Dena Standley | July 17, 2023
Edited by Hannah Locklear
Summary: It is a requirement for all states to have an active bar association to ensure the legal profession is kept in check. SoloSuit will help you understand more about bar associations and link you to your state's bar association website.
Are you curious about bar associations and what benefits it has for you as a young lawyer? Becoming a bar association member can have a lifelong and positive impact on your career and personal life. For instance, bar associations help you:
Regardless of your position on bar associations, you may have already found out that lawyers must join their state’s bar association. But just because you have to join one doesn't mean you will not enjoy the benefits that come with being an active member.
Today, this article will discuss the role of bar associations and the types available to join. As a bonus, we will list the states’ bar association websites in all 50 states.
A bar association or legal association encompasses a group of lawyers that have come together to deal with challenges affecting the legal profession. The group's primary agenda is enhancing lawyers' interest and ensuring they thrive in their profession. For example, the association may fight for legal reforms, regulate professional standards and sponsor research.
In addition, bar associations administer exams for admission to practice law and supervise some apprenticeship programs. Further, most state bar associations have disciplinary powers over the members, but the courts carry the final decision to take away a lawyer's license to practice.
Let's look at an illustration of the benefits Joe enjoyed from joining the Michigan bar association.
Example: After being accepted as a Michigan state bar association member, Joe was ready to take on the legal world with his law degree. After a week in his new job, he realized everything was not as straightforward as he thought and needed help. Joe remembered that mentorship opportunities were among the benefits of being a member of the Michigan state bar association. He then contacted the association’s vice chairman and was connected to Brian, a competent attorney with over ten years of experience. They met once a week for a month, and he guided him on how to navigate the office responsibilities and still work on his cases. Two months later, the bar association organized a state-wide conference for attorneys who had been in practice for less than five years. He got more tips on succeeding in his new career and formed support groups.
As mentioned earlier, bar associations have tremendous benefits you can enjoy throughout your career or lifetime. In some situations, you reap the most benefits depending on the bar association you join. The following are the four commonest bar associations that lawyers join:
Exemplary bar associations have members who sacrifice their time, resources, and effort to ensure the organization remains active and beneficial. For instance, these associations often organize fundraisers, award banquets, lecture series, and bar conferences. Others send monthly or bimonthly newsletters.
The following table presents an exhaustive list of all the State Bar Associations and their websites. These associations are under the American Bar Association, one of the biggest professional associations in the nation and a credible attorney accreditation issuing institution.
|State||Bar Association Website|
Joining a bar association offers you more benefits than going through your legal career on your own. Undoubtedly, it can be challenging to choose which association meets all your needs —outside the mandatory state bar association. Many attorneys begin with the local bar association and eventually add a specific group or a practice area association. Ultimately, attorneys choose the bar association they believe will give them the best advantages in their career and personal life.
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