According to the ABA 2019 National Lawyer Population Survey, Florida is the state with the fourth-highest number of resident active attorneys. The survey showed Florida had 78,448 active lawyers living in the state. Only New York, California, and Texas, have a higher number of resident active attorneys.
To practice law in Florida, an attorney must be a member of The Florida Bar. On a voluntary basis, attorneys in Florida join legal organizations including regional, minority, and specialty bar associations and other non-profit organizations.
The Florida Bar started out as a small group of lawyers in 1889 that grew into Florida's mandatory bar association today of over 90,000 members. The Florida Bar doesn't license lawyers – that's a function of a Supreme Court committee – but it does prosecute unethical lawyers, advise on advertising practices, administer a client protection fund, govern a substance abuse program, and provide continuing education programs for lawyers. Additionally, the Florida bar provides the following for the public: legal periodicals, public information programs, ethics and law management advice, conferences, and meetings.
The Florida Bar recently launched a newly-enhanced online Lawyer Referral Service in Florida. The LRS website was created to help the public find a qualified attorney online. The new LRS website provides an easy-to-navigate search feature to find more than 600 participating Florida attorneys across 120 practice areas.
Other organizations associated with the Florida Bar include:
In 1982, the Florida Supreme Court established a process to recognize attorneys who take the extra steps necessary to have their experience and competence evaluated for a particular specialty area of the law. Board Certification is the highest level of evaluation offered by the Florida Bar. Florida is home to the second-largest attorney specialization program in the country. More than 4,800 attorneys in Florida have been designated by the Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization as board-certified specialists in 26 different specialty areas of the law. Read more »
Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers The Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Inc., (FACDL) is a not for profit corporation formed in 1988. Since its formation, FACDL has continued to promote excellence in the practice of criminal law and protect the rights of the accused. FACDL is the leading statewide... Read more »
The Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys (AFELA) is an organization for Florida elder law attorneys providing advocacy, education, and action on behalf of seniors and people with disabilities. As the Florida state chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), FELA is one of the largest chapters. Membership in AFELA requires membership in NAELA and adherence to its aspirational standards for professional behavior.
The Florida Justice Association (FJA), formerly the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers (AFTL), works to protect the rights of individuals living in Florida to seek justice in the state's civil court system. With more than 3,000 members, FJA attorneys focus on representing plaintiffs in personal injury, medical malpractice, insurance, auto litigation... Read more »
Attorneys also organize themselves into city, county, and regional associations including:
Established in 1988, the Palm Beach County Justice Association (also known as the "The Palm Beach County Trial Lawyers Association") is a countywide organization of more than 400 trial attorneys that represent the plaintiff in civil cases.
The Palm Beach County Hispanic Bar Association (PBCHBA) supports the Hispanic community in South Florida through volunteer programs and stands behind Hispanics seeking a position in the judiciary in Palm Beach County. The PBCHBA understands the Spanish-speaking population’s struggles and seeks to provide assistance to those in need.
Attorneys in Florida organize themselves into specialty bar associations organized at the local level.
Attorneys organize themselves into bar associations based on supporting attorneys and others with minority status based on race, gender, nationality, or religion including:
Attorneys organize themselves into bar associations that support women lawyers including the Florida Association for Women Lawyers (FAWL). The local chapters of FAWL including:
Attorneys organize themselves into bar associations at the city, county, and regional level in Florida.
Attorneys organize themselves into bar associations based on the circuit in which they practice which might include more than one county.
Founded in 1922, the Palm Beach County Bar Association serves its members, fosters professionalism, and enhances the public’s understanding and awareness of the legal system. The PBCBA provides public service activities and gives back to the community.
This article was last updated on Friday, April 2, 2021.