Which State’s Bar Will You Take?

In the coming weeks, most 3L’s will decide which state’s bar examination they will take.  The decision is generally made fairly soon so that soon-to-be graduates can ensure that they timely meet the chosen state bar’s requirements (usually providing extensive employment, financial, and background check information).  For those who know where they will be practicing after graduation, the bar decision is probably already made.  For some, however, including those doing judicial clerkships, other temporary work such as a fellowship, or those who have not found their permanent job, this decision requires some careful consideration.  Some factors many consider and weigh are: where one most wants to live in the long run; where family and friends reside; where most professional contacts work; where the market in one’s desired practice area is more promising.  Those doing a judicial clerkship or fellowship may consider where, if any particular place, their connections to a judge or interest organization will be most valued by prospective employers.  For example, doing a state court clerkship in Arizona will probably be most valuable to employers in Arizona (although it would almost certainly offer valuable insight for lawyers practicing in other states).  Try researching where your judge’s clerks end up practicing—it may inform your decision.  In the end, the decision is personal.  Those of you struggling with it may seek advice from faculty, school administrators and staff (including PDO), and colleagues.  Remember that you can always take another bar if you decide you would like to practice elsewhere.  Generally, if you practice for a few years, you may seek reciprocal admission with another state.  For a list of states offering some level of reciprocal admission with Utah bar members, for example, go to the following link to research the requirements of any state which interests you: http://www.utahbar.org/admissions/reciprocity_jurisdiction_table.html .  The website for the National Conference of Bar Examiners is:  http://www.ncbex.org/.