Most attorneys I know in DC took the bar in the state of their law school or in MD. I think they choose MD over VA because of Baltimore.
I'm not really sure what the bolded part means. I would suspect that the only reason more people practicing in DC proper would take the MD bar over the VA bar is that the MD bar is significantly easier.
I suspected the MD bar was easier, as well, but then I checked the numbers before posting. According to ILRG.com (which uses the USNWR data), the state average bar pass rate was 72% for MD and 74% for VA. So I think this assumption does not hold weight. I mentioned Baltimore because I am guessing that DC law firms attract more business from MD than from VA because of Baltimore, so it would be beneficial to be licensed in MD over VA. Maybe someone who has been hired by a DC firm can chime in here... did they request you take the bar in a specific state?
And now because I'm bored...
"Proximal VA" = Fairfax County, Arlington County, Loudoun County, Prince William County, and Alexandria City
"Proximal MD" = Montgomery County, Prince George's County, Anne Arundel County, and Howard County.
Proximal VA has a population of 1,973,513 whereas Proximal MD has a population of 2,555,198. Even including other further out counties in VA will not match the Proximal MD population.
However, add to the mix that the city of Baltimore, which constitutes about another 650,000 people (and lots of big business), is only 35 miles away.Websites used: