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Can Attorneys Practice Law in Any State?

By Christopher Coble, Esq. | Last updated on

With travel between states simplified by the advent of cars, trains, and airplanes, many people find themselves embroiled in legal matters away from their home state. A common question that FindLaw gets from our readers is whether an attorney can practice in any state.

The simple answer is no: Attorneys must be admitted to the bar in each state they wish to practice in. However, legal answers are rarely so simple, and indeed, there are exceptions that would allow an attorney from one state to practice in another state.

So, how do you know if you need an in-state attorney or an out-of-state attorney for your out-of state case?

Each State Has Its Own Bar, Requirements

Attorneys generally can only practice law in the state where they took and passed the bar exam. But there are a few exceptions. For example:

Do You Need to Hire an Out-of-State Lawyer?

With the complicated bar requirements of each state, whether you need an in-state or out-of state lawyer can depend on the type of case. Consider these examples:

Deciding on which attorney to hire is hard enough; figuring out where to find the attorney can be even harder. FindLaw's Lawyer Directory can help you browse for lawyers by location to serve your particular needs.

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