List of Directories of Lawyers in Each State Bar (2024)

How do you know if an attorney is licensed to practice law in a particular jurisdiction? Each state regulates the practice of law within its jurisdiction to maintain the integrity of the profession. Regulating the legal profession also protects consumers of legal services.

For the public, the best way to confirm that an attorney is licensed to practice law in a particular jurisdiction is to contact the licensing or regulatory agency in that state that grants the bar license.

In most states, the state bar association manages the licensing or regulatory agency.In 44 states and the District of Columbia, the licensing or regulatory agency publishes its database online so the public can easily determine whether an attorney is licensed,active, and in good standing.

The links to each of those databases are listed below.The directory maintained by the state bar or its disciplinary board is sometimes called the "Roster of Attorneys" or the "Roll of Attorneys."

Five (5) states do not publish their database online or provide any convenient way for the public to access the list. In those jurisdictions, you must either call or email the state bar to confirm a lawyer's bar license status or bar number.

For the states that provide the information online, eachdatabase provides different types of information, including the attorney's name, address, phone number, email address, education, area of practice or specialty, and years in practice.

Most states provide the attorney’s bar number, but some do not. In a few states, the state does not issue a bar license number.

List of State Lawyer Licensing Databases

How do you check whether an attorney has a valid bar license to practice law in a given state?

Before you hire an attorney, you might want to confirm whether any disciplinary action was taken against the attorney by a state bar or the court system. Most of these bar directories also allow the public to research the attorney's licensing and disciplinary history.

If you want to determine whether the attorney has ever been disciplined, suspended, or disbarred, these state bar directories are the best place to start your search.

We created a list of these online attorney directories maintained by the state bar in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. This compilation of state lawyer licensing databases is updated regularly.

Please contact us for corrections or suggestions at support@lawyerlegion.com.

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*Delaware previously provided information confirming whether the lawyer was in good standing via e-mail, although now its website contains a search feature.

*New Hampshire does not provide an online searchable database of licensed attorneys, but you can call the lawyer licensing agency, New Hampshire Supreme Court, at 603-271-2646.

*New Jersey does not provide an online searchable database of licensed attorneys, but you can call the state's lawyer licensing agency - New Jersey Board of Bar Examiners - at 609-984-2111.

*The directory in Oklahoma does not include all attorneys in good standing because attorneys in good standing can opt out of being included in the publicly searchable database.

*South Dakota does not provide an online searchable database of licensed attorneys, but you can call the state's lawyer licensing agency - South Dakota - 800-952-2333.

*The directory in Virginia does not include all attorneys in good standing because attorneys in good standing can opt out of being included in the publicly searchable database.

*For the rest of the states, the links provided on this compilation of State Lawyer Licensing Databases should help you quickly determine whether a particular person is a licensed attorney in good standing to practice law in that state.

The links above also provide information on ordering a Certificate of Good Standing, which reflects the attorney’s full name, bar number, date of admission, and bar status (i.e., active, inactive, retired, etc.). The certificate of good standing does not include any disciplinary history.

How to Search for an Attorney by Speciality Practice Area

All of the attorney directories allow you to search for the attorney by name. Most directories have advanced search features that allow you to search for all attorneys in a particular geographical area or narrow your search based on whether the attorney speaks a specific foreign language or attended a particular law school.

The best directories allow you to search based on your legal need by searching for focus, section, specialty, or keyword. A few of these directories allow you to narrow your search to find a board-certified specialist in a particular specialty area of the law.

If you need to make a complaint against an attorney for unethical conduct or other misconduct, visit this link to find a list of the lawyer disciplinary agencies in the United States.

How to Find Disciplinary Records Online

Use the links below to select the state where the attorney practices law. Then go to the state bar site to search for the attorney's name or bar number. On many of these directories, you can see if the license has ever been inactive or if the attorney was disciplined for misconduct.

The license can be inactive for a variety of reasons, including if the attorney does any of the following:

  • does not pay a required fee
  • voluntarily retires
  • is deceased

The attorney's history may also show a public reprimand or whether the attorney was suspended, disbarred or resigned because of serious misconduct. Many of these bar directories also provide a list of disbarred attorneys.

Why Does the Public Use the State Bar Directories?

The public can use the attorney directories maintained by the state bar for a variety of reasons, including:

  • find an attorney's state bar number;
  • search for an attorney's contact information by name;
  • determining whether the lawyer is authorized to practice law, licensed in the jurisdiction, active and in good standing;
  • uncover whether the attorney was suspended, disbarred, or resigned because of serious misconduct;
  • learn more about the lawyer's credentials;
  • check on the lawyer's credentials to determine whether the lawyer is legitimate; and
  • find a good lawyer based on their geographical location and focus area of practice using searches for a section, specialty, or keyword.

Additional Resources

List of Current Disciplined and Disbarred Attorneys - The United States Department of Justice and the Executive Office for Immigration Review website lists currently disciplined attorneys, including attorneys expelled from practice before January 13, 2012. Find the attorney's name, city or state, the discipline imposed, the effective date of discipline, and whether the attorney was subsequently reinstated. The term expelled has been replaced by the term disbarred, which has the same meaning and effect. See 77 Fed. Reg. 2,011, 2,013 (Jan. 13, 2012). Find more information about the attorney’s disciplinary history by clicking on the date highlighted in gold. The DOJ website also provides information about the Executive Office for Immigration Review's Attorney Discipline Program including the Professional Conduct for Immigration Practitioners - Factsheet (PDF), the Amendments to the Rules of Professional Conduct (2008), (PDF) and the Rules for Professional Conduct (2000), (PDF).

Lawyer Licensing - American Bar Association - Use the American Bar Association (ABA) website to find information about how lawyers become licensed with a state agency in each state. That agency can help you to find out if a person has a law license and is permitted to practice in a particular state. The article has links to each agency so that you can check if a lawyer is licensed. Find information on disbarred attorneys or whether the attorney has been disciplined or suspended from practice.

State Bar Association Directory - Lawyer Legion created a list of information about the different state bar associations throughout the United States.Some states have avoluntary bar association that focuses on advancing and improving the legal profession. Some states have a bar that is a government-sanctioned body charged with the regulation and licensing of attorneys.In some states, one organization serves both functions. Every state,however, has at least one entity that exists to assure confidence in and accountability for attorneys.

Search for New York Attorneys -Do New York attorneys have bar numbers? Although most states have Bar numbers, the State of New York does not have Bar numbers.To verify the attorney's license or good standing to practice law in New York, use the “attorney search” feature on the New York State Unified Court System (USC) website. To search the USC database for an attorney in New York, you must enter the attorney’s first name, middle name, and last name, or sort by city, state, registration number, registration status or year admitted. The name in the USC database of attorneys corresponds to the name in the Appellate Division Admissions file.NY issues bar cards known as Secure Pass IDs which are available to all New York attorneys. Read more about searching for an attorney in New York.

Finding the Legal Directory of the State Bar

If you need to find out whether an attorney is licensed to practice in a particular state, visit the above list of attorney directories maintained by each state's bar association. Often called the "roll of attorneys," these directories provide each attorney's most updated contact information and disciplinary record.

Because the attorney must keep the information updated, these directories maintained by the state bar are often the best source of the most current information about the attorney.

The directories maintained by the state bar tend to be far more accurate than the commercial online attorney directories like Lawyer Legion, AVVO, Justia, Findlaw, Lawyers.com, or Best Lawyers.

Many of these directories help the public look up an attorney focused on a particular practice area of the law. A few directories provide information about board-certified attorneys in a state-sponsored or national ABA-recognized specialization program. In many states, the State Bar or local bar associations maintain Lawyer Referral Services to assist the public in finding an attorney.

In addition to using the links in this article to find out if the attorney is licensed in a particular state, you can also use the links to investigate whether the attorney was ever disciplined or disbarred. How do you determine if an attorney is licensed and in good standing? Use this compilation of state lawyer licensing databases with phone numbers and links to the state's licensing authority and access online to their database.

This article was last updated on Thursday, February 8, 2024.

List of Directories of Lawyers in Each State Bar (2024)

FAQs

What is the hardest state to become a lawyer? ›

1. California

Law students across the US may be familiar with the famed “impossible” California bar exam. But why is the California bar exam so hard? For starters, the cut score (the score needed to pass the test) of the California bar is 1390 out of 2000, which is 40 points above the national average.

What state are lawyers most needed? ›

North Carolina surprisingly tops the list with 253 monthly searches per 100,000 residents, indicating the highest state-specific interest in legal services. Colorado (248/100k) and Nevada (244/100k) came a close second and third in the rankings, following the highest per capita interest in legal services.

What state has the smallest number of attorneys? ›

Wyoming has the fewest lawyers: 1,673. Nationwide, there are nearly 4 lawyers (actually, 3.9) for every 1,000 residents, but some states have far more.

How do you check if a lawyer is licensed in the US? ›

Lawyers are licensed by a state agency in each state. That agency can help you to find out if a person has a law license and is permitted to practice in a particular state.

Where is the easiest state to become a lawyer? ›

What Is the Easiest Bar Exam? Going by the 2021 bar exam passing rates, Wyoming has the easiest bar exam to pass. However, we don't really get the full picture by just looking at the passing rates. Each state's bar exam can differ in difficulty and content.

What state has the easiest bar exam? ›

Overall, Utah is the easiest bar exam to pass. This is true whether you are a first-time taker or repeat taker! In July 2023, Utah had a 94% pass rate for first time takers and a 73% pass rate for repeat takers. It also has the lowest UBE cut score of 260.

What is the highest paying state for lawyers? ›

Lawyers in these states earn the highest median salaries:
  • California ($175,680)
  • New York ($172,880)
  • Massachusetts ($161,530)
  • Rhode Island ($151,960)
  • Washington, DC ($177,880)
Feb 29, 2024

Which state pays lawyers the least? ›

Lawyers make the lowest average salary in Montana and the highest average salary in California, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What type of lawyer gets the most? ›

As of 2024, the top five highest paid types of lawyers are:
  • Patent Attorneys.
  • Intellectual property (IP) Attorneys.
  • Trial Lawyers.
  • Tax Attorneys.
  • Corporate Lawyers.
Feb 19, 2024

What states have lawyer shortages? ›

The states with the 10 fewest lawyers per 10,000 residents are:
  • South Carolina (20.5)
  • Arizona (21.8)
  • Idaho (22.1)
  • North Dakota (22.3)
  • South Dakota (22.6)
  • North Carolina (23.2)
  • Mississippi (23.5)
  • Arkansas (23.5)

What are the lowest paid attorneys? ›

The lowest-paid legal jobs are typically those in the public sector, such as district attorneys or public defenders. Lawyers in these positions often make just above minimum wage.

Why are there only 93 US attorneys? ›

(Because a single United States Attorney serves both Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, there are only 93 U.S. Attorneys.) Time Period Covered. The entire set of files obtained by TRAC cover all criminal and civil referrals ("matters") received by U.S. Attorneys from FY 1974 to present.

What does bar stand for in law? ›

The term bar refers to the entire legal profession. It could be a lawyers' institution on a national level or in a particular state, such as the California Bar Association.

How hard is the bar exam? ›

The test is known as the hardest in the country and, consequently, the anxiety leading up to the test is epic. And for good reason. In February 2023, for example, only 32.5% of applicants passed.

What initials do lawyers use? ›

Esq. is short for Esquire, and the abbreviation is appended to a practicing attorney's surname after they pass the bar examination. J.D. stands for Juris Doctor degree — anyone who graduates from law school can claim this credential.

What is the hardest law degree to get? ›

The hardest law school to get into is Yale Law School, with an acceptance rate of 5.5%. Followed by: Stanford Law School: 7% acceptance rate. The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School: 3.8% acceptance rate.

What is the most difficult area of law? ›

What Is the Most Difficult Area of Law?
  • Tax Law. Deals with the constitutional, common-law, statutory, tax treaty, and regulatory rules that constitute the law applicable to taxation. ...
  • Intellectual Property Law. ...
  • Environmental Law. ...
  • Criminal Law. ...
  • Immigration Law. ...
  • Securities Law. ...
  • International Law. ...
  • Family Law.

What is the best state to study law? ›

Top universities in the US for law degrees 2024
US law rank 2024Law rank 2024State
11Massachusetts
22California
=3=4New York
=3=4New York
61 more rows
May 13, 2024

What state has the highest bar pass rate? ›

Below is a list of states with the highest first-time taker bar exam pass rates from the July 2021 bar exam:
  • Minnesota. 82%
  • Missouri. 84%
  • Washington. 84%
  • Ohio. 82%
  • North Carolina. 84%

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