Iowa offers admission without examination (referred to as “admission on motion”) for attorneys licensed in another state or the District of Columbia who can demonstrate a prolonged period of the regular practice of law without significant character or fitness problems.
To be admitted, applicants must:
Have been admitted to the bar of any other state of the United States or the District of Columbia,
Have practiced law five full years while licensed within the seven years immediately preceding the date of the application and still holds a law license, and
Meet the character and fitness requirements contained within Iowa Court Rule 31.12.
An applicant is not eligible for admission on motion if:
The applicant is currently subject to lawyer discipline in another jurisdiction,
The applicant failed the Iowa bar examination within the five years of the date of the application, or
The applicant has failed five or more bar examinations.
In order to start the filing process to be admitted on motion to the State of Iowa, you should:
Submit the Application for Admission Without Examination (click link to access), along with the $900 filing fee by check made payable to "Board of Law Examiners," and accompanying attachments (Certificates of Admission and Regular Practice) to:
Office of Professional Regulation
Judicial Branch Building, Second Floor
1111 East Court Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
Complete the NCBE’s online character and fitness investigation (Opens a New Window) and file it with the National Conference of Bar Examiners.
From this link, the applicant selects Iowa as the jurisdiction to which he or she is applying. On the next page, click on the NCBE Account Login button and either log in with your credentials or create an account.
Pay the separate investigative fee to the National Conference of Bar Examiners at the time the NCBE application is filed. Do not send a copy of the application to the Office of Professional Regulation.
For other questions on admission on motion, please review Iowa Court Rules 31.12 and 31.13 (Opens in New Window)