The Texas Supreme Court has issued an order to allow foreign lawyers (scroll down to see the order) gain admission to the Texas Bar and foreign attorneys to appear in court pro hac vice in proceedings with the help of attorneys already licensed in the bar.
The order of the court signed by all nine justices amends Rules I, II, III, XII, XIV, XVII, and XIX of the rules of admission to the Bar of Texas and the new rules will come into effect from 1st October, 2014.
Proponents of the amendments assert that the amendments will bring law practice in Texas close to that of New York, as the new amendments will also help foreign legal consultants with registration in Texas, thus allowing companies in Texas to hire experienced foreign lawyers for their in-house work. This in turn, will help companies working in Texas to spread their international reach.
The amendments propose different routes for admission to the bar for foreign lawyers from civil law and common law countries. Those from civil law countries will need to complete an LLM degree from an ABA-approved school to gain eligibility for taking the bar exam.
Previous Rule I (14) which defined “”Valid law license” shall mean, unless otherwise specified in written policy adopted by the Board, an active law license under which the licensee, at all times during the period of practice for which credit is sought and at the time of filing a Texas application, has been entitled to engage lawfully in the practice of law in the jurisdiction which issued the license” has been removed completely.
Under rule II (a) (5) the requirements that spelt out eligible candidates to the Texas bar must be a United States citizen, or a United States National, or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, or an alien otherwise authorized to work lawfully in the United States – have also been removed.
You can view the proposed Texas Bar admission rules in its amended form below. The court has set the comment period on the new amendments from July 1 through August 31.
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