Bar Admission

Ariz. Lawyers Can Practice Across State Lines With Rule Change

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A Phoenix lawyer has succeeded in his quest to get the Arizona Supreme Court to change a rule that had barred out-of-state lawyers from practicing in the state unless they take the state bar exam.

The rule change (PDF) allows lawyers from other states to practice in Arizona if their states have reciprocity and they take a course in Arizona law, the Associated Press reports. The State Bar of Arizona had opposed the proposal, saying it would make the state a target for expansion by out-of-state firms and allow lawyers into the state who have a tenuous commitment to Arizona law.

The lawyer who sought the change, Timothy Burr, told the Arizona Republic that the rule change will also help Arizona lawyers practice in the 40-some states that have reciprocity rights. “We didn’t do this because we want more lawyers here,” Burr said. “We cared about the reciprocity, and the only way to do that was to let others come in.”

Burr, a real estate lawyer, told in an e-mail that the new rule takes effect on Jan. 1, 2010. It will help Arizona lawyers “represent their existing clients and solicit new clients in larger legal markets, and benefit from the ability to practice across state lines.”

Updated at 12:50 p.m. to state the date for implementation is Jan.1, 2010.

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