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In-House Counsel in NY Shouldn’t Have to Pass State Bar Exam, Bar Group Says

Posted Nov 10, 2010 8:52 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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In-house lawyers with a “continuous presence” in the state of New York shouldn’t be required to pass the state bar exam, according to the New York State Bar Association.

Bar leaders have asked the state’s top court to drop the exam requirement but to require payment of the $375 lawyer registration fee, the New York Law Journal reports. They also recommend the in-house lawyers be subject to the state’s ethics rules and continuing legal education requirements.

New York is one of six states without reciprocity rules that allow out-of-state lawyers employed by in-state entities to practice locally.

State bar president Stephen Younger says the proposal would address concerns of large corporations that their in-house lawyers are engaged in unauthorized practice when they advise New York executives, the story reports. "This is about maintaining New York's place as a center for national and international business and with encouraging companies to come here without worrying that their counsels are practicing illegally," Younger said.

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