The New Jersey Supreme Court is considering a proposal that could potentially allow out-of-state attorneys the right to practice law in New Jersey without having to sit for their bar exam.
If put into place, out-of-state lawyers who have practiced a specified number of years in another jurisdiction could be admitted in New Jersey on motion if they complete a course on New Jersey ethics and professionalism.
In 2012, American Bar Association’s Commission on Ethics 20/20 published a report recommending the expansion of admission on motion. Those recommendations were built on the ABA Commission on Multijurisdictional Practice recommendations that were adopted in 2002. To date, all but eight states allow admission on motion. Besides New Jersey, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada and South Carolina do not allow bar admission on motion.
The Ethics 20/20 panel also found that state or federal rules limiting admission on motion to jurisdictions that provided reciprocal admission were not needed. Some jurisdictions continue to employ reciprocity restrictions only admitting lawyers from states that have reciprocity with them.
Barriers that prevent lawyers from relocating or handling cases in multiple states continue to catch up with the reality of today’s interconnected world.
In Illinois, admission on motion is authorized and governed by Illinois Supreme Court Rule 705. A lawyer who, as determined by the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar, has been licensed to practice in the highest court of law in any USA state, territory, or the District of Columbia for no fewer than 5 years may be eligible for admission on motion on specified conditions.