West Virginia Admission Laws

Rules on admission to practice of law in West Virginia are dealt under West Virginia Rules on Admission to the Practice of Law.  The Supreme Court of Appeals is responsible for the admission of lawyers in the state of West Virginia.   Under Rule 2.0 of the Admission to Practice of Law, an applicant eligible for admission to practice of law in West Virginia should satisfy the Board of Law Examiners that s/he is at least eighteen years of age.  As provided in the same Rule, an applicant must have graduated from an approved college or university with an A.B., B.S., or higher degree.  Applicant must also have graduated from an approved law school with an L.L.B., J.D., or its equivalent degree.  Under Rule 3.0., an applicant who wishes to take the Bar examination must have completed a full course of study in a law school accredited by the American Bar Association.

According to Rule 3.2., the West Virginia Bar Examination shall consist of a General Bar Examination and the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE).  The General Bar Examination consists of three parts.  Part A consists of the Multistate Performance Test (“MPT”) which includes two performance test questions prepared by the National Conference of Bar Examiners and administered by the Board of Law Examiners.  Part B consists of the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE) which includes six essay questions prepared by the National Conference of Bar Examiners and administered by the Board of Law Examiners.  Part C consists of the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) which includes two hundred multiple choice questions prepared by the National Conference of Bar Examiners and administered by the Board of Law Examiners.  In addition to passing the General Bar Examination, an applicant should also complete the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (“MPRE”) with a scaled score of at least 75, as determined by the National Conference of Bar Examiners, within twenty-five months of successful completion of the General Bar Examination.

Under Rule 4.0, the eligibility requirement for an applicant to practice law in the State of West Virginia without examination is that s/he should have been practicing law in any other jurisdiction of the United States for five of the seven years preceding his/her application in West Virginia.

Pursuant to rules governing mandatory continuing legal education, an active member of the state bar shall complete a minimum of 24 hours of continuing legal education, as approved by the Continuing Legal Education Commission.  At least three out of such 24 hours should be taken in courses on legal ethics.

W. Va. Admission to the Practice, Rule 3.2

(b) General Bar Examination.
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The General Bar Examination will consist of three parts. Part A will consist of the Multistate Performance Test (“MPT”) which will include two (2) performance test questions prepared by the National Conference of Bar Examiners and administered by the Board of Law Examiners. Part B will consist of the Multistate Essay Examination (“MEE”) which will include six (6) essay questions prepared by the National Conference of Bar Examiners and administered by the Board of Law Examiners. MEE questions are to be answered according to the laws of the State of West Virginia. Part C will consist of the Multistate Bar Examination (“MBE”) which will include two hundred (200) multiple choice questions prepared by the National Conference of Bar Examiners and administered by the Board of Law Examiners.
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W. Va. Admission to the Practice, Rule 3.0

Rule 3.0. Admission by examination.
(a) Course of study.
Unless otherwise specified herein, any person who wishes to take the bar examination in the State of West Virginia shall satisfy the Board that he or she has completed a full course of study in a law school accredited by the American Bar Association, or its equivalent, and has been granted and holds a degree of L.L.B. or J.D., or their equivalents, and a degree of A.B. or B.S., or higher degree, from an accredited college or university, or its equivalent.

W. Va. Admission to the Practice, Rule 4.0

(b) Reciprocity requirements.
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To be eligible for admission to practice in the State of West Virginia upon the basis of admission in any other state, an applicant must have been lawfully engaged in the active practice of law for five (5) of the seven (7) years next preceding his or her application and must have held a valid license to practice law from some state throughout such five year period; and, must demonstrate to the Board that the standards of admission in at least one of the states where he or she was previously admitted were, at the time of the applicant’s admission in that state, and are now, substantially equivalent to the standards for admission in West Virginia.
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W. Va. State Bar Rules & Regulations Para 5.2

Para 5.2.
After the above two-year phase-in period, each active member of the state bar shall complete a minimum of twenty-four hours of continuing legal education, as approved by these rules or accredited by the Commission, every two fiscal years. At least three of such twenty-four hours shall be taken in courses on legal ethics, office management, substance abuse, or elimination of bias in the legal profession. On or before July 31, 1990, and every other July 31 thereafter, each attorney must file a report of completion of such activities. The Commission recommends that such report be completed on Form C – Certification of Completion of Approved MCLE Activity. Attorneys who exceed the minimum MCLE requirement may carry a maximum of six credit-hours forward to only the next reporting period, except that no carryover credits can be applied to the legal ethics, office management, substance abuse requirement and/or elimination of bias in the legal profession.


Inside West Virginia Admission Laws