Tennessee Supreme Court Amends Rule On Bar Exam Eligibility Requirements For Foreign-Educated Lawyers

Saturday, February 3, 2018

The Tennessee Supreme Court has amended the eligibility requirements for graduates of law schools in foreign jurisdictions who apply to take the Tennessee bar examination.

Under the revisions to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 7, section 7.01, applicants who have graduated from a law school in a foreign jurisdiction may qualify to take the Tennessee bar examination upon showing that their undergraduate education and legal education were substantially equivalent to a bachelor’s degree and a law degree as required in Rule 7, sections 2.01 and 2.02.

In the alternative, applicants who have graduated from a law school in a foreign jurisdiction may qualify to take the Tennessee bar examination upon showing that they have earned an LL.M.

degree in the United States in a program designed to train lawyers to practice law in the United States, that they have been admitted to the practice of law in a foreign jurisdiction and are in good standing, and that they have been actively engaged in the practice of law for five of the past eight years. 

The amendments to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 7, which will be administered by the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners, were adopted in response to a petition filed by the University of Tennessee College of Law and Vanderbilt University School of Law. Before adopting the revisions, the Court solicited public comments and received responses from the Tennessee Bar Association, the Knoxville Bar Association, the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners, and several individuals. To review the Court’s order, which includes an appendix with line edits of the changes, visit the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners website.


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