Membership with professional organizations, state and national accrediting bodies, and the American Bar Association can help ensure your lawyer is the best-qualified candidate to take on your case, whether that attorney will help with your bankruptcy case or whether he will work as your real estate lawyer.
A brief look at the memberships and certifications your lawyer should have can help you choose the best legal professional for your case.
Work with a Lawyer who has Passed the Bar Exam
Simply graduating from law school does not authorize a future lawyer to practice law, and individuals who choose to practice law before passing the bar exam are engaging in the “unauthorized practice of law,” according to the Center for Professional Responsibility (CPR). The American Bar Association and the CPR advise lawyers that:
“Falsely holding oneself out as a lawyer is among the activities that are generally found to constitute the unauthorized practice of law.”
If you have questions about a lawyer’s membership with the American Bar Association, you may contact the organization directly to confirm whether your chosen attorney is authorized to practice law in your state. Not only is having passed the bar exam an essential part of practicing law in the United States but having done so in the state where the lawyer wishes to practice is also vital.
Associations That Grant Specialized and General Certifications
Just as doctors might specialize in focused areas of medicine, lawyers may also practice a particular type of law. When searching for the best medical professional for your knee surgery, you’d choose a surgeon with a specialty in orthopedics. You probably wouldn’t choose a heart surgeon for your operation. Likewise, your lawyer should practice in an area that benefits you as a client.
For example, you might search for a legal advocate for your elderly parent with ties to the National Elder Law Foundation. Or, you might look for an attorney for assistance with estate planning with connections to the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils Estate Law Specialist Board, Inc. There are a variety of private organizations with accredited certification from the American Bar Association, as well as state-sponsored entities and state-level private certifiers.
These private organizations undergo significant scrutiny from the ABA, and they must also exhibit significant discretion in certifying lawyers. For instance, the ABA provides specific guidelines on the quality and type of recommendations required when a lawyer applies for certification with an organization:
“A minimum of five references, a majority of which are from attorneys or judges who are knowledgeable regarding the practice area and are familiar with the competence of the lawyer, and none of which are from persons related to or engaged in legal practice with the lawyer.”
In addition to membership within the American Bar Association, recognition by the Better Business Bureau and membership with various state and private organizations can help you choose the best legal representative for your personal situation.
Finding a Lawyer in Illinois for Bankruptcy, Real Estate, & FDCPA Law
Law graduates who wish to practice law in the State of Illinois must take the bar exam as administered by the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar. The exam is offered twice a year in Chicago, and applicants must meet a variety of requirements to qualify to take the exam.
As explained by the Supreme Court of Illinois:
“Subject to the requirements contained in these rules, persons may be admitted or conditionally admitted to practice law in this State by the Supreme Court if they are at least 21 years of age, of good moral character and general fitness to practice law, and have satisfactorily completed examinations on academic qualification and professional responsibility as prescribed by the Board of Admissions to the Bar or have been licensed to practice law in another jurisdiction and have met the requirements of Rule 705.”
While it is not necessary that you understand every single facet of membership and certification by various organizations and boards, a cursory examination of the rules and requirements for membership can help you understand the importance of obtaining legal representation from an experienced and licensed lawyer.
Do You Need Assistance from a Lawyer in Illinois?
Have you decided to sell your home and need a real estate lawyer? Are you considering bankruptcy and need a bankruptcy lawyer? Do you want to fight an unscrupulous debt collector and require the help of a debt collection lawyer? Contact Suburban Legal Group for expert legal assistance.
DISCLAIMER: All information on this website are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended to be construed as legal advice. Suburban Legal Group PC shall not be liable for any errors or inaccuracies contained herein, or any actions taken in reliance thereon.