USA - Oklahoma International Trade in Legal Services

United States of America - Oklahoma International Trade in Legal Services


Is there legislation governing the legal sector

Oklahoma Statutes, Title 5. Attorneys and State Bar

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 Oklahoma. 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?







R.J. Edwards, Inc. v. Hert, 504 P.2d 407 (1972)
Our decisions definitely spell out the concept of the practice of law: the rendition of services requiring the knowledge and the application of legal principles and technique to serve the interests of another with his consent.
State Bar of Arizona v. Arizona Land Title & Trust Co., 90 Ariz. 76, 366 P.2d 1 (1961); Beach Abstract & Guaranty Co. v. Bar Assoc. of Arkansas, 230 Ark. 494, 326 S.W.2d 910 (1930); Arkansas Bar Assoc. v. Union Nat. Bank, 224 Ark. 48, 273 S.W.2d 408 (1954); Biakanja v. Irving, 49 Cal.2d 647, 320 P.2d 16, 65 A.L.R.2d 1358 (1958); Title Guar. & Trust Co. v. Denver Bar Assoc., 135 Colo. 423, 312 P.2d 1011 (1937); People ex rel. Illinois State Bar Assoc. v. People's Stock Yards State Bank, 344 Ill. 462, 176 N.E. 901 (1931); People ex rel. Chicago Bar Assoc. v. Tinkoff, 399 Ill. 282, 77 N.E.2d 693 (1948); State ex rel. Boynton v. Perkins, 138 Kan. 899, 28 P.2d 765 (1934); Depew v. Wichita Assoc. of Credit Men, Inc., 142 Kan. 403, 49 P.2d 1041 (1935); Frazee v. Citizens Fidelity Bank & Trust Co., 393 S.W.2d 788 (Ky.1965); Fritchette v. Taylor, 191 Minn. 582, 254 N.W. 510, 94 A.L.R. 356; Liberty Mut. Ins. Co. v. Jones, 344 Mo. 932, 130 S.W.2d 945 (1919); Hulse v. Criger, 363 Mo. 26, 247 S.W.2d 855 (Mo.1952); Hoffmeister v. Tod, 349 S.W.2d 5 (Mo.1961); State ex rel. Johnson v. Childe, 147 Neb. 527, 23 N.W.2d 720 (1940); People v. Alfani, 227 N.Y. 234, 125 N.E. 671 (1919); People v. Lawyers Title Corp., 282 N.Y. 513, 27 N.E.2d 30 (1940); Judd v. City Trust & Savings Bank, 133 Ohio St. 81, 12 N.E.2d 288 (1937); Oregon State Bar v. John H. Miller & Co., 235 Ore. 341, 385 P.2d 181 (1965); In re Morse, 98 Vt. 85, 126 A. 550 (1924); Washington State Bar Assoc. v. Washington Assoc. of Realtors, 41 Wash.2d 697, 251 P.2d 619 (1953); State ex rel. Reynolds v. Dinger, 14 Wis.2d 193, 109 N.W.2d 685.
In view of our own prior statements, and of this long line of like statements elsewhere, it was unnecessary that we should otherwise have defined 'practice of law' to include specific acts as a prerequisite to the exercise of the proper jurisdiction of the judicial department.

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

Yes - the Oklahoma statute requires US citizenship for the practice of 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 Oklahoma 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 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?

Foreign lawyers are not permitted to provide fly-in fly-out services, this is only permitted to lawyers from other US states (see Professional Conduct 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 Oklahoma would need to be fully admitted to the Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma

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?


The Oklahoma pro hac vice admission rule was amended to require registration and the payment of a $350 fee. Oklahoma Supreme Court Rules Creating and Controlling the Oklahoma Bar, Article II, Section 5. Out-of-State Attorneys.

Can foreign lawyers requalify as local lawyers?


Oklahoma pro hac vice admission rule was amended to require registration and the payment of a $350 fee.
Oklahoma Supreme Court Rules Creating and Controlling the Oklahoma Bar, Article II, Section 5. Out-of-State Attorneys.


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? Foreign name is permitted
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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