Comprehensive Guide to Bar Reciprocity in Every State

Navigating the world of law licensure can be daunting for attorneys seeking to practice in various jurisdictions. Understanding bar reciprocity rules, which differ significantly from state to state, is critical in this process. This guide, brought to you by BCG Attorney Search, aims to provide comprehensive and up-to-date information on bar reciprocity rules for each state. This resource will assist attorneys in determining which states will recognize their existing bar admissions, potentially bypassing the need for additional bar examinations.


Alabama, known for its stringent rules regarding bar admission, is one of the states that does not officially offer bar reciprocity. As of 2023, attorneys seeking to practice in Alabama are generally required to sit for the Alabama State Bar Exam, regardless of their licensure status in other jurisdictions. However, Alabama does offer an option for admission on motion, which could provide a path to bar admission for out-of-state attorneys who have been practicing for at least five years. The criteria for this option are strict, and the admission process can be time-consuming, so careful planning is advised.


Alaska, on the other hand, is a state that offers bar reciprocity to attorneys licensed in other jurisdictions. This means that attorneys actively engaged in law practice for five out of the last seven years in a reciprocal jurisdiction may be eligible for admission to the Alaska Bar Association without taking the state’s bar exam. However, applicants must also have a JD from an ABA-approved law school and pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) with a score of 80 or higher. It’s important to note that Alaska’s reciprocity is not automatic and requires an application process.