LexisNexis

USA - Wyoming International Trade in Legal Services

United States of America - Wyoming International Trade in Legal Services

HOME COUNTRY LICENSING QUESTIONS

Is there legislation governing the legal sector

Wyoming Statute, Title 33 - Professions And Occupations, Chapter 5 - 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 a bachelor’s degree, a JD, satisfy character and fitness to practice Only active members of the Wyoming State Bar are authorized to practice law in the state.  Admission to the bar is gained by compliance with Wyoming Supreme Court’s rules for admission to the practice of law (see http://www.courts.state.wy.us/CourtRules_Entities?RulesPage=PracticeOfLawAdmission.xml).Once admitted by the Wyoming Supreme Court, lawyers must pay an annual license fee and comply with Continuing Legal Education requirements in order to maintain their licenses.

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

No

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

 

 

Rules of the Supreme Court of Wyoming Providing for the Organization and Government of the Bar Association and Attorneys at Law of the State of Wyoming (see http://www.courts.state.wy.us/CourtRules_Entities?RulesPage=OrganizationAndGovernmentOfWyoBarAssociation.xml):
Rule 11 defines the practice of law as “providing any legal service for any other person, firm or corporation, with or without compensation, or providing professional legal advice or services where there is a client relationship of trust or reliance, including appearing as an advocate in a representative capacity; drafting pleadings or other documents; or performing any act in such capacity in connection with a prospective or pending proceeding before any court.” Only active members of the Wyoming State Bar may practice law in this state.
Rule 11.1 prohibits the unauthorized practice of law by non-lawyers and provides limited exceptions to that prohibition.

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

Wyoming Statute § 33-5-105 states, "No one shall be admitted to the bar of this state who shall not be an adult citizen of the United States and a person of good moral character.”

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, general partnership, limited liability company or professional corporation.  Business association including fee sharing with non-lawyers is not permitted.

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

In addition to paying annual license fees and fulfilling annual requirements for Continuing Legal Education, Wyoming lawyers must comply with the Wyoming Rules of Professional Conduct, which are similar but no identical to the ABA model rules (see http://courts.state.wy.us/CourtRules_Entities?RulesPage=AttorneysConduct.xml)

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

No, but the individual lawyers in the firm must be active members of the Wyoming State Bar.

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

Membership in the Wyoming State Bar can only be granted by order of the Wyoming Supreme Court.

   

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 engage in the active, authorized practice of law in Wyoming.

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 Wyoming would need to be fully admitted to the Wyoming 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 Wyoming

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?

 

An out of state lawyer may qualify for limited admission in a particular litigation matter if he is a member of the bar of another state, district or territory of the United States and complies with the requirements of Rule  11(c) of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Wyoming Providing for the Organization and Government of the Bar Association and Attorneys at Law of the State of Wyoming (see http://www.courts.state.wy.us/CourtRules_Entities?RulesPage=OrganizationAndGovernmentOfWyoBarAssociation.xml).

Can foreign lawyers requalify as local lawyers?

 

A foreign lawyer cannot qualify for admission to the Wyoming State Bar unless he is a U.S. citizen (see http://www.courts.state.wy.us/CourtRules_Entities?RulesPage=PracticeOfLawAdmission.xml). 

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

 

Verified by

Wyoming Office of Bar Counsel (December 2013)