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NOTICE TO BAR APPLICANTS

 

The Office of Professional Regulation in closely monitoring the situation surrounding COVID-19. The impact on bar admissions in Iowa is as follows:

 

All Applicants:

  • IMPORTANT! Effective immediately, the Office of Professional Regulation is no longer accepting hand-delivered application materials for bar admissions, including law student registrations and applications to take the Iowa bar examination.  All application materials should be sent via US Mail, FedEx, UPS, or similar means. Any applicable due dates are met if the materials are postmarked on or before the established deadline.  We recommend sending any such items with tracking—we are not able to confirm receipt of mailings by phone or email. We do not recommend that you require a signature, as that may delay delivery.
  • Admissions staff is still working, and no COVID-19-related delay is expected in application intake or processing. Character and fitness investigations and reviews are expected to continue under our normal schedule.
  • The court is not currently conducting any in-person oath administrations for applicants approved for admission on motion or by transferred UBE score.  If you already have set a date to be sworn in by a supreme court justice, you will be contacted with information on rescheduling your oath administration.
  • Remote notarization is now in effect in Iowa after Governor Reynolds issued an emergency waiver of the in-person requirement.  This can be used to complete all application forms while the governor's order is in effect.  For information on requirements for remote authorization, please visit: https://sos.iowa.gov/news/2020_03_25-2.html
  • Changes, should they occur, will be posted on this page.

February 2020 Bar Exam Applicants:

  • Grading for the February 2020 bar examination will proceed as scheduled.
  • The April 28 admissions ceremony for successful February bar applicants has been canceled.  Successful February 2020 Iowa Bar Exam applicants will instead submit a written oath in order to be admitted, which will be mailed to them along with their notification letter from the Office of Professional Regulation. 
  • February 2020 exam scores are still scheduled to be released on April 16, 2020.  If there are any changes to this date, we will post updates here.

July 2020 Bar Exam Applicants:

  • No changes have been made to the July exam location or schedule. Should a change occur, we will notify you via email and this website.
  • July 2020 bar exam applicants must have their applications postmarked by April 1, 2020, in order for their application to be considered timely.  As noted above, we are not accepting hand-delivered applications.  All applications must be sent by mail, UPS, FedEx, or similar means.
  • The requirement that a fingerprint card be submitted with the July 2020 bar application has been waived.  Applicants need not request or submit a fingerprint card with their applications.
  • Remote notarization is now in effect in Iowa after Governor Reynolds issued an emergency waiver of the in-person requirement.  This can be used to complete all application forms while the governor's order is in effect.  For information on requirements for remote authorization, please visit: https://sos.iowa.gov/news/2020_03_25-2.html

 

The Iowa Board of Law Examiners oversees the process of admission to the bar of Iowa. The admission process covers those that are required to take an examination to gain admission as well as attorneys licensed from other jurisdictions who wish to practice in Iowa. Find out more about the bar examination in Iowa. If you are already licensed in another jurisdiction, learn how to become licensed in Iowa. Contact Bar.Admissions@iowacourts.gov if you have any other questions.

Court Rules Governing Admission and Practice

Chapter 31 of the Iowa Court Rules governs who may practice law in Iowa. Qualified persons seeking admission to the bar or authority to appear in an action in an Iowa court should refer to the following rules:

  • Rules 31.2-31.11. Admission by examination.
  • Rules 31.12-31.13. Admission without examination of a lawyer licensed to practice law in another state.
  • Rule 31.14. Admission pro hac vice
  • Rule 31.15. Permitted practice by a law student as part of an educational program approved by a law school and the court.
  • Rule 31.16. Registration of house counsel for a corporation, association, or other business, educational, or governmental entity engaged in business in Iowa.
  • Rule 31.18. Licensing and practice of foreign legal consultants.
  • Rule 31.19. Certification and pro bono participation of emeritus attorneys.

Iowa Court Rules, See Chapter 31 

Contact Bar.Admissions@iowacourts.gov for information about admission to the bar or more general information. 

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