Rule 5.5 (Unauthorized Practice of Law; MJP Practice of Law) and Rule 8.5 (Disciplinary Authority; Choice of Law) of the Alaska Rules of Professional Conduct encompass the Multijurisdictional Practice Rules (MJP) in Alaska. For general information about MJP, please see the MJP General page.
Rule 5.5 provides safe harbors for legal practices that out-of-state attorneys may perform in Alaska without engaging in the unauthorized practice of law. Rule 8.5 recognizes that attorneys practicing in more than one jurisdiction will likely be subject to conflicting admission rules, court rules, or rules of professional conduct. Rule 8.5 attempts to minimize such conflicts and the uncertainty regarding which rules are applicable by establishing the set of rules governing the attorney’s conduct. Attorneys should consult both of the MJP rules, as well as the other Alaska admission rules and the rules regulating the attorney’s home jurisdiction, in order to avoid the unauthorized practice of law.
Alaska does not offer specific rules related to house counsel practice. However, Alaska’s MJP rule exempts house attorneys from the unauthorized practice of law and the prohibition against establishing an office or other systematic and continuous presence in Alaska.
Comment 16 states that the rule does not authorize the provision of personal legal services to the employer’s officers or employees. The rule applies to in-house corporate attorneys, government attorneys, and others who are employed to render legal services to the employer.