Iowa Bar Reciprocity

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Iowa bar reciprocity relies upon rules 31.12 and 31.13 of the Iowa Court Rules. This regulation, known as Admission on Motion, indicates how attorneys that are licensed in other states can be licensed in the state of Iowa. To be admitted to practice in Iowa attorneys in other states must:

  • Have admitted via bar exam in another jurisdiction allowing similar admission standards to that of Iowa (such as through the UBE)
  • Or have engaged in active legal practice in any of the states or territories of the United States for a minimum of 5 years our of 7 years.

Iowa Bar Reciprocity: Admission on Motion

Attorneys must be admitted in another jurisdiction, known as the admission on motion process, before they can be considered a licensed Iowa attorney. Iowa Bar Reciprocity admission is based upon the receipt of a complete bar application.

Reciprocal Jurisdictions

Iowa has a list in which it has reciprocity with certain states. Currently attorenys licensed or from all the other states in the United States may achieve Iowa bar reciprocity.

Additional Iowa Reciprocity Requirements

  • Law Degree from a ABA law school
  • Good standing in all other jurisdictions where admitted before bar exam
  • No failure of the bar exam within 5 years of a previous application for admission
  • Passage of the MPRE
  • Iowa online legal course 
  • Active practice of law in at least one star for 5 of 7 years (active license and at least 1,000 hours per year in law practice and made at least 50% of their income not from an investment from the practice.)
    • In-house counsels (can not be used for duration requirement)
    • Legal Professors
    • Judicial Law Clerks
    • Judges
    • JAG Attorneys