Legal Services in Florida
Florida has one of the most difficult bar exams, making it one of the "top 3" highly desired areas to practice law. Florida is home to twenty-two district courts. Plenty of retired lawyers, estates and trusts lawyers, and real estate lawyers make Florida their state for practicing law.
Becoming a Lawyer in Florida
To become an attorney in Florida, one must pass the Florida bar exam. Every year, the Florida bar exam is administered in the city of Tampa. One must have a valid Juris Doctorate degree from an ABA-approved law school in the country to sit for the Florida bar exam. Attending law school in Florida is not a requirement for taking the Florida bar exam.
As part of the application process for the Florida bar exam, one will also have to pass the Character & Fitness portion of the bar exam. Passing this portion is not very difficult. One will have to fill out information including one's past employment situations, residential information, and undergraduate degree information. The bar exam committee then uses this information to get in touch with one's past employers. It cannot be emphasized enough how important it is to be completely honest on the application for the Character & Fitness portion. Passing this section is required for being able to sit for the bar exam. If one is unable to pass this portion of the bar exam, then he or she will ultimately fail the bar exam and not receive a license to practice law in Florida.
Free Legal Advice in Florida
For people who want to find free legal advice in Florida, there are quite a few options. One of the first options is to schedule a meeting with a lawyer from one of the Legal Aid Services law firms in Florida. These law firms do not charge clients for their services. The only requirement is that a client must meet the level of income required to receive the services for free. The income requirement is usually set at or near poverty level. The typical Legal Aid Services office will deal with foreclosure cases, landlord and tenant issues, and domestic violence cases. Some branches also devote lawyers to education law issues.
Even if you do not qualify for Legal Aid Services, you may be able to qualify for pro bono help from other lawyers in the community. Your application may be forwarded to a lawyer in the community who decides to take your case. Often, lawyers in the community are willing to take a case that deals with bankruptcy or an issue that is not handled by the Legal Aid Services offices.
Different law schools in Florida also provide services with free legal advice for Florida residents. One of the leading programs is VITA. VITA stands for the "Volunteer Income Tax Assistance" program. At Ave Maria School of Law, VITA is one of the leading programs that helps low income people in Collier County. VITA provides low income people with free tax law advice. Low income people may also choose to have a tax return completed at no charge through VITA.
If one wants to obtain free legal advice, he or she should contact the librarians at different law school libraries in Florida. The librarian is often a great resource who knows all about the different community programs being offered at the law schools in Florida.
Law Firms in Florida
To find legal firms in Florida contact the state or local bar association, ask for referrals or consult online databases for Fort Lauderdale attorneys, Jacksonville lawyers, Miami law firms, Tampa legal services or Orlando attorneys.
Law firms and legal associations looking for business space in Florida will find an extensive selection of Orlando, Jacksonville,Tampa, Miami and Hollywood.
Legal Associations/Organizations in Florida
As a lawyer practicing in Florida, there are plenty of organizations in the community that exist for lawyers. In southwest Florida, for example, women can join the Collier County Women's Bar Association. There are mini branches of the Florida Bar Association distributed throughout the state of Florida. There are also different organizations for trial lawyers in Florida, such as the Broward County Trial Lawyers Association.
One of the most popular organizations for lawyers in Florida is the Real Property, Probate, and Trust Law section of the Florida Bar. Because so many real estate lawyers practice law in Florida, this organization has plenty of lawyers that one can meet for networking or professional purposes.
Of course, the Florida Bar Association is the leading organization for lawyers in the state of Florida. This organization provides lawyers with tremendous networking opportunities in the state.
Paralegals in Florida will also benefit from association membership such as with the Paralegal Association of Florida, Inc.