The average high March temperature in Phoenix, Arizona, is a comfortable 77 degrees. Meanwhile, the Midwest is again blanketed in snow. When you next speak to old law school classmates or friends who are hiking through the snow to their car or feeling fatigue from a Vitamin D deficiency caused by living in cold weather climates, be sure to tell them how it recently got easier to move a law practice to our wonderful state. At the beginning of this year, the Arizona Supreme Court lowered the requirements for out-of-state lawyers to begin practicing in Arizona. While in many cases, Arizona requires lawyers to pass the bar exam for admission even if they practiced previously, lawyers admitted by examination in states or jurisdictions maintaining reciprocity agreements with Arizona (“reciprocal states”) may apply for admission on motion without taking the bar exam if they have been practicing law for at least three of the five years immediately preceding the application date (see new rule here). Previously, the requirement was active law practice in a reciprocal state for at least five of the previous seven years. Additionally, several requirements relating to hours spent and income derived from practicing law were eliminated. These changes will particularly enable young lawyers to move to Arizona more quickly after they have graduated law school in another state.
You may be eligible for admission on motion to the Arizona State Bar if you:
Hold a J.D. degree from an ABA accredited law school,
Have actively practiced law for three of the previous five years
Have been admitted by examination in a reciprocal state OR a non-reciprocal state but have spent three of the past five years practicing law in a reciprocal jurisdiction,
Possess moral fitness, and
Have earned (or will earn) a minimum MPRE score of 85. (see more details here)
The AZ Court has provided a helpful checklist to begin your application (see here). I also encourage you to have your contacts reach out to the team at D. French Advisors to tap our network so we can assist in moving their practice or locating a job with a great firm or corporation.
Reciprocal States (see official list here):
District of Columbia