Rule 15.05 of the Rules for Admission of Attorneys governs admission to the Oregon Bar for attorneys licensed in other jurisdictions. The process in Oregon is called Reciprocity Admission/Alternative Admission. Attorneys must have passed a bar exam in a reciprocal jurisdiction, be active members in that jurisdiction, and must have been lawfully engaged in the active, substantial, and continuous practice of law for at least five of the seven years immediately preceding the application for admission.
The Reciprocity Admission procedure in Oregon is based on bar reciprocity. A “qualifying jurisdiction” means any other United States jurisdiction that allows Oregon attorneys to become regular members of the Bar in that jurisdiction without taking the bar exam. Attorneys must have sat for a bar exam in that jurisdiction.
Oregon also has special reciprocity with Alaska, Idaho, Utah, and Washington. If an attorney is licensed in one of these jurisdictions, the duration requirement is shortened to demonstrating active, substantial, and continuous practice for three of the five years preceding the application for admission. The application must be filed by December 31, 2015 for these attorneys.
|Attorneys from these states may be Admitted on Motion in Oregon|
|Attorneys from Wisconsin must have passed a bar exam|
|Attorneys from AK, ID, UT, and WA have a reduced practice of law duration requirement (3 years and not 5 years)|
|Attorneys from these states cannot be Admitted on Motion in Oregon|
Oregon’s Bar Reciprocity List contains qualifying reciprocal jurisdictions. The map above identifies the states with which Oregon has bar reciprocity.
Oregon’s additional reciprocity requirements include:
Law Degree. A law degree from an ABA approved law school.
Character and Fitness. Attorneys must meet the applicable character and fitness standards.
Good Standing and Prior Bar Exam. Attorneys must be admitted and active members in good standing. Attorneys must have passed a prior bar exam in their reciprocal state.
Practice of Law. Attorneys must have lawfully engaged in the active, substantial, and continuous practice of law for at least five of the seven years immediately preceding the application for admission. “Substantially and continuously engaged in the practice of law” means at least 1,000 hours of year per year uninterrupted by periods of other employment or unemployment. Practice that is interrupted due to military service is excluded from the “continuous” requirement.
As noted above, Oregon has special reciprocity with Alaska, Idaho, Utah, and Washington. If an attorney is licensed in one of these jurisdictions, the duration requirement is shortened to demonstrating active, substantial, and continuous practice for three of the five years preceding the application for admission. The application must be filed by December 31, 2015 for these attorneys.
“Active practice of law” is defined in Rule 1.05 of the Rules for Admission of Attorneys and means law related professional activities. The practice must be performed in a jurisdiction where the applicant was admitted or in a jurisdiction that affirmatively permits the practice by a non-admitted attorney. The practice may occur in a non-reciprocity jurisdiction. “Active practice of law” includes:
MPRE. The Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (“MPRE”) is not required.
CLE Requirement. Attorneys must complete 15 hours of Continuing Legal Education on Oregon practice and procedure after the application for admission and prior to admission. Classes that meet the Oregon CLE requirement can be found here.
Malpractice Insurance. Attorneys must obtain malpractice insurance from the Oregon State Bar Professional Liability Fund (“PLF”) as required by the PLF Rules. If the attorney is not required to obtain malpractice insurance through the PLF, the attorney must obtain malpractice insurance with coverage substantially similar to the PLF.
Applications are accepted at any time. Applicants must complete the entire application process within six months. This includes the CLE requirement.