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Growing number of states permit foreign attorneys to practice

Citing the increase in the globalization of business, the New York State Office of Administration has issued a proposal to permit lawyers from other jurisdictions to work on “transactional or short-term litigation-related matters.”

The proposal, currently being considered by New York’s judiciary, would allow foreign attorneys to practice law in New York state on a temporary basis and in a limited capacity.

Nine other states in the U.S. already allow non-U.S. attorneys to provide legal services on a limited basis, according to data published by the American Bar Association.

The proposal would also help make the current regulations surrounding jurisdictional legal services clearer, according to some.

However, there are concerns, according to an article published in the Wall Street Journal, that the term “temporary” – as presented in the state’s proposal- is currently ill defined and subjective.

According the Wall Street Journal report, foreign attorneys would have to be permitted to practice in their home countries, and they would not be allowed to “establish an office” in the state. They would also be subject to the same code of conduct rules as non-foreign attorneys.


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