New York must bin protectionist legal practice rules - Laura Devine

New York City and London are arguably the two leading legal profession hubs on the planet, and that means that top lawyers from both jurisdictions are keen to qualify in the other.

Standing firmly in the way are New York State's rigid regulations that discriminate against solicitors - and the criteria to sit for its bar exam is indicative of a prejudice against many with an England and Wales qualification.

Before solicitors sit the bar exam, New York State generally requires that candidates complete a programme of study that is substantively equivalent to US legal studies, not least in duration, rooted in an English common law tradition. This often permits solicitors who have completed a bachelor's in law to sit the exam with relative ease.

However, New York State's procedures place other solicitors at a distinct disadvantage because of its disregard of alternative educational paths to the profession in England and Wales.

Read Laura's full comment published in The Brief.