Alabama Attorneys are those lawyers that have passed the Alabama Bar Exam and are licensed, and in good standing, in the State of Alabama and capable of practicing law within the State of Alabama. Alabama Attorneys represent clients in both criminal and civil matters that are argued in any State court proceeding within Alabama.
How to become an Alabama Attorney
In order to practice law within the State of Alabama and be considered an Alabama Attorney an individual must be barred within the State of Alabama as well as meet the ethical and moral standards of the Alabama Bar Association.
To be able to sit for the Alabama Bar Exam an individual must have a Bachelor’s degree from a recognized University. The school need not be within the United States but must be recognized as an established University. In addition, an applicant to sit for the Alabama Bar Examination must have graduated from an accredited law school from within the United States or met one of the other options that are outlined in the Alabama Bar Examiners Office handbook.
The Alabama Bar Exam is a 3 day exam. The first two days are comprised of the Multi-State Essay Exam, The Multi-State Performance Exam and The Alabama State Essay Exam. The third day of the Alabama Bar Exam consists of the Multi-State Bar exam. A passing score on the Alabama Bar Examination is a 128 scaled score. The Alabama Bar Exam is administered twice a year, once in February and again in July. The passage rate for the July exam is around 73% and the passing rate for the February exam is around 50%. This is not necessarily because the February Exam is more difficult but rather because the February exam consists mostly of individuals who took the July exam and did not pass.
Alabama Court System
When an individual is an Alabama Attorney he, or she, must be familiar with the Alabama court systerm. There are 3 main types of courts in the Alabama Court System; the District Courts, the Municipal Courts; and the Circuit Courts.
There are 273 Municipal Courts in the State of Alabama. These courts handle probate matters, and offences involving violations of municipal ordinances, DUI and DWI, and traffic violations.
There are 67 District courts in the Alabama judicial system. The district courts hear all small claims and misdemeanor violations. The district courts also have exclusive jurisdiction involving civil matters where the amount in question is less than $3,000. For those civil matters where the amount in question is between $3,000 and $10,000 the district courts have concurrent jurisdiction with the Alabama Circuit Courts.
There are 41 Circuit courts in the State of Alabama. These courts handle all juvenile and domestic violence cases. They also have exclusive jurisdiction in all felonies and civil claims where the amount in question is more than $10,000. The Circuit courts have concurrent jurisdiction with the District courts in matters involving DUI, misdemeanors and those civil matters where the amount in question is between $3,000 and $10,000.
Once cases move past any of these three courts they may be brought to either the Court of Criminal Appeals of the Court of Civil Appeals. The Court of Criminal Appeals hears all matters involving an appeal of a misdemeanor or felony; the court of Civil appeals hears all appeals where the amount in question is less than $50,000. The Supreme Court of Alabama is the highest court in the State where an Alabama Attorney will practice. The Supreme Court of Alabama hears all appeals that go through the Appellate System and also have exclusive jurisdiction in all civil appeals where the amount in question is greater than $50,000.
Disciplining your Alabama Lawyer
If you have had a problem with your Alabama attorney then you may want to file a complaint with the Alabama bar association. Before you attempt to go through with any formal proceeding against your Alabama attorney you should attempt to resolve the matter personally with your Alabama attorney. Once a formal complaint is filed against your Alabama attorney it may not be repealed.
If you feel that the only way to deal with the matter is to file a complaint with the Alabama State Bar then you should seek a brochure by contacting the bar association at 334-269-1515. Once you have filled out a report then your complaint will be reviewed by the Alabama Bar Counsel. The Counsel will then contact the Alabama attorney involved and ask him, or her, to file an answer. The complaint process may take between 6 – 18 months for formal charges to go from the preliminary investigative stages to a final outcome. If your Alabama attorney is found by the Bar Counsel to be in violation of an ethical violation the the Alabama Bar Association may file a number of sanctions ranging from probation, public or private reprimand, suspension or even disbarment. You can file your complaint by filling out the complaint form at www.alabar.org and mail the written, signed, document to:
Alabama State Bar
P.O. Box 671
Montgomery, AL 36101-0671
How do I find an Alabama Attorney?
If you are looking for Alabama Attorneys then you will have a number of options available to you. One simple option is to just do an internet search. Almost all Alabama Attorneys have their own websites that will describe what their kind of cases they handle, their educational background and experience practicing as an Alabama attorney.
You can also use the referral service at Alabama Bar Association at www.alabar.org. The referral service at the site is the only one that is operated by the Alabama Bar Association. All Alabama Attorneys that are used in the referral service are barred and in good standing with the Alabama Bar Association. The referral service may be reached calling 1-800-392-5660 to speak with a representative or by completing the online referral form at www.alabar.org.
The lawyer that you are eventually referred to you will not charge more than $50 for a half hour consultation interview.
In addition, if you cannot afford a lawyer than you may be able take advantage of free legal aid services in from an Alabama Attorney. Alabama Attorneys are required to perform a certain amount of pro bono hours per year. In order to find out if you qualify for free legal aid from Alabama Attorneys you may call 1-866-456-4995 or fill out the form at www.alabar.org. Even if you do qualify for free legal aid from the Alabama Bar Association cannot help with traffic, criminal or juvenile matters.