Law Firms Report
Arlington County has long been a sought-after location for many professional organizations including consulting firms, non-profits, defense contractors, technology firms and more. The many benefits of locating in Arlington, from its proximity to Washington, D.C., to its accessibility to Metro, to its highly educated and talented population have far outweighed the perceived cachet of a Washington, D.C. zip code.
Similarly, many national law firms currently located in the District of Columbia might also choose to locate in Arlington for the same and additional reasons, yet are discouraged from making such a move due to the rules which govern admission of attorneys to the Virginia Bar. Such rules are set by the Virginia Supreme Court and administered through the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners.
In a recent white paper, Making the Case, Arlington Economic Development makes the economic argument of why Virginia should make some modifications or exceptions to current requirements for Washington, D.C. law firms who wish to move to Virginia. It illustrates how Virginia is losing economic opportunities, and that even though Virginia has significant economic advantages as a business location, years of marketing and recruitment efforts with D.C. law firms have not been able to surmount the technical obstacle of admission to the Virginia Bar. Both Arlington County and the Commonwealth of Virginia would have a significant positive net fiscal impact from some adjustments to the rules governing admission to membership in the Virginia Bar. There is sufficient indication of potential gains to warrant continued discussion with the Board of Bar Examiners.
Read the report (pdf) by AED.