What Does Bar Stand For In The Bar Exam, Or Bar Association? 

You may have heard the terms bar association or bar exam and know that they have something to do with lawyers. But do you know where this term comes from? Understanding these terms and how they relate to your relationship with your lawyer can be helpful.  

Origins of the Word “Bar”

Some people mistakenly believe that the term bar as related to law is an acronym. Some say it means “British Accredited Registry.” This myth probably comes from the history of laws in the United States and their connection to Great Britain. 

When our forefathers made laws in the newly established United States, they used the legal system they were familiar with, British common law. Under this form of law, courts try to provide consistent results, with previous cases serving as precedents for rulings in future cases. In the 14th century, lawyers in the United Kingdom were called barristers, which may have influenced the use of the term bar to refer to lawyers.

Additionally, courtrooms are usually set up to separate the lawyers, judges, and other court personnel from the gallery. A physical bar often serves as a barrier and separates the judge, lawyers, and witnesses from the public who may observe the proceedings. This literal bar may have also influenced the use of the term bar in the American legal system. Being “admitted to the bar” means that these legal professionals have the right to work within the space past the bar.

What Is the Bar Exam? 

The Bar Exam is the test that lawyers must pass before they are licensed to practice law in the state. In Illinois, prospective lawyers must take the Uniform Bar Examination. 

This test includes the following components:

  • Multistate Performance Test of two 90-minute items
  • Multistate Essay Examination of six essays in three hours
  • Multistate Bar Examination of 200 multiple-choice questions over six hours

The test is administered over two days twice a year. 

Other Requirements To Become a Lawyer

Most states require lawyers to have a bachelor’s degree and then complete law school before they can take the bar exam. Some states, like California, allow students to self-study to become lawyers, but they must still pass the bar exam. 

In Illinois, those who wish to be licensed attorneys must apply to take the bar exam. They must prove that they are of good moral character and fitness and have met all the necessary requirements to become an attorney licensed in the state. They are subject to a background check and must pay fees with their application. 

They must also pass a Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination before they can become barred. This is a 60-question, two-hour multiple-choice examination administered three times a year. 

Once an attorney passes the bar, becomes licensed in Illinois, and is sworn in to practice law, they can begin acting as a lawyer. They must comply with the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct. If they violate these rules, they are subject to discipline by the Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois

What Is the Bar Association? 

When you are looking for a lawyer to represent you after a car accident, slip and fall, or another case, you want a lawyer who is in good standing with the Bar. This means that they do not have any current disciplinary actions against them and are licensed to practice law in the state. 

A Barred Attorney Can Help With Your Case 

The Illinois State Bar Association provides a directory of all its members, which the public can use to find a qualified lawyer. This organization also provides continued learning education and various divisions to help lawyers hone their skills. 

If you would like to know more about how a lawyer can help with your case or what they do, schedule a free consultation and learn more about the role of a licensed attorney. 

Contact the Chicago Personal Injury Law Firm of Zayed Law Offices Personal Injury Attorneys for Help Today

For more information, please contact the experienced Chicago personal injury lawyers at Zayed Law Offices Personal Injury Attorneys today. We offer free consultations.

We proudly serve Cook County, Will County, Kendall County, and its surrounding areas:

Zayed Law Offices Personal Injury Attorneys – Chicago Office
10 S La Salle St STE 1230, Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 726-1616

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195 Springfield Ave, Joliet, IL 60435
(815) 726-1616