Morgan Gaynor | December 31, 2020 | Personal Injury
There are many different opinions as to what the term “bar” means in bar exam or bar association. For example, there is a conspiracy theory that the word “bar” refers to the British Accredited Registry. The belief is that all attorneys who are members of the bar association are actually secret agents of the British crown.
In reality, the word “bar” as it relates to the legal practice describes the railing or partition in a courtroom that separated the judges, attorneys, jury, and parties to the action from the general public. In England, barristers were legal professionals called to the “bar” as advocates for another person.
Today, the word bar has become the term used to describe an association of licensed attorneys. It is similar to how the word “bench” has become associated with the judiciary because the term was used to describe where the judge sat in a courtroom.
Attorneys admitted to the bar have based the bar exam and met all the requirements to practice law within a specific jurisdiction. Each state sets the requirements for lawyers to be admitted to practice within that state.
Each state also has laws the prohibit the practice of law without a license. Florida laws state that individuals can be charged with a felony in the third-degree for practicing law without a license.
What Are the Requirements to Practice Law in Florida?
For admission to the Florida Bar, attorneys must have a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree (JD) from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association. They must also take and pass the Florida Bar Exam.
Applicants must also provide evidence of good moral character. That includes providing evidence that the applicant understands and ideals and standards of practice of law. The applicant must also demonstrate that they are fit to perform the obligations and responsibilities of an attorney as required by the oath they must take before being admitted to the bar.
If an attorney is admitted to the Florida Bar and is in good standing, it means that the attorney is licensed to practice law within the state, including representing clients in court. Whenever you are searching for a lawyer to represent you, it is a good practice to ensure that the attorney is licensed to practice law.
You can check to see if a lawyer is admitted to practice in Florida by using the search function on The Florida Bar website. If you have questions about an attorney’s license to practice, you can contact the bar directly.
Attorneys are held to a high standard. There are civil and professional consequences when a lawyer fails to uphold the standards of the profession or commits legal malpractice. An attorney can be sanctioned, disbarred, or face financial liability depending on the facts and circumstances of the situation.
Choosing an Attorney to Help Me With a Personal Injury Case
Lawyers often choose an area of law to focus their practice. When searching for a lawyer, you benefit from choosing a law firm that handles cases similar to your case.
For example, if you are injured, you want to choose a personal injury law firm to handle your case. If you had committed a crime, you want a criminal defense attorney by your side.
Personal injury laws include a wide variety of cases involving negligence, errors, and other wrongdoing that causes injury to another person. Situations and incidents that can result in a personal injury claim include, but are not limited to:
- Investigating the cause of your injury to gather evidence and identify the liable parties
- Filing insurance claims and handling all communications with the insurance company
- Assisting you in documenting your financial losses and other damages, including pain and suffering damages
- Locating and hiring expert witnesses to assist with your case when necessary
- Calculating the maximum value of your personal injury claim
- Negotiating a settlement of your claim
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit and representing you in court
It can be challenging to handle a personal injury claim while recovering from injuries caused by the accident. You may be pressured by an insurance adjuster to settle your claim too quickly, which could result in a much lower settlement amount.
Having a legal advocate on your side can help ensure that you are treated fairly and compensated fully for the damages caused by a negligent or careless party.