I think you did the right thing by doing all the research before taking a leap. I, too, have been contemplating the same question. These were good starting resources for my investigation: https://www.stfrancislaw.com/pdf/bar-exam-eligibility-by-state.pdfhttp://www.ble.state.tx.us/Rules/NewRules/rulexiii.htm
(a) An attorney holding a valid, active law license issued by another state shall meet the requirements imposed on any other Applicant under these Rules, except that. . .(2) An attorney holding a valid, active law license issued by another state is eligible for an exemption from the law study requirement for admission to take the Texas Bar Examination, if the attorney:(A) has been actively and substantially engaged in the lawful practice of law in any state or elsewhere as his/her principal business or occupation for at least three of the last five years immediately preceding the filing of the most recent application or re-application; and(B) (1) holds a J.D. degree, not based on study by correspondence, from an unapproved law school that is accredited in the jurisdiction where it exists. . .
"Texas has no provision for admitting an applicant whose law degree was obtained through correspondence study (which includes “distance learning” or “external programs”)."
Took "legend's" advise, since I hadn't done that either. This is what I sent to the Washington State Bar ...From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Sunday, June 10, 2012 9:27 PMTo: QuestionsSubject: WSBA Contact SubmissionI am considering attending one of the California online law school to obtain my JD and take the California bar exam. Assuming I pass the CA bar, I plan to obtain the permissions to practice in several federal courts, such as US Supreme Court, US Tax Court, US Court of Appeals – 9th Circuit, US District Court, US Military Court of Criminal Appeals, US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, and US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. I live in King County, and would like to open a law office to practice those areas of law, once I meet all the criteria above. 1. As a California licensed attorney, what is the State’s position for practicing Federal law only? My understanding is I cannot practice State law, but would be allowed to practice Federal law only. 2. If question 1 above is true, would the State consider that “active practice of law” per APR Rule 3(b) to qualify sitting for the Washington bar exam? 3. If question 1 above is not true, are there any waivers available to apply for to practive Federal law only? 4. If question 2 above is not true are there any waivers available to apply for permission to take the bar exam?Response ...From: Gus Quiniones <email@example.com> on behalf of admissions <firstname.lastname@example.org>Sent: Monday, June 11, 2012 11:44 AMTo: email@example.comCc: admissionsSubject: FW: WSBA Contact Submission1) You may practice federal law in Washington without being a member of the WSBA2) Practicing federal law, as an active attorney in good standing, may count towards the “active practice” requirement under APR 3(b).Please contact our Ethics Department at 206‐727‐8284 to obtain more information about the active practice of law in Washington.Gus Quiniones | Bar Exam AdministratorWashington State Bar Association |1325 4th Avenue, Suite 600 ‐ Seattle, WA 98101 | 206.727.8229 | F 206.727.8313 | firstname.lastname@example.orgBar Exam Deadlines and SchedulesAPR 3: Qualifications to sit for the Washington State Bar ExamAPR 18: Reciprocity Admission on MotionMay need to practice Federal law first for awhile, but it can be done in Washington ... which is my plan.Good luck with you new adventure.BTW, I'm a 20-year retired military vet with 14 years with the SO; not sure I'll do 20 - depends how my online law school adventure goes.
I go to Concord Law School, it's online, if you decide to go to law school - either distance or correspondence be prepared to take the Baby Bar, if you don't pass, remember you have three attempts at that exam. If you don't pass the third time, it's like baseball, you're out. If you go to an ABA, you don't have to take the exam unless you fail your classes. It's a big commitment, but worth the time and effort. The cases are interesting, the teachers are eager for you to understand the legal concepts but the fun of it is - achieving! If it is your goal - why wait, check out the schools online and be prepared to watch four years of your life FLY BY, but it will be worth it if you pass the bar exam!