Florida Admission Laws

The Supreme Court of Florida regulates admission of attorneys to the Florida Bar.  The Florida Board of Bar Examiners is an administrative agency of the Supreme Court of Florida created by the Court to implement the rules relating to Bar admission.  In order to be admitted to the Florida Bar, an applicant should be at least 18 years of age.

Pursuant to Rule 4-13.1 of the Florida Rules of the Supreme Court relating to admissions to the Bar, all applicants seeking admission to the Florida Bar must be either enrolled in an American Bar Association accredited law school that will ultimately result in graduation of a Doctor of Jurisprudence or Bachelor of Laws degree, or must have already been awarded the Doctor of Jurisprudence or Bachelor of Laws degree from an American Bar Association accredited law school at a time when the law school was accredited or within 12 months of accreditation.  According to Rule 4-13.4, an applicant who does not meet the educational qualifications must have been engaged in the practice of law for at least 10 years in the District of Columbia, in other states of the United States of America, or in federal courts of the United States.  Such applicants should have been in good standing at the Bar in which s/he practiced.  Such applicants must also submit a representative compilation of work product in the field of law showing the scope and character of the applicant’s previous experience and practice at the bar, including samples of work, like pleadings, briefs, legal memoranda, contracts, or other working papers that the applicant considers illustrative of his or her expertise and academic and legal training.

Admission to the Bar is through Florida Bar Examination only.  The Florida Bar Examination will consist of a General Bar Examination and the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE).  The General Bar Examination will consist of Part A and B.  Part A is a combination of essay and multiple-choice questions and Part B will be the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE).  A score achieved by an applicant on the Multistate Bar Examination administered in a jurisdiction other than the State of Florida will not be transferred to or recognized by the board, according to Rule 4-23.1.  On the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination, each applicant must attain a scaled score of 80 or better.  There is absolutely no residence requirement for admission to the Florida Bar.

By virtue of Rule 6-10.3 of the Rules regulating the Florida Bar, Attorneys of the Florida Bar should complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of approved continuing legal education activity every 3 years.  Five of the 30 hours must be in approved legal ethics, professionalism, substance abuse, or mental illness awareness programs.

 

 

 

Fla. Stat. § 454.021

Attorneys; admission to practice law; Supreme Court to govern and regulate

(1) Admissions of attorneys and counselors to practice law in the state is hereby declared to be a judicial function.

(2) The Supreme Court of Florida, being the highest court of said state, is the proper court to govern and regulate admissions of attorneys and counselors to practice law in said state.

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Fla. Sup. Ct. Adm. Bar Rule 2

Rule 2 Application Requirements

2-10 Application Qualifications. –To seek admission to The Florida Bar, a person must meet the qualifications, file the appropriate applications and fees as set out in this rule, and comply with rules 3 and 4.

2-12 Proof of Character and Fitness. –All applicants seeking admission to The Florida Bar must produce satisfactory evidence of good moral character, an adequate knowledge of the standards and ideals of the profession, and proof that the applicant is otherwise fit to take the oath and to perform the obligations and responsibilities of an attorney. See rule 3, Background Investigation.

Fla. Sup. Ct. Adm. Bar Rule 4

Bar Examination

4-10 General Information.

4-11 Florida Bar Examination. –The Florida Bar Examination will consist of a General Bar Examination and the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE).

4-12 Requirement to Submit. –All individuals who seek the privilege of practicing law in the State of Florida must take the Florida Bar Examination.

4-13 Technical Competence. –All applicants seeking admission to The Florida Bar must produce satisfactory evidence of technical competence by passing all parts of the Florida Bar Examination.

4-13.1 Educational Qualifications.

(a)  Eligibility. –An applicant may take the MPRE prior to graduation from law school; however, the requirements of rule 4-18.1 are applicable. To be eligible to take any portion of the General Bar Examination, an applicant must either:

(1) complete the requirements for graduation, or receive the degree of bachelor of laws or doctor of jurisprudence, from an accredited law school or within 12 months of accreditation; or,

(2) be found educationally qualified under the alternative method of educational qualification provided in rule 4-13.4

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4-13.4 Alternative Method of Educational Qualification.

(a)  Applicants Not Meeting Educational Qualifications. –An applicant who does not meet the educational qualifications in rule 4-13.1, must meet the following requirements:

(1) evidence as the board may require that the applicant was engaged in the practice of law for at least 10 years in the District of Columbia, in other states of the United States of America, or in federal courts of the United States or its territories, possessions, or protectorates, and was in good standing at the bar of the jurisdictions in which the applicant practiced; and

(2) a representative compilation of work product in the field of law showing the scope and character of the applicant’s previous experience and practice at the bar, including samples of the quality of the applicant’s work, including pleadings, briefs, legal memoranda, contracts, or other working papers that the applicant considers illustrative of his or her expertise and academic and legal training. The representative compilation of work product must be confined to the applicant’s most recent 10 years of practice and must be complete and include all supplemental documents requested.

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Fla. Sup. Ct. Adm. Bar Rule 5

Recommendations and Jurisdiction

5-10 Recommendations and Admission. –Every applicant who has complied with the requirements of the applicable rules for admission into the Florida Bar Examination, attained passing scores on the examination, met the requirements as to character and fitness, complied with the requirements of the applicable rules for admission into The Florida Bar, and who is 18 years of age or older will be recommended by the Florida Board of Bar Examiners to the Supreme Court of Florida for admission to The Florida Bar.

5-11 Supreme Court Action. –If the court is satisfied with the qualifications of each applicant recommended, an order of admission will be made and entered in the minutes of the court. The court will designate the manner that applicants will take the oath.

Fla. Bar Reg. R. 6-10.1

Continuing Legal Education Requirement (a) Preamble. –It is of primary importance to the public and to the members of The Florida Bar that attorneys continue their legal education throughout the period of their active practice of law. To accomplish that objective, each member of The Florida Bar (hereinafter referred to as “member”) shall meet certain minimum requirements for continuing legal education.

 

Fla. Bar Reg. R. 6-10.3

Minimum Continuing Legal Education Standards (a) Applicability. –Every member except those exempt under rule 6-10.3(c)(4) and (5) shall comply and report compliance with the continuing legal education requirement.

(b)  Minimum Hourly Continuing Legal Education Requirements. –Each member shall complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of approved continuing legal education activity every 3 years. Five of the 30 hours must be in approved legal ethics, professionalism, substance abuse, or mental illness awareness programs. Courses offering credit in professionalism must be approved by the center for professionalism. These 5 hours are to be included in, and not in addition to, the regular 30-hour requirement. If a member completes more than 30 hours during any reporting cycle, the excess credits cannot be carried over to the next reporting cycle.


Inside Florida Admission Laws