Maine Bar Reciprocity


Maine also offers the Maine Attorneys’ Exam for applicants who do meet Maine’s bar reciprocity requirements. Rule 10(e) of the Maine Bar Admission Rules allows attorneys to take a Modified Bar Exam. There are two different modified exams. First, attorneys admitted by exam in one or more United States jurisdictions that have been engaged in the active practice of law for at least three of the preceding five years may elect to take only the first day of the Maine Bar Exam, which does not include the Multistate Bar Exam (“MBE”). Second, and in the alternative, attorneys that have taken the MBE within 61 months (5 years) of the current administration of the Maine bar exam may elect to take only the first day of the Maine bar exam and may use the prior MBE score.

MAINE ADMISSION WITHOUT EXAM (Without Taking the Maine Bar Exam)

Rule 11A of the Maine Bar Admission Rules governs admission to the Maine Bar for attorneys licensed in other jurisdictions. The process in Maine is called Reciprocal Admission. Attorneys must be licensed in New Hampshire or Vermont and must have been primarily engaged in the active practice of law in New Hampshire or Vermont for at least three years prior to the application for admission.


The Reciprocal Admission procedure in Maine is based on bar reciprocity. Attorneys must be active members of New Hampshire or Vermont Bars in order to qualify for reciprocal admission so long as those states allow admission without examination to Maine attorneys under circumstances similar to the Maine Rules. New Hampshire and Maine attorneys must have actively practice law for the past three years. The new reciprocity rule now allows admission for active attorneys that have practiced law for five of the past seven years in one or more jurisdictions where at least one of the jurisdictions allows admission for Maine attorneys.

Attorneys from these states may be Admitted through Reciprocity in Maine
New Hampshire and Vermont have special Admission on Motion Rules
MaineĀ has not included these jurisdictions in its Reciprocity List but they may qualify
Attorneys from these states cannot be Admitted on Motion in Maine.

Reciprocal Jurisdictions

Maine’s Reciprocity List contains a preliminary determination of reciprocal and non-reciprocal jurisdictions. The list is for the convenience of prospective applicants is subject to change without notice.

Additional Requirements

Maine’s additional reciprocity requirements include:

Domiciled in the United States. Attorneys must be domiciled in the United States.

Law Degree. A law degree from an ABA approved law school. In the alternative, attorneys may have graduated from a law school in an English-speaking, common law country having pursued a course of study substantially equivalent to that of a law school approved by the ABA. Law schools that do not require attendance or allow courses through correspondence do not comply.

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 have been disbarred or suspended from the Maine Bar. Attorneys cannot have failed the Maine bar exam within five years of the application for admission.

Practice of Law. Attorneys must be licensed in New Hampshire or Vermont or another state, territory, or D.C. and must have been primarily engaged in the active practice of law for at least three years (New Hampshire/Vermont) or five of the seven years prior to the application for admission. “Practice of law” includes:

  • Private Practice (representation of one or more clients)
  • Judges (local, state, or federal court of record)
  • Judicial Clerks
  • 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 scaled score of 80 or better on the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (“MPRE” ) prior to the application for admission.

CLE Requirement. Attorneys must produce evidence that they have completed 15 hours of Continuing Legal Education credit in Maine practice and procedure in courses approved by the Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar. This requirement must be completed within one year of the application date. Maine recommends attorneys file the application and complete the CLE requirement while the application is being processed.

Maine Bar Reciprocity Application Procedure

Attorneys eligible for Reciprocal Admission in Maine are required to complete the Application. The application takes several months to process. Application fees may be applied to the Maine bar exam if an application to take the Maine bar exam is received within two years of the date of withdrawal of application for reciprocal admission.