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Must a lawyer be necessarily licensed in Virginia to represent workman's comp clients? What about unemployment comp, etc?

Richmond, VA |

I am informed by a Virginia Workman's Comp attorney/ partner that in order to represent someone before the relevant state agency, there is a special exception that allows a lawyer to proceed without a Virginia bar license. Can you clarify, and maybe provide some background to this? If that is the case, does this grandfathering rule apply to representation before all state agencies, such as, for example, unemployment compensation disputes before the Virginia Employment Commission?

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Best Answer

In some states, appearance before an Administrative Agency such as the Unemployment Board, Social Security Board, or Workers' Compensation Board does not require a law license. If the matter is presented/appealed to an actual Court of Law, then a Law License is required to represent another person or entity. This may/may not apply to VA, but is the probably the rationale if it does.

We give free general concepts to be helpful, but you should give ALL your facts to a licensed Attorney in your state before you RELY upon any legal advice.


That person may have been a reference to "pro hac vice" which allows a lawyer who is licensed in another state to represent a person in one case in a state where the lawyer is unlicensed.

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