The State of Florida has an integrated bar association. This means that all lawyers must belong to the Florida Bar Association in order to practice law within the state of Florida. Every attorney in Florida must be a Florida Bar Member in order to legally practice in this state.
The Florida Bar Association homepage has links to the State Bar Association’s publications, media resources and a site map.
If you need a Florida attorney for any reason, then the Florida Bar Association’s Attorney Referral Service can help you find a lawyer in several areas of law. However, you should know that the state bar association charges a fee for lawyers and law firms to sign up for the service, and takes a percentage of the fee when you hire a lawyer. These two (2) slices of your legal fee have to come from somewhere, and a growing number of attorneys and lawyers in Florida feel that you, the consumer, are paying a higher legal fees when using this service. Worse, the Bar’s percentage of the legal fee has been increased, and could be increased again.
The Florida Bar charges participating lawyers $125 per year, plus 12% of your legal fee, bankruptcy and social security cases excluded. Thus a legal fee of $6,000.00 may actually be 6000 – 840 (12%) – 12.50 (monthly amount for a lawyer to participate in the program) = $5,147.50. In theory, attorneys and law firms should not pass this cost on to you. Noticed the phrase in theory. Thus you may wish to think twice before calling the Bar’s lawyer referral service in a criminal case. One final note: Private companies are not allowed to charge percentage based fees for referrals for some nebulous “ethics” reasoning. In reality, the Bar is protecting its own pile of money by eliminating competition. The Bar does many great things, but the referral service is not one of them.
The Florida State Bar website also has hyperlinks to The Florida Bar Journal and The Florida Bar News. The journal is pretty heavy legal reading, the news is far more interesting, in my view (unless you have an article published in the journal, of course).
The Florida Bar Association (also know as the Florida State Bar Association) now has over 84,000 members.
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