Kentucky Bar Reciprocity

Supreme Court Rule 2.110 governs admission to the Kentucky Bar for attorneys licensed in other jurisdictions. The process in Kentucky is called Admission Without Examination. Attorneys must have been engaged in the active practice of law for five of the past seven years preceding the application for admission.  


The Admission Without Examination procedure in Kentucky is based on bar reciprocity. Attorneys must be admitted to a state or the District of Columbia that has reciprocity or comity with Kentucky. The reciprocal jurisdiction must be where the attorney performs the major portion his or her professional activities. The reciprocal jurisdiction’s rules and provisions providing for admission without examination, reciprocity, or comity cannot be more restrictive than the rules and procedures in Kentucky.

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

Reciprocal Jurisdictions

Kentucky’s Bar Reciprocity List contains reciprocal jurisdictions based on the information available to Kentucky. Kentucky’s list is subject to change. Kentucky also provides an additional footnote that states, “Pursuant to SCR 2.110, if the applicant has practiced five of the last seven years in a jurisdiction that permits the admission without examination of attorneys from Kentucky, the Character & Fitness Committee may approve admission without examination under the same provisions that allow admission of Kentucky attorneys.” The map above identifies the states with which Kentucky has bar reciprocity.

Additional Requirements

Kentucky’s additional reciprocity requirements include:

Intent to Practice Law In Kentucky.

Law Degree. A law degree from a law school approved by the ABA or Association of American Law Schools.

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.  

Practice of Law. Attorneys must have actively practiced law for five of the past seven years immediately preceding the application for admission. Attorneys admitted with a special temporary permit to practice are lawfully engaged in the practice of law. “Active practice of law” includes:

  • Private Practice (approved)
  • Judges (approved)
  • Law Professors
  • Not specifically enumerated (but approved): Private Practice, Judges, Government Attorneys, Judicial Clerks, Military Attorneys, Corporate Counsel

MPRE. Attorneys must achieve a scaled score of 75 or better on the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (“MPRE”).

Kentucky Bar Reciprocity Application Procedure

Applications may be accepted at any time.