USA - Kansas International Trade in Legal Services

United States of America - Kansas International Trade in Legal Services


Is there legislation governing the legal sector

KANSAS 2012 STATUTE, Chapter 7 - Attorneys

Under what title do lawyers practise?


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

An individual must have a bachelor’s degree and a JD from an ABA approved law school, satisfy character and fitness to practice requirements, and have passed the bar exam. Residency in the US is not required, although legal status at the time of the exam is required.

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 Kansas. The right to practise on a temporary basis in another state or to appear pro hac vice in another state depends on the explicit permission of that state.

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











 (The Kansas Bar has created a UPL Task Force that, among other things, is discussing the definition of the practice of law. The task force submitted a recommendation to the Supreme Court that the court establish a mechanism to investigate and prosecute the unauthorised practice of law.  No action has been taken on that recommendation.)
State v. Schumacher, 519 P.2d 1116 (1974)
I. What is the practice of law?
Although it may sometimes be articulated more simply, one definition has gained widespread acceptance, and has been adopted by this Court:
A general definition of the term frequently quoted with approval is given in Eley v. Miller, 7 Ind.App. 529, 34 N.E. 836, as follows:
'As the term is generally understood, the 'practice' of law is the doing or performing of services in a court of justice, in any matter depending therein, throughout its various stages, and in conformity to the adopted rules of procedure. But in a larger sense it includes legal advice and counsel, and the preparation of legal instruments and contracts by which legal rights are secured, although such matter may or may not be depending in a court.' State ex rel. v. Perkins, 138 Kan. 899, 907, 908, 28 P.2d 765, 769 (1934).
The court, in Perkins, also pointed out that '(o)ne who confers with clients, advises them as to their legal rights, and then takes the business to an attorney and arranges with him to look after it in court is engaged in the practice of law.' 138 Kan. at 908, 28 P.2d at 770. The quotation from the Eley case has been adopted as the general rule in 7 C.J.S. Attorney and Client s 3 g (1937).
A more recent source defines the practice of law as 'the rendition of services requiring the knowledge and application of legal principles and technique to serve the interests of another with his consent.' R. J. Edwards, Inc. v. Hert, 504 P.2d 407, 416 (Okl. 1972).

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


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 Kansas code of professional conduct which is modelled on the ABA model code (see:

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 Kansas courts:



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?

There is no rule in Kansas allowing temporary practice either by lawyers from other US jurisdictions or by foreign lawyers.

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




Foreign lawyers would not be able to obtain visas to practise law in Kansas. It is possible that they may qualify under the USA's WTO commitments as "service salespersons" if they 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 Kansas.

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?


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


 On March 9, 2005, the Kansas Supreme Court entered an Order amending the pro hac vice admission rule, effective July 1, 2005.
Fee: $100 Kansas Supreme Court Rule 1.10, Admission Pro Hac Vice of Out-of-State Attorney.
Before the Kansas Appellate Courts.

Can foreign lawyers requalify as local lawyers?


July 1, 2005 Admission by Motion. Reciprocity required. $1250 fee.


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


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?


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


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 sources or comments or links


Verified by

Supreme Court – Kansas (February 2014)

Join the IBA

Expand your international network, gain new business and learn about the latest legal developments through IBA digital content and events, with IBA membership. Available for individuals, students, law firms, bar associations and corporations.

Find out more