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In
law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by its boundari ...
, the bar is the
legal professionLegal profession is a profession A Profession is a disciplined group of individuals who adhere to ethical standards and who hold themselves out as, and are accepted by the public as possessing special knowledge and skills in a widely recognised ...
as an institution. The term is a
metonym Metonymy () is a figure of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase that entails an intentional deviation from ordinary language use in order to produce a rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of pe ...
for the line (or "bar") that separates the parts of a
courtroom A courtroom is the enclosed space in which courts of law are held in front of a judge. A number of courtrooms, which may also be known as "courts", may be housed in a courthouse. In recent years, courtrooms have been equipped with audiovisual ...

courtroom
reserved for spectators and those reserved for participants in a
trial In law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by i ...

trial
such as
lawyers A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate An advocate is a professional in the field of law. Different countries' legal systems use the term with somewhat differing meanings. The broad equivalent in many English la ...
. In the United Kingdom, in order to be admitted to the bar, lawyers need to pass either of the bar exams: a Bar Professional Training Course for barristers and a Solicitors Qualifying Examination (QLTS's successor) for solicitors.


Courtroom division

The origin of the term ''bar'' is from the barring furniture dividing a medieval European courtroom. In the US, Europe and many other countries referring to the law traditions of Europe, the area in front of the barrage is restricted to participants in the trial: the
judge A judge is a person who presides over court A court is any person or institution, often as a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In th ...

judge
or judges, other court officials, the jury (if any), the lawyers for each party, the parties to the case, and witnesses giving testimony. The area behind the bar is open to the public. This restriction is enforced in nearly all courts. In most courts, the bar is represented by a physical partition: a
railing Railing or railings may refer to: * Guard rail, a structure blocking an area from access * Handrail, a structure designed to provide support on or near a staircase * Grab bar, a structure to provide support elsewhere, for instance in a bathroom or ...
or
barrier A barrier or barricade is a physical structure which blocks or impedes something. Barrier may also refer to: Places * Barrier, Kentucky, a community in the United States * Barrier, Voerendaal, a place in the municipality of Voerendaal, in southeas ...
that serves as a bar.


License and certification

''The bar'' may also refer to the qualifying procedure by which a lawyer is licensed to practice law in a given jurisdiction.


U.S. procedure

In the United States, this procedure is administered by the individual
U.S. state In the , a state is a , of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a , each state holds al jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory where it shares its with the . Due to this shared sovereignty, are both of t ...
s. In general, a candidate must graduate from a qualified
law school A law school (also known as a law centre or college of law) is an institution specializing in legal education Legal education is the education of individuals in the principles, practices, and theory of law Law is a system A syste ...
and pass a written test: the '' bar examination''. Almost all states use the
Multistate Bar Examination Bar examinations in the United States are examinations administered to candidates for admission to the bar in U.S. states and territories. Bar exams are administered by states or territories, generally by agencies under the authority of state sup ...
(MBE), a multiple-choice exam administered on one day of a two- or three-day test, and an increasing number use the Uniform Bar Examination, which includes the MBE. In either case, on days during which the MBE is not administered, the bar exam may include questions related to that state's laws. The candidate is then ''
admitted to the barAn admission to practice law is acquired when a lawyer receives a license to practice law. In jurisdictions with two types of lawyer, as with barristers and solicitors, barristers must gain admission to the bar whereas for solicitors there are distin ...
''. A lawyer whose license to practice law is revoked is said to be ''
disbarred Disbarment is the removal of a lawyer from a bar association or the practice of law, thus revoking their law license or admission to practice law. Disbarment is usually a punishment for Legal ethics, unethical or criminal conduct but may also be ...
''.


U.S. patent procedure

Admission to practice before the
patent A patent is a type of intellectual property Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also refers to the valuable things themselves. Depe ...
section of the
United States Patent and Trademark Office The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is an agency in the U.S. Department of Commerce that issues patent A patent is a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the legal right to exclude others from making, using ...
(USPTO) requires that the individual pass a separate, single-day examination administered by that agency. This test is typically referred to as the "patent bar", although the word "bar" does not appear in the test's official name. Unlike the general bar examination, for which graduation from a recognized law school is a prerequisite, the USPTO exam does not require that the candidate have taken any law school courses. Instead, the main prerequisite is a science or engineering background, most often met with a bachelor's degree in a relevant field. Individuals who pass the examination are referred to as "patent attorneys" if they have an active law license from any U.S. jurisdiction, and "patent agents" otherwise. Attorneys and agents have the same license to represent clients before the patent section of the USPTO, and both may issue patentability opinions. However, any other patent-related practice (such as licensing or infringement litigation) can only be performed by licensed attorneys—who do not necessarily have to be USPTO-licensed.


British procedure

In the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
, the practice of law is divided between
barristers A barrister is a type of lawyer A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate, attorney at lawAttorney at law or attorney-at-law, usually abbreviated in everyday speech to attorney, is the preferred term for a practisi ...
(
advocates An advocate is a professional in the field of law. Different countries' legal systems use the term with somewhat differing meanings. The broad equivalent in many English law English law is the common law In law, common law (also known as jud ...
in
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...

Scotland
) and
solicitors A solicitor is a legal practitioner who traditionally deals with most of the legal matters in some jurisdiction Jurisdiction (from Latin ''Wikt:ius#Latin, juris'' 'law' + ''Wikt:dictio, dictio'' 'declaration') is the practical authority grante ...
. It is usually the former who appear in an advocacy role before the court. When a lawyer becomes an advocate or barrister, he/she is ''
called to the bar The call to the bar (rarely, call to bar) is a legal term of art Jargon is the specialized terminology associated with a particular field or area of activity. Jargon is normally employed in a particular Context (language use), communicative cont ...
''. In Britain the bar is differentiated between the ''inner bar'' (for
Queen's counsel In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some pr ...
) and the ''outer bar'' (for
Junior barrister A junior barrister is a barrister A barrister is a type of lawyer in common law jurisdiction (area), jurisdictions. Barristers mostly specialise in courtroom advocacy and litigation. Their tasks include taking cases in superior courts and tribuna ...
s).


The legal profession

''The bar'' commonly refers to the legal profession as a whole. With a modifier, it may refer to a branch or division of the profession: as, for instance, the ''
tort A tort, in jurisdiction, is a (other than ) that causes a claimant to suffer loss or harm, resulting in for the person who commits the tortious act. It can include intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, financial losses, ...

tort
bar''—lawyers who specialize in filing civil suits for damages. In conjunction with ''bench'', ''bar'' may differentiate lawyers who represent clients (''the bar'') from judges or members of a
judiciary The judiciary (also known as the judicial system, judicature, judicial branch, judiciative branch, and court or judiciary system) is the system of court A court is any person or institution, often as a government A government i ...
('' the bench''). In this sense, the bar advocates and the bench adjudicates. Yet, judges commonly remain members of the bar and lawyers are commonly referenced as ''Officers of the Court''. The phrase ''bench and bar'' denotes all judges and lawyers collectively.


See also

* Admission to practise law *
Admission to the bar in the United States Admission to the bar in the United States is the granting of permission by a particular court system to a lawyer to practice law in the jurisdiction and before those courts. Each U.S. state In the United States The United States ...
*
Bar Association A bar association is a professional association A professional association (also called a professional body, professional organization, or professional society) usually seeks to further Further or Furthur may refer to: *Furthur (bus), ''Furth ...
*
Bench (law) File:The Grand Bench of the Japanese Supreme Court.jpg, 300px, The Supreme Court of Japan Grand Bench seats 15 justices. Bench used in a law, legal context can have several meanings. First, it can simply indicate the location in a courtroom where ...
*
Call to the bar The call to the bar (rarely, call to bar) is a legal term of art Jargon is the specialized terminology associated with a particular field or area of activity. Jargon is normally employed in a particular Context (language use), communicative cont ...
*
Courtroom A courtroom is the enclosed space in which courts of law are held in front of a judge. A number of courtrooms, which may also be known as "courts", may be housed in a courthouse. In recent years, courtrooms have been equipped with audiovisual ...

Courtroom


References


External links


Importance of Bar & Bench relationship
available at learningthelaw.in
UK bar exams
available at superexam.uk {{Law Courts Judiciaries