As an attorney or jurist, the highest bar for admission would surely be located inside the nation's highest court.
Admission, which allows the attorney to argue cases before the court, to attend oral arguments, file briefs and have access to the court's law library, is an honor, a sign of success, achievement.
Being admitted with your family, well, that would provide a heckuva gavel to end the ceremony.
In late February, Jeremy T.M. Novak of the Novak Law Group and attorney for the Board of County Commissioners, was admitted to the bar of the U.S. Supreme Court before a packed audience on a day of oral arguments.
"It was really neat," Novak said. "It was a real honor."
Made even more special by the presence of family.
His father, Judge Joseph S. Novak, nearing 72 and retiring from the bench this year, was called upon by Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr. to bring, as the sponsor, a motion before the court.
The elder Novak was long ago admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court.
His motion was to admit his sons, Jeremy, 42, along with older brother, Douglas, 49 and an attorney and judge in South Carolina.
To make it a nucleus family affair, Judith Novak, 71, an attorney in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and mother of Jeremy, was also admitted.
Roberts announced that, "All the Novaks are admitted" and sent a personal note of congratulations to Joseph Novak.
"That was really super of him to do that," Jeremy Novak said.
The event had been in planning for some time.
The family had talked about an joint admission for five or six years, but schedules and cases and life erected hurdles, Jeremy said.
Admission to the bar comes after application by an attorney in good standing with his or her practicing state; attorneys already admitted to the bar provides sponsorship and testaments to the attorney's good standing.
The process takes months and attorneys can be admitted to the bar without actually appearing before the court.
The Novaks saw a ceremony as a bit of a "bookend" to Joseph's distinguished career in the year he would be retiring.
So it finally came together for the Novak family in late February, when they stood before the highest court and a packed audience and gained entry to one of the legal world's most-inner sanctums.
As it happened, Jeremy Novak was there representing Gulf County at the National Association of Counties annual meetings as well as visiting the county's Washington delegation on issues pertaining to Gulf County.
"When we came out and were standing on the steps of the Supreme Court my father said to my mother, 'This is the best day of my legal career,'" Jeremy said.
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