Arkansas Bar Reciprocity

Rule XVI of the Rules Governing Admission to Bar of Arkansas governs admission to the Arkansas Bar for attorneys licensed in other jurisdictions. The process in Arkansas is called Admission on Motion. Attorneys must have been primarily engaged in the active practice of law in one or more states, territories, or the District of Columbia for five of the seven years immediately preceding the application date.


The Admission on Motion procedure in Arkansas is based on bar reciprocity. Attorneys must establish that the state, territory, or District of Columbia where the attorney was domiciled and admitted or has his or her principal place of business for the practice of law would allow Arkansas attorneys reciprocity for the two-year period immediately preceding the application.

Reciprocal Jurisdictions

Arkansas’s Bar Reciprocity List establishes the following four categories for Arkansas bar reciprocity:

(1) Recognized Reciprocal Jurisdictions (reviewed by the Arkansas Board and determined to be reciprocal)

(2) Jurisdictions Determined Not to be Reciprocal (reviewed by the Board and determined not to be reciprocal due to sufficiently dissimilar rules)

(3) States For Which Reciprocal Status Has Not Been Determined

(4) Jurisdictions That Do Not Allow Admission On Motion*

*Arkansas includes Maine as a jurisdiction that does not allow Admission on Motion. However, Maine has since changed its bar reciprocity rule.

The map below identifies these categories and the jurisdictions with which Arkansas has bar reciprocity.

Attorneys from these states may be Admitted on Motion in Arkansas (Reviewed by AR and recognized as reciprocal)
Attorneys from these states cannot be Admitted on Motion in Arkansas (Reviewed by AR and determined not to be reciprocal)
Attorneys from these states cannot be Admitted on Motion in Arkansas (Determined not to allow Admission on Motion)
Arkansas has not yet been determined the reciprocal status for these states

Additional Requirements

Arkansas’s additional reciprocity requirements include:

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

Character and Fitness. Attorneys must meet the applicable character and fitness standards. The NCBE conducts the character and fitness report.

Good Standing and Prior Bar Exam. Attorneys must be in good standing in all jurisdictions where admitted and cannot be subject to current or pending discipline.  Attorneys cannot have failed the Arkansas Bar Exam within the past five years.

Practice of Law. Attorneys must have actively engaged in the full-time practice of law pursuant to a law license for five of the seven years immediately preceding application for admission. “Practice of law” includes:

  • Private Practice (representation of one or more clients in the practice of law)
  • Judges (local, state, territorial, or federal courts of record)
  • Government Attorneys (local state, or federal)
  • Judicial Clerks
  • Military Attorneys (may be excused from the two year reciprocity requirement at the Board’s discretion) (must still have practiced five of the past seven years)

MPRE. The Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) is not required.

Designate the Arkansas Supreme Court Clerk for Service.

Arkansas Bar Reciprocity Application Procedure

Attorneys eligible for Admission on Motion in Arkansas are required to complete the Application. Applications may be accepted at any time. If the Board determines the attorney does not qualify for Admission on Motion, the attorney may sit for the Arkansas Bar Exam for which the application deadline has not passed at no additional cost.

The application process takes at least three months. There is no expedited service.