USA - Mississippi International Trade in Legal Services

United States of America - Mississippi International Trade in Legal Services


Is there legislation governing the legal sector


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 a bachelors degree and  a JD from an ABA approved law school, satisfy character and fitness to practice requirements, and have passed the bar exam.

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 Mississippi. 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?




















Mississippi Com'n on Judicial Performance v. Jenkins, 725 So.2d 162 (Miss. 1998)
This Court defined the practice of law to include "... the drafting or selection of documents, the giving of advice in regard to them, and the using of an informed or trained discretion in the drafting of documents to meet the needs of the person being served. So any exercise of intelligent choice in advising another of his legal rights and duties brings the activity within the practice of the legal profession. Oregon State Bar v. Security Escrows, Inc., 233 Or. 80, 377 P.2d 334 (1962)." Darby v. Mississippi State Bd. of Bar Admissions, 185 So.2d 684, 687 (Miss.1966).
Darby v. Mississippi State Board of Bar Admissions, 185 So.2d 684, 688 (1966).
The acts designated in Section 8682 as constituting the practice of law are not all-exclusive nor all-inclusive. Manifestly there are many others which might be performed by an unlicensed person which may also constitute the practice of law. Section 8682 (Miss. Code Ann.) simply provides that the designated acts under the defined circumstances constitute the unlawful practice of law, but it does not encroach on the constitutional power of the judiciary to determine that other acts may also do so.
Mississippi Code Annotated §73-3-55. Unlawful to practice law without license; certain abstract companies may certify titles.
It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in the practice of law in this state who has not been licensed according to law. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished in accordance with the provisions of section 97-23-43. Any person who shall for fee or reward or promise directly or indirectly write or dictate any paper or instrument of writing to be filed in any cause or proceeding pending or to be instituted in any court in this state or give any counsel or advice therein or who shall write or dictate any bill of sale deed of conveyance deed of trust mortgage contract or last will and testament or shall make or certify to any abstract of title or real estate other than his own or in which he may own an interest shall be held to be engaged in the practice of law. This section shall not however prevent title or abstract of title guaranty companies incorporated under the laws of this state from making abstract or certifying titles to real estate where it acts through some person as agent authorized under the laws of the State of Mississippi to practice law; nor shall this section prevent any abstract company chartered under the laws of the State of Mississippi with a
paid up capital of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.00) or more from making or certifying to abstracts of title to real estate through the president secretary or other principal officer of such company.

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 Mississippi 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 Mississippi State Supreme Court.



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?

Temporary practice by both foreign lawyers and lawyers from other US states is not permitted under Mississippi

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 Mississippi. 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 Mississippi

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?


Mississippi Rule of Appellate Procedure 46(b). Admission of Foreign Attorneys Pro Hac Vice.,+WITHDRAWAL,+AND+DISCIPLINE+OF+ATTORNEYS&IDNum=5

Can foreign lawyers requalify as local lawyers?


Rule VI of the Rules Governing Admission to the Mississippi Bar to permit admission without a special written attorney of experienced attorneys from other states with 5 or more years of active practice.


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



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