I want to relocate to another market. Is it a problem if I am not a member of the Bar in that state?

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Question: I am hoping to relocate to a different market, how much of a problem is it that I am not a member of the Bar in that state?

Answer: It depends on a number of factors. First, what area of law do you practice in? If you are a litigator then relocating to a market where you do not have the Bar may be very difficult, as it will probably limit your ability to participate in depositions, to attend hearings (even simple status conferences) and even to sign pleadings. However, if you are a corporate, intellectual property or tax attorney – the local bar may not be as important.

Moreover, the length of time that you have been out of law school will also make a difference, as many jurisdictions will permit you to waive in after a certain number of years in practice without taking the Bar. Finally, decide whether you are willing to sit for the bar examination in your intended jurisdiction – because if you are not willing to do so (and you may not waive in due to timing or reciprocity issues), then this will also make relocation more difficult.


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