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What Does Bar Stand for in the Bar Exam or the Bar Association?

While there are many differing opinions regarding where the word “bar” comes from, the common consensus is that the word derives from the wall that divided European courtrooms. This layout continues today in courtrooms across the United States. A bar or a rail separates the courtroom section that is open to the public from the area that is only open to those participating in a court proceeding.

No matter where you go, a bar or a railing separates the courtroom audience from the judge and the attorneys in courtrooms across Florida and the country. Licensed attorneys are permitted to cross that bar or threshold. Over time, the term “bar” has come to represent the privilege of being a practicing attorney. Hence, standard phrases like “passing the bar” and “member of the bar” have become familiar not only in the field of personal injury law but across popular culture as well.

What’s a State Bar Association?

A state’s bar association represents attorneys that practice law in that particular state.

The Florida Bar represents all lawyers that are licensed to practice law in Florida by the state’s Supreme Court. It is the third-largest state bar in the country, and its role is typically in the regulation and discipline of attorneys in the state. In Florida, the state bar also governs the state’s registered paralegals.

According to its website, the Florida Bar Association serves its 109,000+ members and all Florida residents by performing the following functions:

  • The Florida Bar Association regulates the practice of law in the state.
  • The Florida Bar Association ensures the highest standard of legal professionalism in the state.
  • The Florida Bar Association protects the general public through the prosecution of unethical attorneys and by preventing unlicensed individuals from practicing law.

Regardless of the state, attorneys must generally meet specific criteria to remain active state bar members. Measures may include continuing education requirements as well as the payment of annual fees or dues necessary to keep their license current.

Aside from statewide bar associations, lawyers can also join the American Bar Association, a nationwide bar. Some local and county jurisdictions also have bar associations.

Most bar associations will have different organization sections dedicated to specific practice areas, such as personal injury law or criminal law. That allows the attorneys to network with peers and keep tabs on new developments in their particular field of law. A bar association will often help its members access continuing education programs which an attorney can use to meet annual requirements for licensure.

What Does a Bar Exam Stand For?

For an individual to become an attorney that is licensed to practice law in a particular state, they must possess a law degree, satisfy specific fitness and character requirements, and they must be able to pass that state’s bar exam. It is referred to as a “bar exam” since it is the main criteria for entering a state’s bar association.

Once an individual passes Florida’s bar exam and meets all of the other requirements to have the ability to practice in the state, they can obtain their law license and begin practicing law.

A bar exam is difficult for most individuals, regardless of which state’s bar exam they take.

Most people consider the Florida bar exam to be one of the most challenging state bar exams in the country, and the pass rate for the Florida bar exam is often among the lowest.

What Does the Bar Have to Do with a Florida Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Although rare, there have been cases where an individual will attempt to engage in the practice of law without having a valid license. If you suspect that someone is fraudulently practicing law, you can always verify a lawyer’s credentials by contacting a bar association.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a Florida accident, you will want to consult with a licensed personal injury attorney that is in good standing with the Florida Bar. 

You may be entitled to compensation if you or a loved one has been injured in a car accidentslip and fall, or another event. Only a licensed member of the Florida Bar Association specializing in personal injury settlements can help you to maximize your financial recovery.