Reasons Why a National Bar Does Not Exist in the United States

Though a common Multistate Bar Examination is being used, each of the States in the United States administers its own law examination. Roughly about 50,000 applicants are admitted in each year to the bar in their respective states . No apprenticeship is required either before or after admission to the bar. In the United States a lawyer may pursue the practice of law as well as engage himself in any other activity just like any other citizens. It is common for the practicing lawyer to serve as directors in the board of companies, engage themselves in businesses and also to participate in public affairs in an active manner.

It is the prerogative of the lawyers to remain the members of the bar even after they have changed their occupations. They may return to the profession and practice as lawyers at anytime they wish. Only a few lawyers give up their practice for pursuing other occupations in the commerce and industry. Moreover there is no formal division among the lawyers according to function  . There is no distinction between barristers and solicitors as it is found in the United Kingdom.

Similarly there is no branch of the profession of lawyers that gives an exclusive right to the lawyers to appear in the courts. There is also no branch that enables the lawyers specialize in the preparation and drafting of legal instruments. Further the domain of the American Lawyers includes both advocacy, and counseling and drafting. The domain of practice of law is exclusive to the lawyers and others cannot enter into that domain. However in the area of advocacy except in a few lower courts, any individual may represent himself in all other courts.

Non-lawyers are allowed to represent others in the legal proceedings before some administrative forums. There are no clear lines of demarcation between counseling and drafting of legal instruments. However the American courts are strict in not allowing a foreign lawyer not registered in New York to provide legal advice to clients in New York even with respect to the legal position of the laws of foreign country. However a foreign lawyer admitted to the bar of any of the states may provide advise to an American lawyer as a consultant on foreign law.

Due to wide range of options open to the lawyers in the United States the number of persons admitted to the practice is quite large with the number swelling to 900,000 or per every 300 persons, one lawyer. Most of the lawyers are concentrated in the Metropolitan areas with 25 percent of them practicing in New York and California. About 75 percent of all the lawyers are in private practice. From the above discussion it is clear that there is no possibility of having a National Bar in the United States due to the following reasons: •    Each state has its own administration of the profession

•    Large number of people are being admitted to the bar every year as no apprenticeship is required for admission •    Lawyers can enter and leave practice at any point of time and they can pursue any other occupation like any other people •    The lawyers can reenter the practice at any time •    Individual non-lawyers can represent people in judicial proceedings except for some deviation •    There are no distinctions between barristers and solicitors •    There are no clear lines of demarcation between counseling and drafting of legal agreements

All the above factors do not make a National Bar feasible in the United States. In my opinion there is no need to have a National Bar in the United States as there are large number of people being admitted to the state Bars and also the profession is more fragmented with concentration in metropolitan cities. Hence it may not be possible to have a strict control on the people entering and leaving the Bar at any time simply because of the large number. Administration of such a National Bar would be too impractical considering the nature of the practice of the legal profession in the United States.

E. Allan Farnsworth ‘An Introduction to the Legal System of the United States’ Third Edition Q3 Appointment of Judges Except for some lower level courts the judges for all other courts must be admitted to private practice. However they are not supposed to practice while on bench. There are three basic characteristic features which relate to the ranks from which the judges are selected and these characteristic features also determine the tenure of the judges. Federal judges are appointed by the president and later on the appointments are confirmed by the Senate.

This procedure is described as ‘Advice and Consent’ procedure . There are no prescribed qualifications in the Constitution for appointment as Federal Judges. There are no standard procedures for the confirmation of the appointments also. Only very occasionally the appointment made by the president is being refused by the Senate. One of the nominations rejected by the Senate was the nomination of Robert Brook made by the then president Reagan. The Constitution provides for the duration of the offices of all Federal III judges and their compensation.

The Constitution provides that the Federal III judges can hold office during ‘good behavior’ and shall receive ‘Compensation’ at prescribed times which can not be reduced during the continuance of their offices. This implies that the salaries of federal judges cannot be reduced during the continuance of their positions and also they cannot be forcibly removed from their offices by retirement or for other reasons. They can be made to leave their offices only by impeachment, as is the case with the president.