An Arkansas Attorney is a lawyer who is permitted to practice within the State of Arkansas because either he or she is barred within the State Arkansas or is barred in another State but has been given special permission from the court to practice in Arkansas for a brief period of time, usually for a specific proceeding, this is called pro hoc vice.
How do you become an Arkansas Attorney?
In order to become an Arkansas Attorney an individual must meet a number of requirements; these include educational requirements as well as ethical requirements. The first step is that an Arkansas Attorney must have his, or her, bachelors degree from an accredited college or University. After that an individual must be accepted and graduate from an accredited law school or meet any of the alternative requirements set by the Arkansas Bar Association.
After graduating from an accredited law school an Arkansas Attorney candidate must take and pass that Arkansas Bar Exam. The Arkansas Bar Exam is a two day exam that is administered by the Arkansas Bar Examiners Office. The first day consists of a Multi-State Essay Exam and a Multi-State Performance Test. Both of these exams are written and administered by the National Board of Bar Examiners. The Multi-State Essay Exam is an essay exam comprised of questions based on federal law. The Multi-State Performance Test is a 90 minute test that gauges an applicants ability to take evidence and substantive law and write a persuasive memo or brief. The second day of the Arkansas Bar Exam is the Multi-State Bar Exam. The MBE is a 200 multiple choice examination administered by the National Board of Bar Examiners. The passing score for the Arkansas Bar Examination is a 405 overall score. The pass rate is around 66%.
In addition to the substantive requirements to be an Arkansas Attorney an applicant must also take, and pass, the Multi-State Professional Responsibilities Exam. The State of Arkansas requires a score of 85.
If you have a problem with your Arkansas Attorney you may want to consider filing a complaint with the Arkansas committee on professional conduct. The legal profession is one that holds itself to high ethical and professional standards and as such, an Arkansas Attorney is required to uphold him, or herself, as a member of the Arkansas Bar on a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week basis. If you feel that your Arkansas Attorney has violated the rules of professional conduct you should first discuss the matter with the Arkansas Attorney. If that fails to rectify the matter then you should download the grievance form at www.courts.arkansas.org. You must complete the grievance form by including your name and information as well as the name and information of the Arkansas Attorney you wish to bring proceedings against. Send the completed form with all relevant documentation about the violation to:
625 Marshall St.
Justice Building, RM 110
Little Rock, AR 72201-1022
You can also contact the Office of Professional Conduct at 501-376-0313.
The Arkansas Court System
Arkansas Attorneys practice in three different types of trial courts within the States. These are the District courts, the city courts and the Circuit courts. The district courts in the State of Arkansas hear cases involving misdemeanors, preliminary felony matters, and civil cases where the amount in question is less than $5,000. The city courts hear all the same kinds of cases that the district courts hear. They have jurisdiction over these matters in communities where district courts do not exist.
Arkansas Attorneys also practice in any of 23 Circuit courts withing the State. Each Circuit court is divided into 5 divisions: the civil division, criminal division, probate division, juvenile division, and the domestic relations division. The circuit courts hear all civil cases where the amount in question is greater than $5,000. The criminal division hears all felony cases and misdemeanor cases that are specifically prescribed, by law.
Finding an Arkansas Attorney
If you are looking for an Arkansas Attorney you will have a number of options. You can perform a simple internet search to find information on Arkansas Attorneys in your area that specialize in the area of law that you will be litigating in. Most Arkansas Attorneys have their own websites that give valuable information about the Arkansas Attorneys education, experience, and results.
You can also take advantage of a referral service. The Arkansas Bar Association does not operate an Arkansas Attorney Referral service but it does have a lawyer directory. By using the lawyer directory and inputting the name, practice, or county you wil be given a list of Arkansas attorneys in your area.
This website also has a lawyer referral service if you are having trouble finding representation in your area. By going to the top of this page and clicking on the “find a lawyer” link you will be directed to input specific data including your contact information, a brief description of your legal problem and your specific location. At that point a representative from laws.com will contact you about an attorney in your area who will be able to help you with your legal problem.
If you need an Arkansas Attorney but you cannot afford one then you may have some options. There are a number of legal aid services in the State of Arkansas that will be able to help you. Two examples are the Center for Arkansas Legal Services and Legal Aid of Arkansas. You can contact the Center for Arkansas Legal Services at www.arlegalservices.org or at 1-800-952-9243. The legal aid services will not be able to help you with finding a criminal lawyer. As per the 5th Amendment you are automatically appointed a criminal arkansas attorney to defend you in criminal matters. In order to qualify for Arkansas attorneys through legal aid you must have an annual salary no more than 125% of the national poverty level.