The Legal Industry in Tennessee
The legal industry in Tennessee is robust and diverse, with numerous opportunities for lawyers and other legal professionals. Employment outlook in the legal industry in Tennessee is positive, with steady job growth projected over the coming years.
Nashville, Memphis, and Knoxville are among the most noteworthy cities in Tennessee for legal work, with many established law firms and a vibrant legal community. In addition to these major cities, there are also numerous smaller cities and towns throughout the state with active legal practices.
Tennessee’s economy is diverse, with notable industries including healthcare, manufacturing, and music. These industries have an impact on the legal practice areas in the state, with healthcare law, intellectual property law, and employment law being among the most active areas of practice.
According to the American Bar Association, as of 2021, there are approximately 20,000 licensed attorneys in the state of Tennessee. In recent years, Tennessee has also become a hub for legal technology startups and innovation, with numerous legal tech companies and incubators operating in the state. This trend is expected to continue in the coming years, further solidifying Tennessee’s position as a leader in the legal industry.
It Difficult to Practice Law in Tennessee?
Those looking to practice law in Tennessee should expect to complete the following:
- Obtain a bachelor’s degree: As a prerequisite, aspiring lawyers must first obtain a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. There is no specific major required, but it is recommended to take courses that develop critical thinking, research, and writing skills.
- Complete a Juris Doctor (J.D.) Program: After obtaining a bachelor’s degree, aspiring lawyers must enroll and complete a Juris Doctor (J.D.) program from an accredited law school. A J.D. program typically takes three years to complete and covers various legal subjects, including contracts, torts, constitutional law, criminal law, and more.
- Pass the Tennessee Bar Exam: Upon graduating from a J.D. program, aspiring lawyers must pass the Tennessee Bar Exam, which is administered by the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners. The exam consists of a Multistate Bar Examination (MBE), Multistate Performance Test (MPT), and an essay portion that tests applicants on Tennessee-specific law.
- Complete Character and Fitness Requirements: In addition to passing the bar exam, aspiring lawyers must also meet character and fitness requirements, which include submitting a detailed application that covers their personal and professional history, including any criminal record, past disciplinary actions, and other relevant information.
- Take the Tennessee Law Course: After passing the bar exam and meeting character requirements, aspiring lawyers must complete the Tennessee Law Course, which is an online course that covers Tennessee-specific legal topics and practical skills.
- Get Admitted to the Tennessee Bar: Once all the above steps are completed, aspiring lawyers must apply for admission to the Tennessee Bar, which includes submitting the necessary documents, paying the required fees, and taking the Oath of Attorney.
- Maintain Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Requirements: After being admitted to the Tennessee Bar, lawyers are required to complete ongoing Continuing Legal Education (CLE) requirements to stay current with changes in the law and maintain their license to practice.
It’s important to note that the requirements for practicing law in Tennessee may change over time, and it’s always recommended to check the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners’ website or consult with an experienced attorney for the most up-to-date information.