The Bar Association of Puerto Rico (BAPR) (Colegio de Abogados de Puerto Rico (CAPR)) is the oldest professional association in Puerto Rico, a territory of the United States.
In 1911, the Puerto Rico Bar Association became a voluntary association. In 1932, the Puerto Rico Bar Association became a mandatory association meaning attorneys must be a member in order to practice law in Puerto Rico.
With a population of more than 3 million people, Puerto Rico has more than 14,000 active and resident lawyers. Information about attorneys practicing law in Puerto Rico, including their bar number, is not currently available on the website of the Bar Association of Puerto Rico.
Headquartered in the Miramar section of San Juan, BAPR operates several programs that serve the community including a pro bono legal services program.
Contact InformationBar Association of Puerto Rico (BAPR)
To practice law in Puerto Rico, Local Civil Rule 83A requires an attorney to meet both of the following requirements:
Attorneys requesting admission to the bar of the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico must complete a Petition for Admission to the Bar before being assigned a bar number. The petition is sent to the Committee on Admissions for evaluation.
The Committee on Admissions will render a report and recommendation within thirty (30) business days. After evaluation of the report, the Court will direct the Clerk's Office staff to notify the applicant with the date scheduled for his/her admission to the bar, as appropriate, at which time a bar number is assigned.
The dates for the Puerto Rico Bar Exam in 2020 are in March and September of 2020. The passage rate for the bar examination in Puerto Rico is 30% to 40%.
The bar examination in Puerto Rico is given in the Spring and the Fall each year. In addition to the essay question, the bar examination will test the attorney's knowledge in the following areas of the law:
The Puerto Rico Bar examination consists of only local components with 184 multiple-choice questions and 8 essay questions. Puerto Rico does not require the MPRE.
Along with the application, the attorney must submit an original and recently issued certificate of good standing issued by:
In addition to the certificate of good standing, the attorney must submit a non-refundable fee of $100.00, payable to the Clerk. The results are announced about 4 to 6 weeks later. The bar admission fee is $300 and the annual membership renewal fee is $75.00.
The Pro Hac Vice Appearance fee is $300.00. Attorneys may be permitted to appear Pro Hac Vice pursuant to Local Rule 83A(f) after completing an Application and Order for Admission Pro Hac Vice.
To practice in Federal Court in Puerto Rico, a person must pass a separate Federal Bar Examination.
If you passed the bar in another state but want to practice law in Puerto Rico, you might be wondering whether any other states have reciprocity with Puerto Rico.
In many states, the trend is growing to allow the “portability” of bar exam results through state adoption of the Uniform Bar Exam.
Nevertheless, Puerto Rico does not have any form of reciprocal admission with any other jurisdiction. Other states with no form of reciprocal admission include South Carolina, California, Delaware, Florida Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, Nevada, Rhode Island, Guam, and N. Mariana Island, Palau. See National Conference of Bar Examiners, Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements 2018 at 40, available at http://www.ncbex.org/pubs/bar-admissions-guide/2018/mobile/index.html.
Requirements for Bar Admission in Puerto Rico - Visit the website of the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico to find the requirements for bar admission in Puerto Rico. Local Civil Rule 83A of the local rules of the District of Puerto Rico provides the rules for an attorney to qualify for admission to the bar and good standing requirements.
Puerto Rico Chapter of the Federal Bar Association - Founded in 1920, the Puerto Rico Chapter of the Federal Bar Association (FBA) is the third-largest in the nation. The FBA serves all attorneys involved in federal law. Members include attorneys in private practice with both small and large legal firms, attorneys in corporations and federal agencies, and members of the judiciary.
Puerto Rico Supreme Court - Holding sessions in San Juan, the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico (Tribunal Supremo de Puerto Rico (TSPR)) is the highest court of Puerto Rico and the court of last resort. Just like the state supreme courts, the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico has judicial authority to interpret. Pursuant to Article V of the Constitution of Puerto Rico, it decides questions of Puerto Rican law.
This article was last updated on Friday, January 17, 2020.