Law Firm Letterhead: Designating Non-Virginia Lawyers


A multi-jurisdictional law firm has asked whether the names of non-Virginia licensed attorneys on the firm letterhead can be marked with an asterisk, which refers to a notation of "Admitted to a bar other than Virginia."


DR 2-102(D) states that, "A law firm shall not be formed or continued between or among lawyers licensed in different jurisdictions unless all enumerations of the members and associates of the firm on its letterhead and in other permissible listings make clear the jurisdictional limitations of those members and associates of the firm not licensed to practice in all jurisdictions . . ." The Standing Committee on Lawyer Advertising and Solicitation (Committee) has been asked whether an asterisk could be placed next to the name of lawyers in the law firm not admitted in Virginia with a notation reading "Admitted to a bar other than Virginia" in small print. The inquiry was made by a patent and trademark law firm with offices in Virginia. Under the rules of the Patent and Trademark Office, a lawyer may practice there even though he or she is not admitted in Virginia, so long as the lawyer has a state bar admission in one of the states.

The Committee is of the opinion that the footnote "Admitted to a bar other than Virginia" satisfies the basic spirit and letter of DR 2-102(D) by making it clear to members of the Virginia public that these lawyers are not admitted in Virginia.

Committee Opinion

May 31, 1995