Yes, the Louisiana Rules of Professional Conduct clearly permit partnerships between Louisiana lawyers and non-Louisiana lawyers. The relevant rule, La. Rules of Prof’l Conduct, r. 7.10(d) provides as follows:
A law firm with offices in more than one jurisdiction may use the same name in each jurisdiction, but identification of the lawyers in an office of the firm shall indicate the jurisdictional limitations on those not licensed to practice in any jurisdiction where an office is located.See La. Rules of Prof’l Conduct, r. 7.10(d).
Moreover, non-Louisiana lawyers who enter into contractual partnerships with Louisiana lawyers can earn Louisiana legal fees.
While all of this seems obvious, a New Orleans federal district court recently had to affirm these principle in Lerner & Rowe National, PLLC, Michael S. Brandner, Jr., Et Al, Civil Action No. 20-3228 (E.D. La. Apr. 6, 2021). In Lerner, United States District Judge Lance Africk held that non-Louisiana lawyers can earn legal fees when practicing in a partnership formed under Louisiana law, even if they are not members of the Louisiana Bar Association. See Lerner & Rowe National, PLLC, Michael S. Brandner, Jr., Et Al, Civil Action No. 20-3228 (E.D.LA. Apr. 6, 2021). In so holding, the court rejected defendant Brandner’s argument that an out-of-state law firm with no members of the Louisiana State Bar Association cannot have an ownership interest in a law firm and cannot practice in the State of Louisiana. In rejecting this argument, Judge Africk applied the plain language of Rule 7.10(d) to conclude that the rule permits partnerships between Louisiana lawyers and non-Louisiana lawyers.