Rule 204 of the Pennsylvania Bar Admissions Rules governs admission to the Pennsylvania Bar for attorneys licensed in other jurisdictions. The process in Pennsylvania is called Admission of Domestic Attorneys or Admission on Motion. Attorneys must have passed the bar exam in a reciprocal state or devoted a major portion of time and energy to the practice of law in a reciprocal state for five of the past seven years immediately preceding the application for admission.
The Admission on Motion procedure in Pennsylvania is based on bar reciprocity. Attorneys must be members of the Bar of a reciprocal state at the time the application for admission is filed.
|Attorneys from these states may be Admitted on Motion in Pennsylvania|
|Attorneys from these states cannot be Admitted on Motion in Pennsylvania|
Pennsylvania’s Bar Reciprocity List contains states that have reciprocity with Pennsylvania and those that do not have reciprocity with Pennsylvania. The map above identifies the states with which Pennsylvania has bar reciprocity.
Pennsylvania’s additional reciprocity requirements include:
Undergraduate Degree. Receipt of an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university or, at the Board’s discretion, the receipt of an education that is the equivalent of an undergraduate college or university education.
Law Degree. A law degree from an ABA approved law school. In the alternative, a law degree from an unaccredited law school located in the United States provided the attorney is a member of the bar of a reciprocal state and meets all other reciprocity requirements.
Character and Fitness. Attorneys must meet the applicable character and fitness standards.
Good Standing and Prior Bar Exam. Attorneys must be in good standing in all jurisdictions where admitted and cannot be disbarred or suspended in another jurisdiction at the time of the application for admission. Attorneys cannot have failed the Pennsylvania bar exam.
Practice of Law. Attorneys must have passed the bar exam in a reciprocal state or devoted a major portion of time and energy to the practice of law in a reciprocal state for five of the past seven years immediately preceding the application for admission. “Practice of law” involves practice that occurs where the attorney was admitted to practice or affirmatively permitted by another jurisdiction. “Practice of law” includes:
- Private Practice (representation of one or more clients in the practice of law)
- Judges (local, state, or federal court of record)
- Government Attorneys (legal services as part of a local, state, or federal agency)
- Judicial Clerks (full-time)
- Military Attorneys (active duty in the United States military services as a judge advocate as defined by the Uniform Code of Military Justice)
- Law Professors teaching full-time at an accredited law school in the United States
- Not specifically enumerated: No major categories
- Does not include: The unauthorized practice of law in a jurisdiction where it was performed or in the jurisdiction where the client was located.
MPRE. The attorney must achieve a score of 75 or better on the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (“MPRE”).