The Florida Bar
|Headquarters||651 East Jefferson Street, Tallahassee, FL|
|William J. Schifino, Jr.|
|52-member Board of Governors|
As elsewhere in the United States, persons seeking admission to the bar must pass a moral character screening, in this case administered by the Florida Board of Bar Examiners. Admission to the bar includes passing a background investigation, the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination, and the bar exam, which tests both the common law through the Multistate Bar Examination and Florida law through written state essays and state-specific multiple-choice questions. The Florida Bar is also responsible for the governing of Florida Registered Paralegals.
The Florida Bar is home of one of the nation's premier board certification programs. Over 5,000 members of the bar are certified in one of 26 legal specialty areas including civil trial, business litigation, labor and employment, and marital and family law. Board certified attorneys must submit to a rigorous peer review process, prove substantial involvement and education in the specialty field, and pass a written examination.
In 1889 the first, small, voluntary group of lawyers formed in Florida. This developed into the Florida State Bar Association in 1907. This remained a voluntary organization, publishing a legal journal, drafting court procedures, and presenting occasional educational courses for lawyers. Its membership never exceeded a few thousand.
With a sharp increase in the number of lawyers after World War I came interest in requiring lawyers to join the Florida State Bar Association, both as a means of improving communication within the profession and of disciplining unethical lawyers. However, the Florida Supreme Court declined to order this until 1949.
In April 1950, the Florida State Bar Association met for the last time. The name was shortened to "The Florida Bar" and the state's 3,758 lawyers automatically became members. Its first president was Richard H. Hunt of Miami.
In 1989, The Florida Bar went to the U.S. Supreme Court to defend restrictions on attorney advertising. The court found in favor of the narrowly tailored rules in Florida Bar v. Went For It, Inc..
- "Frequently Asked Questions About The Florida Bar". The Florida Bar. Retrieved 2012-07-22.
- Florida Bar (accessed April 23, 2009) PDF
- Florida Registered Paralegal program
- "History of The Florida Bar". The Florida Bar. Retrieved 2012-07-22.