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Encyclopedia > Bar admission

In the United States, admission to the bar is permission granted to a lawyer to practice law. Since courts in the U.S. make no distinction between barristers and solicitors, all lawyers are "admitted to the bar". In nearly all states, admission to the bar requires that the candidate pass three hurdles: For information on the type of fish called Lawyer, see the article on Burbot. ... In its most general sense, the practice of law involves giving legal advice to clients, drafting legal documents for clients, and representing clients in legal negotiations and court proceedings such as lawsuits, and is applied to the professional services of a lawyer or attorney at law, barrister, solicitor or civil... The examples and perspective in this article do not represent a worldwide view. ... This article needs to be wikified. ...

  1. The candidate must first earn a Juris Doctor from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association;
  2. The candidate must be certified by the appropriate body (often the state bar association) as having the good moral character and fitness to practice law; and
  3. The candidate must pass a state-administered bar examination which usually consists of several parts administered over two to three days. Most states also require the candidate to pass a separate professional responsibility exam, administered on a separate date.

Contents

It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Law School. ... // A law school is an institution where future lawyers obtain legal degrees. ... American Bar Associations Washington, DC office The American Bar Association (ABA) is a voluntary bar association of lawyers which is not specific to any jurisdiction in the United States. ... A bar examination is an series of tests conducted at regular intervals to determine whether a candidate is qualified to practice law in a given jurisdiction. ... Professional responsibility is the area of legal practice that encompasses the duties of attorneys to act in a professional manner, obey the law, avoid conflicts of interest, and put the interests of clients ahead of their own interests. ...


General requirements for admission

Admission to a state's bar requires that the applicant either sit for the bar exam in that state and submit to that state's procedures for verifying "character and fitness," or obtain admission administratively through reciprocity provisions providing that in some states, lawyers who have practiced in other states for a set period of time, may be admitted upon application. Some jursidictions are special cases:

  • Minnesota, North Dakota, Washington, D.C.: These jurisdictions allow attorneys who recently passed the bar exam of another state, and who were subsequently admitted to the bar of that state while scoring a certain minimum score on the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE), to "waive" in rather than sitting for that jurisdiction's exam (though they still must attend to other formalities in order to practice in the jursidiction). Attorneys who passed the bars of Louisiana and Washington cannot "waive in" using this method, since these are the two jurisdictions in the United States that do not use the Multistate Bar Examination.
  • Wisconsin: Graduates of ABA-accredited law schools located in the state—currently, the law schools at Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin–Madison—have a "diploma privilege" of admission to that state's bar without taking any examination. However, graduates of out-of-state law schools, even if they are Wisconsin residents, must take the Wisconsin bar exam to be admitted.

State nickname: North Star State, The Land of 10,000 Lakes, The Gopher State Official languages None Capital Saint Paul Largest city Minneapolis Governor Tim Pawlenty (R) Senators Mark Dayton (D) Norm Coleman (R) Area  - Total  - % water Ranked 12th 225,365 km² 8. ... State nickname: Peace Garden State, Roughrider State, Flickertail State Official languages English Capital Bismarck Largest city Fargo Governor John Hoeven (R) Senators Kent Conrad (D) Byron Dorgan (D) Area  - Total  - % water Ranked 19th 183 272 km² 2. ... Map showing Washington, D.C.s location in relation to the surrounding states of Maryland and Virginia Washington, D.C. is the capital city of the United States of America. ... The Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) is a six-hour, two-hundred question multiple-choice examination covering contracts, torts, constitutional law, criminal law, evidence, and real property. ... State nickname: Pelican State Official languages English and French Capital Baton Rouge Largest city New Orleans at last official government census, but probably Baton Rouge since Hurricane Katrina Governor Kathleen Blanco (D) Senators Mary Landrieu (D) David Vitter (R) Area  - Total  - % water Ranked 31st 134,382 km² 16 Population  - Total... State nickname: The Evergreen State Official languages None Capital Olympia Largest city Seattle Governor Christine Gregoire (D) Senators Patty Murray (D) Maria Cantwell (D) Area  - Total  - % water Ranked 18th 184,824 km² 6. ... State nickname: Badger State Official languages None Capital Madison Largest city Milwaukee Governor Jim Doyle (D) Senators Herb Kohl (D) Russ Feingold (D) Area  - Total  - % water Ranked 23rd 169,790 km² 17 Population  - Total (2000)  - Density Ranked 18th 5,453,896 38. ... Marquette University is a Big East Conference, private, coeducational, Jesuit, Roman Catholic university in the United States. ... The University of Wisconsin was founded in 1848 and is the largest university in the state of Wisconsin. ...

Law schools not accredited by the ABA

Only four states—Alabama, California, Massachusetts, and Tennessee—allow individuals to take the bar exam upon graduation from a non-ABA-accredited law school. State nickname: Camellia State, The Heart of Dixie¹, Yellowhammer State Official languages English Capital Montgomery Largest city Birmingham Governor Bob Riley (R) Senators Richard Shelby (R) Jeff Sessions (R) Area  - Total  - % water Ranked 30th 52,423 mi²/135,775 km² 3. ... State nickname: The Golden State Official languages English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) Senators Dianne Feinstein (D) Barbara Boxer (D) Area  - Total  - % water Ranked 3rd 410,000 km² 4. ... State nickname: Bay State Official languages English Capital Boston Largest city Boston Governor Mitt Romney (R) Senators Edward Kennedy (D), John Kerry (D) Area  - Total  - % water Ranked 44th 27,360 km² 25. ... State nickname: Volunteer State Official languages English Capital Nashville Largest city Memphis Governor Phil Bredesen (D) Senators Bill Frist (R) Lamar Alexander (R) Area  - Total  - % water Ranked 36th 109,247 km² 2. ...


Admission without law school education

In a handful of states, including California and Vermont, an applicant who has not attended law school may take the exam after study under a judge or practicing attorney for an extended period of time. State nickname: The Golden State Official languages English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) Senators Dianne Feinstein (D) Barbara Boxer (D) Area  - Total  - % water Ranked 3rd 410,000 km² 4. ... State nickname: The Green Mountain State Official languages None Capital Montpelier Largest city Burlington Governor Jim Douglas (R) Senators Patrick Leahy (D) Jim Jeffords (I) Area  - Total  - % water Ranked 43th 24,923 km² 3. ...


Admission of foreign-educated lawyers

Many states allow some foreign-educated lawyers to take the bar examination. In New York, individuals with at least three years of formal education in the common law (such as British or Australian law) are qualified to take the bar exam. Individuals with two years of common law training or three years of civil law training may take the bar exam after completing a one-year Master of Laws (LL.M.) program at an American institution. State nickname: The Empire State Official languages English Capital Albany Largest city New York City Governor George Pataki (R) Senators Charles Schumer (D) Hillary Clinton (D) Area  - Total  - % water Ranked 27th 141,205 km² 13. ... This article concerns the common-law legal system, as contrasted with the civil law legal system; for other meanings of the term, within the field of law, see common law (disambiguation). ... The law of Australia consists of the Australian common law (which is based on the United Kingdom common law), federal laws enacted by the Parliament of Australia, and laws enacted by the Parliaments of the Australian states and territories. ... The Master of Laws is an advanced law degree that allows someone to specialize in a particular area of law. ...


Admission to the bar is regulated by state government. A person who has met these criteria applies to that state's authority responsible for licensing lawyers: typically the authority will hold a simple ceremony at which the admittee takes an oath to comply with the rules governing the practice of law in that state, and receives a certificate of admission. If an attorney says "I was admitted in year X" he or she is referring to the year in which he or she was actually sworn into the bar of the first state that he or she was admitted. A state government is the government of a subnational entity in nation-states with federal forms of government, which shares political power with the federal government or national government. ...


To practice law in a particular state, one generally must be a member of the bar of that state. A state bar is a branch of its judicial system and is distinguished from a voluntary bar association, such as the ABA and/or the bar association of a town, county, or state, which have social, educational, and lobbying functions but do not regulate the practice of law or admit lawyers to practice. A voluntary association (also sometimes called just an association) is a group of individuals who voluntarily enter into an agreement to form a body (or organization) to accomplish a purpose. ... A bar association is a professional body of lawyers who, in some jurisdictions, are responsible for the regulation of the legal profession. ...


"Integrated bar"

Some states, such as Florida, have an "integrated bar," in which a J.D. holder is required to be member of the bar association of the state in which he or she intends to practice. Most states, however, do not require membership in a bar association—it is purely voluntary, though usually has a high rate of participation among lawyers. State nickname: Sunshine State Official languages English Capital Tallahassee Largest city Jacksonville Governor Jeb Bush (R) Senators Bill Nelson (D) Mel Martinez (R) Area  - Total  - % water Ranked 22nd 170,451 km² 17. ... A bar association is a professional body of lawyers who, in some jurisdictions, are responsible for the regulation of the legal profession. ...


Practice before state appellate courts

In many states of the U.S., admission to the bar of a state does not entitle the admitted attorney to appear and plead before the appellate courts of the state. However, admission to the bar of the appellate court is usually a fairly simple matter of paying a nominal application fee and taking an oath of admission. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Appeal. ...


Federal district and courts

Admission to a state bar does not entitle the admitted attorney to appear and plead before the United States district courts or any United States Court of Appeals. As with State appellate courts, admission to the bar of a federal trial or appellate court is granted upon paymment of a fee and taking an oath of admission. The attorney must apply for each district separately. For instance, a Texas attorney who practices in federal courts throughout the state would have to separately get admitted to the Northern District of Texas, Eastern District, Southern District and Western District. To handle a federal appeal they would have to also get admitted to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The United States district courts are the general trial courts of the United States federal court system. ... The United States courts of appeals (or circuit courts) are the mid-level appellate courts of the United States federal court system. ...


Some federal district courts have extra admission requirements. For instance, the Southern District of Texas requires attorneys seeking admission to attend a class on practice and procedures in that District, while the Southern District of Florida administers an entrance exam. Map of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas and the jurisdictions therein The United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas is the Federal district court with jurisdiction over the southern part of Texas and is a part of the Fifth Circuit. ... The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida is the Federal district court whose jurisdiction is comprised of the following counties: Broward, Dade, Highlands, Indian River, Martin, Monroe, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, and St. ...


United States Supreme Court

An attorney wishing to practice before the United States Supreme Court must apply to do so. The attorney must have been admitted to a state bar for at least three years, and the application must be sponsored by two attorneys already admitted to the Supreme Court bar. A fee and a written oath are also required. [1] The Supreme Court Building, Washington, D.C. The Supreme Court Building, Washington, D.C., (large image) The Supreme Court of the United States, located in Washington, D.C., is the highest court (see supreme court) in the United States; that is, it has ultimate judicial authority within the United States...


United States Tax Court

Various other specialized courts, e.g., the United States Tax Court, have separate admission requirements. The United States Tax Court is unusual in that a non-attorney may be admitted to practice. However, the non-attorney must take and pass an examination administered by the Court to be admitted, while attorneys are not required to take the exam. Most members of the Tax Court bar are attorneys.


Patent law

An attorney wishing to prosecute patents before the United States Patent and Trademark Office must pass a separate examination (the "patent bar exam"). The exam is not required to prosecute trademarks, only patents. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO or USPTO) is an agency in the United States Department of Commerce that provides patent and trademark protection to inventors and businesses for their inventions and corporate and product identification. ... A trademark (Commonwealth English: trade mark) is a distinctive sign of some kind which is used by a business to uniquely identify itself and its products and services to consumers, and to distinguish the business and its products or services from those of other businesses. ... A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by a state to a person for a fixed period of time in exchange for the regulated, public disclosure of certain details of a device, method, process or composition of matter (substance) (known as an invention) which is new, inventive and...


Technical education requirements

To sit for the patent bar, an individual must have earned a bachelor's degree in a "hard science" or engineering, or accrued a certain number of credits in undergraduate science courses (the number of credits depends on the specific discipline). Although the admission requirements do allow substitution of technical experience for technical education, in practice that is rarely done. (There is also the practical matter that many patent lawyers hold masters or doctorates in engineering or science and it would be almost impossible for a "substitute" to compete for jobs).


  Results from FactBites:
 
Admission to the bar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1630 words)
In the United States, admission to the bar is permission granted to a lawyer to practice law.
Admission to the bar is regulated by state government.
A state bar is a branch of its judicial system and is distinguished from a voluntary bar association, such as the ABA and/or the bar association of a town, county, or state, which have social, educational, and lobbying functions but do not regulate the practice of law or admit lawyers to practice.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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