If you’ve passed the bar exam in one jurisdiction but are looking to practice law in another, you may not have to retake the bar exam in your new jurisdiction. Many states offer what is known as bar reciprocity. If you’ve already passed the bar exam and have practiced law for a specified time, you might be eligible to be admitted on motion (also known as “waiving”) into your new jurisdiction. Being admitted on motion means that instead of retaking the bar exam, you’ll simply have to submit your application for admission to the jurisdiction’s bar, which may include proving you have good moral character, retaking the MPRE, or other requirements. And if your application is accepted, you’ll be able to practice in your new state.
The National Conference of Bar Examiners provides a comprehensive guide to bar admissions—which it updates annually—but below, we’ve provided a summary of how each United States jurisdiction handles reciprocity. It’s important to keep in mind that jurisdictions might update their reciprocity rules. Be sure to check with your new state’s bar about their specific reciprocity rules before making any decisions.