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About Exempt Status

An Iowa-licensed attorney who does not in fact practice law in Iowa may apply for a certificate of exemption from CLE attendance, reporting and fee payment requirements pursuant to Iowa Court Rule 41.7 and a certificate of exemption from client security reporting and fee payment requirements pursuant to Iowa Court Rule 39.7. It is permissible to apply for exemption for purposes of one commission, but not the other. An application for exempt status may be filed by accessing your lawyer account page and selecting the menu item "Apply for Certificate of Exemption."

A lawyer issued a certificate of exemption from either or both commissions may not practice law in Iowa until reinstated. The practice of law as used in this context includes the examination of abstracts, consummation of real estate transactions, preparation of legal briefs, deeds, buy and sell agreements, contracts, wills and tax returns as well as the representation of others in any Iowa courts, the right to represent others in any Iowa courts, or to regularly prepare legal instruments, secure legal rights, advise others as to their legal rights or the effect of contemplated actions upon their legal rights, or to hold oneself out to so do; or to be a judge or one who rules upon the legal rights of others unless the state nor federal law requires the person so judging or ruling to hold a license to practice law.

Reinstatement from exemption generally requires payment of current fees, the filing of current report forms, and in the case of CLE, showing satisfaction of the continuing legal education requirements the lawyer would have performed had he or she remained active during the period of exemption. Further information regarding reinstatement is available at Iowa Court Rules 42.7 and 39.7.

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