Iowa Admission Laws

Admissions to the Bar in Iowa State are dealt under Chapter 31, Iowa Court Rules 31.1 et seq.  Pursuant to Iowa Court Rules 31.8, any person applying take the examination for admission must have received the degree of LL.B. or J.D. from a reputable law school fully approved by the American Bar Association.  According to Iowa Court Rules 31.12, an applicant from other states of United States, who wishes to practice Law in Iowa State, should file an application with the National Conference of Bar Examiners.  The applicant should have practiced law in any other jurisdiction of the United States for five full years while licensed within the seven years immediately preceding the date of the application.  The Iowa Supreme Court is the admitting body responsible for admissions to the Iowa Bar.

Iowa Court Rules 31.3 requires written examination for admission to the Bar.  The examination consists of three components.  The Multistate Essay Examination (MEE), the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE), and the Multistate Performance Test (MPT).  There shall be one three hour MEE session consisting of six questions, one MPT session consisting of two 90-minute performance tests, and two MBE sessions consisting of 100 multiple-choice questions each.  An applicant should also obtain a scaled score of at least 80 in the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) in order to be admitted to practice law in Iowa.  Under Iowa Court Rules 41.3 an attorney shall complete a minimum of 15 hours of legal education accredited by the Commission on Continuing Legal Education during each calendar year.  Out of the 15 hours, a minimum of 2 hours should be exclusively devoted to the area of legal ethics.  Pursuant to the same Rule, an attorney should obtain computer based legal education accredited by the commission at least for 6 hours out of the 15 hours.

Iowa Ct. R. 31.8

Rule 31.8 Degree requirement.

No person shall be permitted to take the examination for admission without proof that the person has received the degree of LL.B. or J.D. from a reputable law school fully approved by the American Bar Association. Proof of this requirement shall be by affidavit of the dean of such law school, and shall show that the applicant has actually and in good faith pursued the study of law resulting in the degree required by this rule. The affidavit must be made before an officer authorized to administer oaths and having a seal.
Iowa Ct. R. 31.3
Rule 31.3. Required examinations.

31.3(1) Iowa bar examination. Beginning with the February 2009 administration of the Iowa bar examination, the provisions of this rule shall apply to the dates and content of the bar examination.

a. Written examinations for admission to the bar shall be held in Polk County, Iowa, commencing with a mandatory orientation session on the Monday preceding the last Wednesday in February and on the Monday preceding the last Wednesday in July.

b. The examination shall consist of three components: the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE), the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE), and the Multistate Performance Test (MPT). There shall be one three-hour MEE session consisting of six questions, one MPT session consisting of two 90-minute performance tests, and two MBE sessions consisting of 100 multiple-choice questions each.
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313(2) Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination. Every applicant for admission to practice law in the state of Iowa must have on file with the assistant director examination results from the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) administered by the National Conference of Bar Examiners no later than April 1 preceding the July examination or November 1 preceding the February examination. Each applicant must obtain a scaled score of at least 80 in order to be admitted to practice law in Iowa. MPRE scores shall only be accepted for three years after the date the MPRE is taken.

Iowa Ct. R. 31.12

Rule 31.12 Admission of attorneys from other jurisdictions–requirements and fees.

31.12(1) An applicant who meets the requirements of this rule and rule 31.13 may, in the discretion of the court, be admitted to the practice of law in this state without examination.

31.12(2) The applicant shall file the application with the National Conference of Bar Examiners through their online character and fitness application process at http://www.ncbex.org/ea unless an exception is granted by the Office of Professional Regulation. The applicant shall pay a nonrefundable fee of $ 575 to the Office of Professional Regulation at the time of filing the application. The character investigation services of the National Conference of Bar Examiners shall be procured in all cases where application for admission on motion is made.

Iowa Ct. R. 41.3

Rule 41.3 Continuing legal education requirement.

41.3(1) Each attorney admitted to practice in this state shall complete a minimum of 15 hours of legal education accredited by the commission, during each calendar year. The commission is authorized, pursuant to guidelines established by the supreme court, to determine the number of hours for which credit will be given for particular courses, programs or other legal education activities. Under rules to be promulgated by the supreme court, an attorney may be given credit in one or more succeeding calendar years, not exceeding two such years, for completing more than 15 hours of accredited education during any one calendar year.

41.3(2) The 15 hours required by rule 41.3(1) shall include a minimum of 2 hours, every two calendar years, devoted exclusively to the area of legal ethics. Excess hours of education devoted to legal ethics can be carried over for purposes of the annual 15-hour requirement under rule 41.3(1) but cannot be carried over beyond the two-year period for the special legal ethics requirement under this rule.

41.3(3) Commencing July 1, 2002, up to 6 hours of the 15 hours required by rule 41.3(1) each calendar year may be obtained through completion of computer-based legal education accredited by the commission.


Inside Iowa Admission Laws