You may need to hire an out-of-state lawyer if you have a legal matter occurring in a state where you do not currently live. An out-of-state lawyer can aid you in dealing with the issues arising in that state. Often this situation will arise when a person wants to purchase or sell property or, as described above, a person faces legal issues in a state other than that which they currently reside.

What Is Required of Out-of-State Lawyers?

If you are looking for a qualified out-of-state attorney, there are a few key points to look for to make sure that your legal issues will be handled responsibly. As a general rule, one should seek an out-of-state attorney that is licensed to practice law in the state in which the attorney is representing the person. Most state bar websites provide a database to search for attorneys licensed to practice law in that state. It is best to research to ensure that the attorney you speak to has been licensed to practice law in the state. In order to practice law and represent clients, most states have the same requirements for attorneys including:
  • The attorney must have a law degree or juris doctor, and
  • The attorney must pass the state bar examination in their respective state.
Even if an attorney has passed the state bar examination, states require an attorney to be sworn in and receive a license and/or "bar card" from the state bar association qualifying them to practice law within the state.

When Do I Need an Out-of-State Lawyer?

As stated above, if you have a legal matter occurring in a state other than the state in which you reside, it is best to seek out the legal advice and counsel of an attorney practicing law in that state. You are an out-of-state claimant if you are a person who lives outside the state where the legal proceeding has commenced. For example, James lives in Tennessee. He’s being sued in Arizona. James is considered an out-of-state claimant. James will need to hire a lawyer in Arizona to represent him in the lawsuit in Arizona.

Should I Discuss My Case with an Out-of-State Lawyer?

If you are being sued in another state or are hoping to acquire or sell property in another state, contact a lawyer in that state. An out-of-state lawyer will explain the state’s laws and how best to proceed with your case.