USA - Arkansas International Trade in Legal Services

United States of America - Arkansas International Trade in Legal Services

HOME COUNTRY LICENSING QUESTIONS

Is there legislation governing the legal sector

Arkansas Code 1987, Title 16  Practice, Procedure, And Courts,  Subtitle 2.  Courts and Court Officers , Chapter 22  Attorneys At Law

Under what title do lawyers practise?

Attorney at law

How does an individual lawyer obtain a "licence" to practise law? How often must this be renewed?

An individual must have an LLB or JD from an ABA approved law school, satisfy character and fitness to practice requirements, and have passed the bar exam. The candidate must be resident in the US to obtain a licence.

Does this entitle the holder to practise throughout the country? If the law license only permits one to practice on a sub-national level, please explain the jurisdictional limits

This only automatically entitles the holder to practise in Arkansas. The right to practise on a temporary basis in another state or to appear pro hac vice in another state depends on the explicitly permission of that state.

Are there certain activities that are "reserved" to those who are licensed to practise law in the jurisdiction?

 

 The State Supreme Court judgment in Arkansas Bar Association v. Block, 323 S.W.2d 912 (1959) held that "Research of authorities by able counsel and by this court has failed to turn up any clear, comprehensible definition of what really constitutes the practice of law. Courts are not in agreement. We believe it is impossible to frame any comprehensive definition of what constitutes the practice of law. Each case must be decided upon its own particular facts.--The practice of law is difficult to define. Perhaps it does not admit of exact definition".

Do you need to hold local nationality to be eligible to practise law?

US citizenship is required for practice before the US Patent and Trademark Office

What legal forms can lawyers work in? (e.g. self employment, partnership, limited liability partnership, multi-disciplinary partnership, incorporation)

A lawyer may practise as a sole practitioner, in a general or limited liability partnership. Fee sharing with non lawyers is prohibited.

What other ethical or regulatory requirements must a licensed lawyer comply with? 

The Arkansas code of professional conduct which is modelled on the ABA model code (see:https://courts.arkansas.gov/rules-and-administrative-orders/%5Bcurrent%5D-arkansas-rules-of-professional-conduct)

Do law firms need to receive a "license" (or permission/approval) to practice law?

Not from the Court but may be subject to other notification requirements depending on the form taken (e.g. limited liability company) and the local State code.

Which authority issues licences? Are there different authorities for individuals and firms? 

Licences are issued by the Arkansas State Supreme Court: http://www.courts.arkansas.gov/professional_conduct

   

INDIVIDUAL FOREIGN LAWYERS

Are there any explicit rules or restrictions other than visas on fly in fly out practice of law? Ie. Do you need to obtain a licence for temporary practice?

Foreign lawyers are not permitted to provide fly-in fly-out services, this is only permitted to lawyers from other US states (see rule 5.5 on Unauthorized Practice of Law)

Can a foreign lawyer obtain a visa to visit clients or to market but not to practice?

 

 

 

Under the WTO commitments of the USA, an individual wishing to practise law on a fly in fly out basis in Arkansas would need to be fully admitted to the Arkansas Bar or to the Bar of another US State. 'Service salespersons' are permitted to enter the USA for periods of up to 90 days. "Service salespersons" are "persons not based in the territory of the United States and receiving no remuneration from a source located within the United States, who are engaged in activities related to representing a services supplier for the purpose of negotiating for the sale of the services of that supplier where: a) such sales are not directly made to the general public and b) the salesperson is not engaged in supplying the service" Entry for persons named in this section is limited to a ninety-day period.

Can a foreign lawyer obtain a licence to establish and practise as a foreign legal consultant and what is the scope of this limited licence?

No - There is no FLC licensing regime in Arkansas

Are there any conditions that must be fulfilled once a foreign lawyer has been granted a limited licence (e.g. residency requirement)

Not applicable

Are there any conditions that must be fulfilled for a foreign lawyer to qualify for a limited licence? (e.g. prior practice)

Not applicable

Are foreign lawyers permitted to undertake arbitration and mediation?

Rule 5.5 of the Arkansas code of conduct exempts other US lawyers who are not admitted to practice in Arkansas from unauthorised practice of law violation provided the legal services they are providing "are in or reasonably related to a pending or potential arbitration, mediation, or other alternative dispute resolution proceeding in this or another jurisdiction, if the services arise out of or are reasonably related to the lawyer's practice in a jurisdiction in which the lawyer is admitted to practice and are not services for which the forum requires pro hac vice admission".

Are foreign lawyers allowed to appear in court under any circumstances?

 

On February 26, 2004 the Arkansas Supreme Court adopted an Admission by Motion Rule. This is based on the ABA Rule but requires reciprocity, fee ($1500) and designate Clerk of the Court for service of process. (Effective October 1, 2004)http://courts.state.ar.us/opinions/2004a/20040226/admission.html#

Can foreign lawyers requalify as local lawyers?

There is no explicit rule but a foreign lawyer may qualify in Arkansas by following the state route to qualification as a US lawyer would do.

FOREIGN LAW FIRMS

Can a foreign law firm obtain a licence to open an office?

No

Even if a foreign law firm does not require a legal licence must they register in some form in order to set up an office? (e.g. with a ministry of company affairs etc)

Not applicable

Are there different types of foreign law firm 'licence'  (e.g. Joint Law Venture, stand alone foreign licence etc)

Not applicable

Is there a quota on the number of licences available?

Not applicable

Are there geographical restrictions on foreign firm licences or on the number of branches a foreign firm can have?

No

Are there "scope of practice" rules that apply directly to foreign law firms (as opposed to lawyers themselves)? (e.g. home, host, international law), if so, what are they? No
Are there restrictions on the corporate form a foreign law firm can take? Not applicable
Are there rules about the name a foreign law firm can take? Not applicable
What entity grants a 'license' to a foreign law firm? If that entity is on the Internet, please provide the URL Not applicable

EMPLOYMENT AND PARTNERSHIP

Are there restrictions on the ownership share of foreign lawyers in a law firm?

Not applicable

May a domestic lawyer be employed by a foreign lawyer or law firm?

Not applicable

Can a domestic lawyer enter into partnership with a foreign lawyer?

Not applicable

Can a domestic lawyer or domestic law firm employ a foreign lawyer?

Not applicable

   

OTHER USEFUL LINKS/SOURCES

Other useful sources or comments or links