admission;

Wisconsin (Wisconsin State Bar) - Graduates of foreign law schools eligible for admission;

Wyoming (Wyoming State Bar) - Attendance of law school not required but certain conditions need to be met;

Other jurisdictions:

Dist. of Columbia (District of Columbia BarAssociation) - Graduates of foreign law schools eligible for admission;

Guam (Guam Bar Association) - Eligibility to take the bar exam is limited to J.D. or LL.B. graduates of ABA-approved law schools.

North Mariana Islands (CNMI Bar Association) - Eligibility to take the bar exam is limited to J.D. or LL.B. graduates of ABA-approved law schools; A felony conviction disqualifies a candidate from admission to the bar.

Puerto Rico (Puerto Rican Bar Association)

Virgin Islands (Virgin Islands Bar Association) - Graduates of foreign law schools eligible for admission;

TOTAL MEMBERSHIP OF ATTORNEYS IN THE DIFFERENT BAR ASSOCIATIONS IN THE UNITED STATES

These are broken down as follows per state:

Alabama 14,630

Alaska 2,456

Arizona 16,155

Arkansas 5,970

California 165,952

Colorado 21,761

Connecticut 18,655

Delaware 2,921

Florida 74,258

Georgia 31,340

Hawaii 4,193

Idaho 3,736

Illinois 63,211

Indiana 15,883

Iowa 7,526

Kansas 8,266

Kentucky 13,448

Louisiana 18,775

Maine 3,944

Maryland 23,902

Massachusetts 43,974

Michigan 34,739

Minnesota 24,522

Mississippi 7,059

Missouri 25,337

Montana 3,126

Nebraska 5,361

Nevada 6,858

New Hampshire 3,521

New Jersey 41,569

New Mexico 5,547

New York 172,630

North Carolina 23,136

North Dakota 1,665

Ohio 38,849

Oklahoma 13,465

Oregon 12,464

Pennsylvania 48,992

Rhode Island 4,224

South Carolina 10,031

South Dakota 1,939

Tennessee 17,965

Texas 86,494

Utah 8,413

Vermont 2,272

Virginia 24,062

Washington 24,844

West Virginia 4,918

Wisconsin 15,481

Wyoming 1,778

Other jurisdictions:

American Samoa 102

Dist. of Columbia 52,089

Guam 313

North Mariana Islands 210

Puerto Rico 15,318

Virgin Islands 456

TOTAL 1,300,705

Gender and other minority representation:

REFERENCES

http://www.americanbar.org/resources_for_lawyers/profession_statistics.html#

http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes231011.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attorneys_in_the_United_States

https://www.ncbex.org/pubs/bar-admissions-guide/20...

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