- Bar association
A bar association is a
professional bodyof lawyers. Some bar associations are responsible for the regulation of the legal profession in their jurisdiction; others are professional organizations dedicated to serving their members; in many cases, they are both.
In many Commonwealth jurisdictions, the "bar association" comprises lawyers who are qualified as
barristers or advocates (collectively known as "the bar", or "members of the bar"), while the " law society" comprises solicitors. These bodies are sometimes mutually exclusive. In other jurisdictions, the "bar" may refer to the entire community of persons engaged in the practice of law.
:"Membership in the bar is a privilege burdened with conditions." ::-
Benjamin N. Cardozo, "In re Rouss", 221 N.Y. 81, 84 (1917)
In the United States, admission to the bar is permission granted by a particular court system to a lawyer to practice law in that system. This is to be distinguished from membership in a bar association.In the
United States, some states require bar association membership for all attorneys, while others do not.
Mandatory, integrated or unified bar associations
Some states require membership in the state's bar association to practice law there. Such an organization is called a mandatory, integrated, or unified bar. [The concept of the integrated bar was discussed in "
Keller v. State Bar of California," ussc|496|1|1990, in which the U.S. Supreme Courtagreed with the Supreme Court of Californiathat the state could force lawyers to join the State Bar of Californiaand pay fees as a condition of practicing law in the state. However, the Court then went on to hold that the State Bar could not force lawyers to pay for political and ideological activities with which they did not agree.] They exist at present in a slight majority of U.S. states, including Alabama( Alabama State Bar), Alaska, Arizona( State Bar of Arizona), California( State Bar of California), Florida( Florida Bar), Georgia ( State Bar of Georgia), Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan( State Bar of Michigan), Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon( Oregon State Bar), Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas( State Bar of Texas), Utah, Virginia( Virginia State Bar), Washington( Washington State Bar Association), West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. The District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guamand the Northern Mariana Islandsalso have unified bars.
In some states, like Wisconsin, the mandatory membership requirement is implemented through an order of the
state supreme court, which can be revoked or canceled at any time at the court's discretion. In others, like Oregon, the state legislature passed a law and created a new government agency. California went farther than any other state and wrote the State Bar of Californiainto its constitution.
The first state to have an integrated bar association was
North Dakotain 1921. [Lawrence M. Friedman, "American Law in the Twentieth Century" (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002), 41.]
Voluntary bar associations
A voluntary bar association is a private organization of lawyers. Each chooses its own purposes (e.g. social, educational, and lobbying functions), but does not regulate the practice of law or admit lawyers to practice.
There is a statewide voluntary bar association in every state that has no mandatory or integrated bar association. There are also many voluntary bar associations organized by city, county, or other community. Such associations are often focused on common professional interests (such as
bankruptcylawyers or in-house counsel) or common ethnic interests (such as gender, race, religion, or national heritage), such as the Hispanic National Bar Association. The American Bar Associationis the voluntary bar association with the largest membership. Such associations often advocate for law reform and provide information, pro bonoservices or a lawyer referral serviceto the general public.
There is no mandatory federal bar association; the
Federal Bar Associationis a private, voluntary group.
Most American law schools have a
Student Bar Associationthat fulfills various functions including serving as the student government
Judges may or may not be members of the bar. Etymologically, they sit "on the bench", and the cases which come before them are "at bar" or "at bench". Many states in the United States require that some or all judges be members of the bar; typically these limit or completely prohibit the judges from practicing law while serving as a judge.
U.S. Constitutioncontains no requirement that Federal judges or Supreme Court justices be members of the bar. However, there are no modern instances of the President nominating or the Congress approving any candidate who is not a member of any bar. There are various professional associations of judges, such as the American Judges Association, that perform some of the educational and other service functions of bar associations.
Canada, one is "called to the bar" after undertaking a post law schooltraining in a provincial law society program, and undergoing an apprenticeshipor "taking articles". Legal communities are called "provincial law societies", except for Nova Scotia, where it is called the "Nova Scotia Barristers' Society", and Quebec, where it is called the " Barreau du Quebec".
Indiaunder the legal framework set established under the Advocates Act, 1961, [citeweb|title=THE ADVOCATES ACT, 1961|url=http://barcouncilofindia.nic.in/disk1/196125.pdf|publisher=" Bar Council of India"|accessdate=2008-08-27] a law graduate is required to be enrolled with the Bar Council of India. The process of enrollment is delegated by the Bar Council of India to the state Bar Councils wherein almost each state has a Bar Council of its own. Once enrolled with a State Bar Council, the law graduate is recognized as an Advocate and thereupon is entitled to appear and practice before any court in India. There is no formal requirement for further membership of any Bar Association. However Advocates do become members of various local or national bar associations for reasons of recognition and facilities which these associations offer. Besides the Bar Council of India, other known Bar Associations in India are "All India Bar Association" and "Supreme Court Bar Association". Each State and local court generally also has a Bar Association of its own, like the "Delhi High Court Bar Association" "Bombay High Court Bar Association" etc.
Pakistan, one becomes a member of the bar after fulfilling certain requirements. He or she must have a valid law degreefrom a recognized university, and must offer certain undertakings and pay the Bar Association fees. If a person does not hold an LL.MDegree he or she must first complete six months pupillagewith a practising Advocate, whom he or she must have assisted on at least ten cases during a six-month pupillage period.
The use of the term "bar" to mean "the whole body of lawyers, the legal profession" comes ultimately from English custom. In the early 16th century, a railing divided the hall in the
Inns of Court, with students occupying the body of the hall and readers or benchers on the other side. Students who officially became lawyers crossed the symbolicphysical barrier and were "admitted to the bar".cite web
publisher=EtymologyOnline.com] Later, this was popularly assumed to mean the wooden railing marking off the area around the judge's seat in a courtroom, where prisoners stood for arraignment and where a
barristerstood to plead. In modern courtrooms, a railing may still be in place to enclose the space which is occupied by legal counselas well as the criminal defendants and civil litigants who have business pending before the court.
Student Bar Association
Barristers in England and Wales
elected voluntary bar associations
American Bar Association
Boston Bar Association
* Canadian Bar Association
Commonwealth Lawyers Association
Minnesota State Bar Association
New Zealand Bar Association
* South Bay Bar Association (Los Angeles, California)
elected mandatory bar associations
Honorable Society of King's Inns( Ireland)
State Bar of California
State Bar of Texas
Washington State Bar Association
Bar association equivalents
* [http://www.hg.org/bar.html List of Bar Associations] , courtesy Hieros Gamos
* [http://www.ccbe.eu/index.php?id=2&L=0 Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe]
* [http://www.alabar.org Alabama State Bar]
* [http://www.calbar.ca.gov California State Bar Association]
* [http://www.fcba.org/ Federal Communications Bar Association]
* [http://www.massbar.org Massachusetts Bar Association]
* [http://www.mnbar.org Minnesota State Bar Association]
* [http://www.ncbar.org/ North Carolina Bar Association]
* [http://www.ohiobar.org Ohio State Bar Association]
* [http://www.pabar.org Pennsylvania Bar Association]
* [http://www.texasbar.com State Bar of Texas]
* [http://www.wsba.org Washington State Bar Association]
Commonwealth of Nations
* [http://www.hkba.org The Hong Kong Bar Association]
* [http://www.hklawsoc.org The Law Society of Hong Kong]
* [http://www.barcouncil.org.uk The Bar Council of England and Wales]
* [http://www.lawsociety.org.uk The Law Society of England and Wales]
* [http://www.lsuc.on.ca/ Law Society of Upper Canada]
* [http://barcouncilofindia.nic.in/ The Bar Council of India]
* [http://www.allindiabar.org/ All India Bar Association]
Civil law and similar jurisdictions
* [http://www.brak.de/ Bundesrechtsanwaltskammer] de icon
* [http://www.oa.pt/ Ordem dos Advogados (Portugal)] pt icon
* [http://www.avocatparis.org/ Ordre des Avocats de Paris] fr icon
* [http://www.advokatsamfundet.se/templates/StartPage.aspx?id=12 Swedish Bar Association]
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