On Dec. 5, 2005, the Wall Street Journal reported that Kathleen Sullivan, the former dean of the Stanford Law School and a member of the bar in New York and Massachusetts, had failed the bar exam in California. She thus joins a long list of prestigious lawyers who have failed that exam and a much longer list of highly qualified practitioners who are denied the right to practice law outside of their states of admission.

These cases point up the fact that, while technology makes our country, and indeed the world, smaller, and while bar leaders call for liberalization of interstate practice rules along the lines of the European Union, the practice of law in the United States is still by and large limited to the state of admission. This is true even as the profession experiences merger mania and law firms often have thousands of lawyers practicing out of offices in many of the major cities of the country and the world.

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