Multistate lawyers often have a variety of questions. Here are some common questions to ask yourself about becoming a multistate lawyer: What are the CLE requirements? Do you have to take the bar exam in more than one state? What are the legal issues that arise from practicing in multiple states? And what is the best practice model for a multistate lawyer? Read on to find out. Posted by David A. Greene on July 14, 2011, at 11:11 am
CLE requirements for multi-state lawyers
In most states, attorneys must earn CLE credits every two years to maintain their license. However, the requirements vary from state to state, and attorneys should contact their state bar association to find out their specific requirements. For example, Massachusetts’ Supreme Judicial Court requires attorneys to complete a one-day Professionalism Course within 18 months of admission. It is important to check with your state bar association to ensure that your activities meet New York requirements.
If you have a dual license or practice in more than one state, you must follow the CLE requirements in each jurisdiction. In Florida, for instance, courses approved by the Florida Bar are accepted in the state of Florida. Then, you can count them as CLE credits in Florida. But be aware that reciprocity rules differ from state to state. Some states have blanket reciprocity, while others only have reciprocity agreements with specific neighboring states.
Requirements for taking the bar exam in multiple states
A lawyer may practice in more than one state. In that case, the requirement to take the bar exam in each state is different. While New York and California are popular among international students, California is a tougher state. Usually, the bar exam is conducted over two days, with a separate day designated for the Multistate Bar Examination. This exam is a multiple-choice test that assesses lawyers’ knowledge of topics not specific to any state.
To determine if you can take the bar exam in each state, go to the NCBE website and search for state bar admissions offices. This website also includes a directory of state bar admissions offices. You can download some of these applications from their website, while others require you to write a letter to the bar admissions office to request them. If you have multiple licenses, you can take the exam in as many as five states at once.
Practice models of multi-state lawyers
Although it is easier to pass the bar exam for a state in which you are not licensed, becoming a multi-state lawyer is not without its challenges. For starters, passing the bar exam for another state in which you are not licensed can take years. Likewise, becoming a multi-state lawyer requires additional requirements, such as passing additional exams. Regardless of the challenges associated with multi-state lawyering, there are some benefits to becoming a multi-state attorney.
While many states have a “piggyback” system for lawyers licensed in multiple states, others have strict rules requiring them to open separate trust accounts. This makes it difficult to locate a bank that can handle both separate trust accounts in each state. We found one bank that charged a monthly service fee for multi-state lawyers’ trust accounts, and then only took the fees out of the trust account, violating most state bar rules.