Alabama Bar Reciprocity

Rule III of the Rules Governing Admission to the Alabama Bar governs admission to the Alabama Bar for attorneys licensed in other jurisdictions. The process in Alabama is called Reciprocity. Attorneys must have been primarily engaged in the practice of law in one or more states, territories, or the District of Columbia for five of the six years immediately preceding the application for admission.


The Reciprocity procedure in Alabama is based on bar reciprocity. The attorney must establish that the state, territory, or the District of Columbia where the attorney has had his or her principal place of business for the practice of law, or where the attorney was domiciled and admitted before seeking admission in Alabama, would allow Alabama attorneys a similar accommodation as set forth in Alabama’s Admission on Motion Rules.

Attorneys from these states may be Admitted on Motion in Alabama
Attorneys from these states cannot be Admitted on Motion in Alabama

Reciprocal Jurisdictions

Alabama’s Bar Reciprocity List used to be contained in its Rule Checklist. The list includes states that have a “reciprocity agreement” with Alabama. The map above identifies the states that were identified on that list.

Additional Requirements

Alabama’s additional reciprocity requirements include:

Intent To Practice Law in Alabama. Attorneys must be permanent residents of Alabama or must certify their intent to conduct the primary practice of law in Alabama and to maintain an office for the practice of law in Alabama. “Primary practice of law” means at least 75% of the time devoted to the practice of law will be conducted in Alabama.

Law Degree. A first professional degree in law (J.D. or L.L.B.) from an ABA approved law school at the time the degree was conferred.

Character and Fitness. Attorneys must meet the applicable character and fitness standards. The character and fitness report is conducted by the NCBE.

Good Standing and Prior Bar Exam. Attorneys must be currently in good standing in all jurisdictions where admitted and cannot be subject to a discipline or a pending disciplinary matter. Attorneys cannot have previously failed the Alabama bar exam within ten years prior to the application.

Practice of Law. Attorneys must be primarily engaged in the active practice of law in one or more states, territories, or the District of Columbia for five of the past six years immediately preceding the application for admission. “Active practice of law” includes the following activities if performed where the applicant is admitted to practice or if the activities were performed in a jurisdiction that affirmatively permits such activity
not performed by a lawyer admitted to practice:

  • Private Practice (representation of one or more clients in the practice of law)
  • Judges (local, state, territorial, or federal court of record)
  • Government Attorneys (local state, territorial, or federal agency)
  • Judicial Law Clerks*
  • Military Attorneys

*Judicial Law Clerks and Corporate Counsel practices within Alabama performed in advance of bar admission do not qualify towards the duration requirement.

  • 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 greater on the Multistate Professional Responsibility ExaM (“MPRE”) .

Alabama Bar Reciprocity Application Procedure

Alabama reciprocity applications can be found here.