Bar (a court of law)

tzfujimino

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Hello, everyone.

The other day, one of my students said to me, "I learned from my friend, who is quite good at English, that the word bar had the meaning of a court of law. Is it true?" Then I said to her, "I've never read/heard it used that way. I know there's an English expression behind bars meaning in prison."

Later, I found the definition here. (Please scroll down to #11, which says "a particular court of law")

Now, here are my question and request:

1. Is the 'bar' in the sense of 'a court of law' commonly used?
2. Could somebody please give me an example sentence?

Thank you.
 

andrewg927

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1. Yes
2. He was admitted to the New York State bar.
 

SoothingDave

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I wouldn't say it was a court. It's the legal profession. When an aspiring lawyer passes the exam to be allowed to work as an attorney, it is the "bar exam." He's then "admitted to the bar." The lawyers' professional group is called the "bar association."
 

Tdol

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I believe the bar was a line in the courtroom that could not be crossed by ordinary lawyers. Barristers, however, were called to the bar because they were allowed to approach that close. In the old days, the word court took its meaning from the fact that the judge represented the monarch, so it was meant to be like approaching the monarch, where such details were important. At least, this is what a barrister told me. In the UK, solicitors can represent clients in the lower courts, but you need barristers in higher courts.
 
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