Rule 204

Admission of Domestic Attorneys

As an alternative to satisfying the requirements of Rule 203, an attorney, licensed to practice law in another state may be admitted to the bar of this Commonwealth if the applicant meets the following requirements:

(1) Has completed the study of law at and received without exception an earned Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor degree from a law school that was an accredited law school at the time the applicant matriculated or graduated.

(2) Is a member of the bar of a reciprocal state on active status at the time of filing of the application for admission to the bar of this Commonwealth.

(3) Presentation of a certificate of good standing from the highest court or agency having jurisdiction over admission to the bar and the practice of law in every state or jurisdiction in which the applicant has been admitted to practice law, stating that the applicant is in good professional standing at the bar of such court or such state. An applicant who is disbarred or suspended for disciplinary reasons from the practice of law in another jurisdiction at the time of filing an application for admission to the bar shall not be eligible for admission to the bar of this Commonwealth.

(4) Presentation of proof satisfactory to the Board that the applicant has for a period of five years of the last seven years immediately preceding the date of filing of the application for admission to the bar of this Commonwealth devoted a major portion of time and energy to the practice of law in one or more states.

(5) Presentation of proof satisfactory to the Board that the applicant has either taken and passed the bar examination in a reciprocal state or has devoted a major portion of time and energy to the practice of law in a reciprocal state for five years of the last seven years immediately preceding the date on which an application was filed under this rule.

(6) An applicant who has taken and failed the Pennsylvania bar examination will not be admitted under this Rule. This provision does not apply to individuals who have passed the bar examination upon a subsequent attempt.

(7) Satisfaction of the requirements of Paragraphs (a)(1) and (b)(2) of Rule 203.

(8) Has passed the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam with the score required by the Court to be achieved by successful applicants under Rule 203.

For purposes of this rule, the phrase "practice of law" is defined as engaging in any of the following legal activities, provided such activities were performed in a state in which the applicant was admitted to practice law or in a state that affirmatively permitted such activity by a lawyer not admitted to practice law in the jurisdiction:


(i) Representation of one or more clients in the private practice of law.

(ii) Providing legal services as an attorney with a local, state or federal agency.

(iii) Teaching law full time at an accredited law school, college or university in the United States, provided a substantial portion of such time was spent teaching at an accredited law school.

(iv) Service as a judge in a federal, state or local court of record.

(v) Service full time as a judicial law clerk to any judge of any court of the United States or of any state or territory of the United States.

(vi) Service as corporate counsel.

(vii) Performing legal functions while serving on active duty in the United States military service as a judge advocate as defined in the Uniform Code of Military Justice, 10 U.S.C. § 801, as amended.

The term "practice of law" shall not include providing legal services in any of the above referenced areas, when such services as undertaken constituted the unauthorized practice of law in the state in which the legal services were performed or in the state in which the clients receiving the unauthorized services were located.

Adopted July 1, 1972. Amended June 6, 1977; July 22, 1977, imd. effective; Nov. 15, 1978, effective Dec. 2, 1978; Dec. 17, 1981, effective 30 days after Jan 9 1982; June 30, 1983, imd. effective; Aug. 22, 1986, imd. effective; June 16, 1993, imd. effective; Jan. 31, 1997, imd. effective; April 6, 1999, imd. effective; Nov. 23, 1999, imd. effective; May 25, 2000, imd. effective; March 30, 2004, effective Sept. 27, 2004; April 28, 2009, imd. effective; Oct. 14, 2011, effective in 30 days [Nov. 14, 2011].