Loosening Restrictions for Out of State Lawyers

out of state lawyersLast week, word broke that Florida may be the next state to allow out of state lawyers the right to practice without taking the state’s Bar exam.

Since the announcement was made, many Florida lawyers have expressed a great deal of negativity towards the idea with the high volume of lawyers already practicing in the state (upwards of 100,000 licensed attorneys and hundreds more joining the practice in the state every year).

On Tuesday, Florida Bar President Ramón Abadin released a statement reiterating that no action was taken by the Bar’s Board of Governors regarding a proposal to allow out-of-state lawyers to practice in Florida without taking the Bar exam. The editorial states, “The state grows enough lawyers organically — so many that new law school graduates struggle to find jobs — and the Bar should continue to jealously guard entry requirements.”

This Friday, the Bar’s governing board will discuss the option of reciprocity, which would allow out of state lawyers the right to practice without taking the state’s exam if said lawyer has actively served for five of the last seven years and is in good standing.

In addition to this, according to an article in the Tampa Bay Times, the proposal also states, “Under certain circumstances, lawyers not licensed in Florida can appear in court with a judge’s approval, [however,] they are limited to three cases in a 365-day period, a rule intended to keep out of state lawyers from setting up de facto Florida practices”.

Florida isn’t the first state to consider these types of allowances for out of state lawyers. Earlier this year, both New York and New Jersey announced their intentions of making adjustments to their state laws, loosening up the restrictions significantly.

Only time will tell what Florida decides is suitable for their state. It just goes to show that as times are changing, state lines are blurring and the future of the legal profession will never be the same.

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Erika Kubik

Erika Kubik

Former Communications Specialist at Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism
Erika is the former Communications Specialist for the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism. She successfully developed strategies to increase 2Civility’s social presence across channels. As a recent graduate of Bradley University, Erika received her Bachelor of Arts studying Public Relations and Social Media Marketing where her passion for writing and brand development took flight. Outside of the office, Erika works to develop her own personal brand as she takes on Chicago for the first time having grown up just outside of the Greater St. Louis area. Though she may not be accustomed to the deep dish pizza as a Celiac, she has found the Windy City to be quite accommodating to her active lifestyle as a runner and fitness fanatic.
Erika Kubik

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