Lawyers are largely limited to practicing law in the states in which they are licensed. But now, calling that rule anachronistic, the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers has asked the American Bar Association to amend the model rules that govern law practice to allow lawyers admitted in any U.S. jurisdiction to practice law and provide legal advice to clients anywhere in the country.

“Our proposal advocates that a lawyer admitted in any United States jurisdiction should be able to practice law and represent willing clients without regard to the geographic location of the lawyer or the client, without regard to the forum where the services are to be provided, and without regard to which jurisdiction’s rules apply at a given moment in time,” APRL President Brian Faughnan said in a letter to ABA President Reginald M. Turner.

On this episode of LawNext, Faughnan joins host Bob Ambrogi to discuss why APRL has concluded that the change is critical to a “21st Century approach to the practice of law.” They discuss the APRL study and report that called for replacement of the current Rule 5.5 of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, APRL’s proposed new version of 5.5 that would allow multi-jurisdictional practice, and why Faughnan believes there is a strong likelihood that the ABA will at least give strong consideration to the change. 

In his day job, Faughnan is a shareholder in the Tennessee law firm Lewis Thomason, where his practice includes representing lawyers and law firms in disciplinary matters. 

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Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.