State Bar Associations

Most states have a bar that is a government-sanctioned body, charged with the regulation and licensing of attorneys. Some states also have a voluntary bar association that focuses on advancing and improving the legal profession. In other states, one organization serves both functions.

In every state, however, there is at least one entity that exists to streamline and support the legal profession and to engage with the public to assure confidence in and accountability for attorneys.

This list provides a list of such organizations with links to additional contact information, including the address and phone number. Find links for more information about how the state determines the bar exam requirements, administers the exam, reviews complaints against lawyers, and handles disciplinary actions.

Many of these organizations maintain a database of attorneys with advanced search features to find an attorney by name, geographical location, or practice area. 

The database provides a way to find out if an attorney has been disciplined and whether the attorney is licensed to practice in a particular state.


Alabama State Bar

www.alabar.org
415 Dexter Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36104 · (334) 269-1515

Beginning as a voluntary organization in 1879 and entering formal incorporation in 1923, the Alabama State Bar association is the licensing and regulatory agency for Alabama attorneys charged with promoting the professional responsibility and competence of its members while increasing public understanding and interest. The Alabama State Bar established the first code of legal ethics in the United States, and still implements those through its values of trust, integrity, and service. Membership in the association is required for attorneys practicing in Alabama and is governed by the Alabama Supreme Court.


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Alaska Bar Association

www.alaskabar.org
840 K Street, Suite 100, Anchorage, AK 99501 · (907) 272-7469

With over 4,000 members, it is the responsibility of the mandatory-membership Alaska Bar Association to admit and discipline attorneys and provide continuing legal education and other member services. The Alaska Bar Association was formed by the Integrated Bar Act of 1955 and is directed by a Board of Governors composed of nine elected lawyers in Alaska and three public members appointed by the governor.


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State Bar of Arizona

www.azbar.org
4201 N. 24th Street, Suite 100, Phoenix, AZ 85016 · (602) 252-4804

The State Bar of Arizona is a private, nonprofit organization supervised by the Arizona Supreme Court and is responsible for fostering integrity, competence, learning, and public service among its 22,000 plus members. Participation is mandatory to practice law in Arizona. It is administered by a Board of Governors composed of 30 members with various appointments, including the Arizona Supreme Court, the immediate past president, the deans of Arizona's three law schools, and election by Bar members. Additionally, the State Bar of Arizona serves the public through consumer protection from lawyers, legal information, educational programs, and free legal advice days.


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Arkansas Bar Association

www.arkbar.com
2224 Cottondale Lane, Little Rock, AR 72202 · 501-375-4606

Established in 1898, the Arkansas Bar Association serves to improve the administration of justice, provide continuing legal education for lawyers, and help educate the public. The Arkansas Bar Association also serves as a voluntary professional organization that serves over 5,500 members. It strives to encourage the honor and dignity of the legal profession. It maintains among attorneys high ideals of integrity, learning, competence, public service, and high standards of conduct. The association does not, however, handle the licensing and regulation of law practice, which is governed by the Supreme Court of Arkansas.


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State Bar of California

www.calbar.ca.gov
180 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94105 · 415-538-2000

For more than 80 years, the State Bar of California manages the admission of lawyers in California into practice, investigates complaints of professional misconduct, and prescribes appropriate discipline for misconduct. California was one of the first states to unify its bar and make it mandatory, and it is the only state bar that operates its own State Bar Court for professional responsibility cases. With over 242,000 members, it is the largest state bar association in the United States. The State Bar of California is directly responsible to the Supreme Court of California. It is headquartered in San Francisco and has branches in Los Angeles and Sacramento.


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Colorado Bar Association

www.cobar.org
1900 Grant St, 9th Floor, Denver, CO 80203 · 303-860-1115

About 73% of active Colorado attorneys are members of the Colorado Bar Association. A voluntary membership organization, the Colorado Bar Association was founded in 1897 and strives to improve the quality of members' legal practice, to support and improve the justice system, and to support the community through pro bono, voluntary, and education endeavors. The association is governed by a 21-member Board of Governors that is elected on an annual basis and an Executive Director who is hired by the Board outright.


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Connecticut Bar Association

www.ctbar.org
30 Bank Street, New Britain, CT 06050 · 860-223-4400

Founded in 1875, the Connecticut Bar Association had only been in existence for three years before it was instrumental in helping found the national organization that later turned into the American Bar Association. The Connecticut Bar Association is a voluntary organization that provides benefits like an online research library, discounted continuing legal education courses, legislative advocacy, and an online legal job board to its members. The association is also dedicated to promoting public service and advancing the principles of law and justice through its members. The Connecticut Bar Association does not regulate admission to law practice for the state – that is a function of the Connecticut Bar Examining Committee of the Connecticut Judicial Branch.


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Delaware State Bar Association

www.dsba.org
405 North King Street, Suite 100, Wilmington, DE 19801 · 302-658-5279

Though the Delaware State Bar Association is a voluntary, non-unified organization, 90 percent of private lawyers in Delaware are members. The DBA was founded in 1923 and sought to advance the science of jurisprudence, secure proper law reform, preserve proper standards for Bar members, maintain the honor and dignity of the legal profession, uphold legal ethics and professional responsibility, cultivate fraternal relationships among lawyers and judiciaries, and perpetuate legal history. The Executive Committee for the association consists of 26 members, with vice presidents representing one of each county.


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District of Columbia Bar

www.dcbar.org
1101 K Street NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20005 · 202-737-4700

The District of Columbia Bar is the second-largest unified bar association in the U.S. and the mandatory bar association for Washington D.C. The bar's core focus is to administer admissions, licensing, and discipline functions for lawyers in the U.S. capital. Additionally, the District of Columbia Bar offers a client security fund, public service programs, and educational programs.


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Bar Association of the District of Columbia

www.badc.org
1016 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036 · 202-223-6600

The voluntary bar for Washington D.C. is the Bar Association of the District of Columbia. Founded in 1871, the Bar Association of the District of Columbia is the third oldest bar association in the United States and seeks to promote civility, justice, and collegiality amongst legal professionals. Members of the BADC volunteer their time and talents to advance the community's access to legal services.


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The Florida Bar

www.floridabar.org
651 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399 · 850-561-5600

The Florida Bar began with a small group of lawyers in 1889. Today, the organization has grown to over 90,000 members. The Florida Bar prosecutes unethical lawyers, advises on advertising practices, administers a client protection fund, governs a substance abuse program, and provides continuing education programs for lawyers in Florida. Additionally, the Florida bar provides the following for the public: legal periodicals, public information programs, ethics and law management advice, conferences, and meetings.


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State Bar of Georgia

www.gabar.org
104 Marietta Street NW, Suite100, Atlanta, GA 30303 · 404-527-8700

Membership in the State Bar of Georgia is required if a person wants to be licensed to practice law in the state. Supervised by the Supreme Court of Georgia, the bar has a strict code of ethics and discipline meant to keep only the most ethical lawyers licensed. Additionally, the State Bar of Georgia maintains programs that benefit both its members and the general public, including ongoing education for attorneys.


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Hawaii State Bar Association

www.hsba.org
110 Alakea Street, Suite 1000, Honolulu, HI 96813 · 808-537-1868

The Hawaii State Bar Association started out as a voluntary organization in 1899 and became formally designated a mandatory unified bar for members of the legal profession in 1989. Their mission is to promote justice, serve the public, and improve the legal profession using seven goals, including maintaining an effective organizational structure, promoting the integrity of Hawaiian lawyers, eliminating prejudice. educating the public about issues such as their legal rights, increasing the availability of quality legal services to everyone, advancing the equitable and efficient administration of justice, and recognizing the needs of lawyers on each island.


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Idaho State Bar

isb.idaho.gov
525 W. Jefferson Street, Boise, ID 83702 · 208-334-4500

With over 5,000 members, the Idaho State Bar is the mandatory legal association in Idaho. A self-governing state agency, the ISB is given power by the Idaho Supreme Court and statutory authority of the Legislature. The Idaho State Bar is responsible for legal admissions, right to practice after admission, continuing legal education, professional conduct, the client assistance fund, fee arbitration, governance, specialization, practice sections, and an annual meeting.

Read more about voluntary associations for lawyers in Idaho.


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Illinois State Bar Association

www.isba.org
424 South Second Street, Springfield, IL 62701 · 217-525-1760

The largest voluntary state bar in the country, the Illinois State Bar Association nearly 30,000 members. It shapes legislation, educates the public, provides professional services to lawyers, and supports the courts and the rule of law. The ISBA is concerned with bringing those who practice law without a license to justice. The Illinois State Bar Association was organized on January 4, 1877, and originally led by Anthony Thornton – a contemporary of Abraham Lincoln.


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Indiana State Bar Association

www.inbar.org
One Indiana Square, Suite 530, Indianapolis, IN 46204 · 317-639-5465

Established in 1896, the Indiana State Bar Association is a voluntary, nongovernmental organization with more than 12,000 members. A nonprofit association, the ISBA strives to improve the administration of justice and promote public understanding of the legal system. Specifically, the association encourages and promotes law reform, fosters and advances the legal profession, advocates effective and thorough legal education, and encourages continuing education among attorneys practicing in Indiana.


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Iowa State Bar Association

www.iowabar.org
625 East Court Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50309 · 515-243-3179

The oldest voluntary bar association in the country, the Iowa State Bar Association was formed at the Polk County Courthouse in May of 1874. The association's purpose is to help lawyers in Iowa practice more effectively through products and services including continuing legal education (CLE) seminars, practice aids, interaction with the judiciary and legislature, law reform participation, and news. Additionally, the Iowa Bar serves to educate the public about legal issues.


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Kansas Bar Association

www.ksbar.org
1200 SW Harrison St., Topeka, KS 66612 · 785-234-5696

The Kansas Bar Association is a voluntary organization dating back to 1882 that currently serves about 7,000 legal professionals such as paralegals, law students, attorneys, and judges. As a general organization, the Kansas Bar Association works to advance the professionalism and legal skills of lawyers and encourage public understanding of the law. As a legislative advocate, the association lobbies for important legal issues and provides information to its members about pending legislation that is of interest to the association itself or to the public.


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Kentucky Bar Association

www.kybar.org
514 W. Main Street, Frankfort, KY 40601 · 502-564-3795

An arm and agency of the Supreme Court of Kentucky, the Kentucky Bar Association is the mandatory association for the state. The Kentucky Bar Association was unified in 1934 and has over 16,000 members. The purpose of the association includes maintaining discipline among the members, promoting the efficiency and improvement of the judicial system, establishing and maintaining a code of ethics, investigating complaints of unethical conduct, assisting attorneys with ethical advertising, and improving the relationship of the legal system with the public.


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Louisiana State Bar Association

www.lsba.org
601 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130 · 504-566-1600


Roots for the Louisiana State Bar Association began with the Association of the Bar of New Orleans in 1847. It as officially founded in 1929. In 1941 that the Louisiana State Bar Association was sanctioned by the Louisiana Supreme Court as the official, mandatory bar association for the state. The LSBA has eight goals as a part of its mission, including increasing professional competence, identifying and cultivating potential volunteers and leaders, increasing member participation, providing customized products, programs, and services, increasing legal career satisfaction, improving access to justice for all, and ensuring the participation of all minorities in association leadership.


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Maine State Bar Association

www.mainebar.org
124 State Street, Augusta, ME 04330 · 207-622-7523

Incorporated in 1891 by the Maine Legislature, the Maine State Bar Association is the voluntary bar for Maine lawyers. The association has over 3,000 members and is guided by the three pillars of its mission: liberty, equality, and justice. The MSBA's goal is to provide outstanding services to enhance and enrich its members' experiences in the legal profession. This includes a focus on continuing legal education and pro bono legal services.


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Maryland State Bar Association

www.msba.org
520 W. Fayette St, Baltimore, MD 21201 · 410-685-7878

With over 23,000 members, the Maryland State Bar Association was founded in 1896 and is the voluntary bar organization for Maryland legal professionals. The association's mission is to promote professionalism and diversity in the legal profession, access to justice, public service, and respect for the rule of law. For its members, the MSBA monitors judicial and legislative issues in the state, offers legal education opportunities, encourages leadership, and provides programs that ensure the delivery of quality legal services to all citizens.


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Massachusetts Bar Association

www.massbar.org
20 West Street, Boston, MA 02111 · 617-338-0500

The Massachusetts Bar Association was started in 1910 and incorporated in 1911 as a way to both unify and make more effective the efforts of numerous smaller Massachusetts bar associations to improve the quality of justice. The association was one of the first to embrace gender and racial diversity, launch legal education programs, and create legal aid services to help the poor. The Massachusetts Bar Association is also the main association that represents the interests of lawyers and the legal profession to the Legislature – particularly when it comes to legal education in public schools, access to justice, auto insurance reform, unauthorized practice of law, and capital punishment.


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State Bar of Michigan

www.michbar.org
306 Townsend St, Lansing, MI 48933 · 517-346-6300

Established in 1935, the State Bar of Michigan is the mandatory bar organization governed by the Michigan Supreme Court Rules. According to these rules, the State Bar of Michigan should always support and improve the justice system's efficiency, law, rules, and jurisprudence, the independence, professionalism, public service, and competence of the bench and bar, access to justice for all, public understanding of the system and profession, openness of the legal profession, and the position of the State Bar of Michigan as the representative of the profession. Additionally, the State Bar of Michigan favors continuing legal education through the Institute of Continuing Legal Education founded in 1959 with the cooperation of the University of Michigan Law School and Wayne State University Law School.


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Minnesota State Bar Association

www.mnbar.org
600 Nicollet Mall 380, Minneapolis, MN 55402 · 612-333-1183

One of the oldest state bar associations in existence, the Minnesota State Bar Association was started in 1883 as a source of information and collegiality for Minnesota attorneys. The association is voluntary and has almost 16,000 members. It brings together the experience and talents of attorneys, judges, legislators, and other legal professionals state-wide to improve law practice, advance the justice system's goals, and benefit the community. One of the Minnesota State Bar Association's contributions is conducting the Minnesota State Mock Trial Program in various high schools.


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The Mississippi Bar

www.msbar.org
643 North State Street, Jackson, MS 39202 · 601-948-4471

The Mississippi Bar has roots tracing back to an 1821 voluntary organization but wasn’t officially established as a unified effort until 1906. The Mississippi Bar is a mandatory organization that has over 10,000 members. The mission of the association is to serve the public good by promoting excellence in the profession and justice system. Additionally, the goals of the association include assuring the highest standards of ethical conduct, integrity, civility, and professionalism in the practice of law, increase public trust and understanding in the system and profession, increase equal access to fair and impartial courts, and advance judiciary excellence through promoting a competent and impartial judiciary. It is required of every Mississippi Bar member to achieve 12 credits of continuing legal education each year.


The Missouri Bar

www.mobar.org
326 Monroe, Jefferson City, MO 65102 · 573-635-4128

Created in 1944 by an order of the Supreme Court of Missouri, The Missouri Bar seeks to improve the legal profession, the administration of justice, and the administration of law. Membership in The Missouri Bar is required to practice law in Missouri, and the organization provides valuable resources to Missouri attorneys, including continuing education opportunities, publications, access to research systems, and firm management advice. It serves the public by enforcing the rule of 15 yearly education credits on its lawyers, as well as providing free information on topical things like family law or wills. Additionally, workshops and publications for teachers are offered.


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State Bar of Montana

www.montanabar.org
7 West 6th Avenue Suite 2B, Helena, MT 59601 · 406-442-7660

The State Bar of Montana is a mandatory bar governed by a 20-member Board of Trustees that the membership elects. The mission of this Board is to lead the legal profession and serve the public interest through proper guidance of the State Bar of Montana. The State Bar of Montana strives to improve the legal profession by requiring high standards of integrity, learning, conduct, competence, and conduct of its members. Additionally, it is a safeguarded forum for the discussion and/or effective action concerning legal subject and a way to achieve positive relations with the public. Montana lawyers must complete 15 credits each year of continuing legal education. Prior to the current organization was a voluntary association founded in 1885.


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Nebraska State Bar Association

www.nebar.com
635 South 14th Street Suite 200, Lincoln, NE 68508 · 402-475-7091

With a voluntary organization founded in 1899 as its predecessor, the Nebraska State Bar Association became a mandatory organization by order of the Nebraska Supreme Court in 1937. The mission of the Nebraska State Bar Association is to help lawyers help people through maintaining high standards of conduct, improving public understanding of the legal system, providing quality support and services, safeguarding the professional interests of the legal profession, and promote quality continuing legal education (CLE). The association requires each member to complete 10 credits of CLE a year.


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State Bar of Nevada

www.nvbar.org
600 East Charleston Boulevard, Las Vegas, NV 89104 · 702-382-2200

The State Bar of Nevada is a more than 80-year-old public corporation supervised by the Nevada Supreme Court. Founded in 1928, membership in the bar is mandatory, as it helps regulate attorneys in Nevada through admissions, ethics, and client protection divisions. Additionally, the State Bar of Nevada provides educational and developmental programs for both its members and the public. The State Bar of Nevada was preceded by a voluntary organization founded in 1911. The bar has over 10,000 members today – 71 percent of which reside in Clark County.


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New Hampshire Bar Association

www.nhbar.org
2 Pillsbury Street Suite 300, Concord, NH 03301 · 603-224-6942

Established in 1873, the New Hampshire Bar Association is the oldest statewide bar organization in the nation, with roots tracing back to 1793. Membership has been mandatory since 1969 to ensure a high degree of professionalism among New Hampshire lawyers and attorneys. In addition to multiple yearly live continuing legal education programs, the bar also offers CLE through videotape rental programs and comprehensive written material programs. In order to continue good standing in the bar and keep practicing, New Hampshire lawyers must complete 12 credits of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) every year.


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New Jersey State Bar Association

www.njsba.com
One Constitution Square, New Brunswick, NJ 08901 · 732-249-5000

Started by 74 attorneys in June of 1899, the New Jersey State Bar Association was founded in order to maintain the honor and dignity of the legal profession, cultivate social relationships between members, champion legal reform, and aid the administration of justice. Membership in the NJSBA is voluntary but does require that applicants have a bona fide law office in New Jersey. One of the main missions of the New Jersey State Bar Association is to examine the most pressing issues confronting attorneys and the legal profession today and make a plan for progress and innovation to overcome these challenges.


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State Bar of New Mexico

www.nmbar.org
5121 Masthead NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109 · 505-797-6000

First organized in 1886 as a voluntary association, the State Bar of New Mexico was initiated as a mandatory organization to operate as an agency of the New Mexico Supreme Court by state stature in 1925. In 1978 the bar was incorporated as a professional membership organization of New Mexico licensed lawyers. The purpose of the State Bar of New Mexico is to represent and promote the needs of all of its members, to improve the administration of justice, to encourage pro bono legal services, provide continuing legal education, improve the relationship between the public and the legal profession, and to set a high standard in the profession for integrity, performance, and ethics.


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New York State Bar Association

www.nysba.org
One Elk Street, Albany, NY 12207 · 518-463-3200

The largest voluntary state bar association in the United States, the New York State Bar Association was founded in 1877. The NYSBA is noted for achieving several important historical goals early on, including removing the restriction of women from legal practice and proposing the first global means for settling disputes between nations – known as the Permanent Court of Arbitration. Today, the New York State Bar Association continues to work on achieving legal goals of equal importance. The association strives to simplify and update court procedures, raise judicial standards, establish standards of integrity in the profession as well as systems to uphold them, advocate pro bono legal services to the less fortunate, and continually educate its members, the public, and public education systems on the law.


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North Carolina State Bar

www.ncbar.com
208 Fayetteville Street, Raleigh, NC 27611 · 919-828-4620

The North Carolina State Bar was established by state government in 1933 as the mandatory bar organization for North Carolina. The North Carolina State Bar is responsible for regulating the investigation and prosecution of any of its more than 22,000 members who are accused of being in violation of the bar's code of ethics. In addition to creating and enforcing minimum standards of professional legal conduct, the North Carolina State Bar also provides a mandatory continuing legal education program, a client security fund, a paralegal certification program, a legal specialization program, an IOLTA program for increasing the access of the underprivileged to justice, and a substance abuse intervention program.


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North Carolina Bar Association

www.ncbar.org
8000 Weston Parkway, Cary, NC 27513 · 919-677-0561

The largest non-governmental organization serving the diverse professional needs of attorneys across the state is the North Carolina Bar Association. Established in 1899, the North Carolina Bar Association is a voluntary professional organization that members of the legal profession may join by choice to enhance their practice. Becoming a member of the bar association gives an attorney in North Carolina access to programs and services that promote the legal profession, advance the administration of justice, and assist him or her with the practice of law. Additionally, the North Carolina Bar Association serves the public through legal information materials and support to pro bono services.


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State Bar Association of North Dakota

www.sband.org
504 North Washington, Bismarck, ND 58501 · 701-255-1404

The oldest integrated and mandatory bar association in the nation is the State Bar Association of North Dakota. Founded in 1899, the State Bar Association of North Dakota is committed to promoting justice while serving the needs of North Dakota lawyers and the public. The bar was originally established to ensure the integrity of legal services in the state and to provide education to the public about the criminal and civil justice systems. Today, the State Bar Association of North Dakota continues that tradition by providing programs such as continuing legal education, ethics opinions, lawyer assistance program, legal research technology, insurance programs, client protection funds, consumer protections against the unauthorized legal practice, and public legal educational information.


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Ohio State Bar Association

www.ohiobar.org
1700 Lake Shore Drive, Columbus, OH 43216 · 614-487-2050

The Ohio State Bar Association was founded in 1880 and remains a voluntary organization to this day. The main purpose of the bar is to advance the professional interests of its members and become an indispensable resource to Ohio lawyers. The Ohio State Bar Association operates on the core values of member satisfaction, professionalism, foresight, quality services, and quality products. The organization provides its members with important resources like legal issue advocacy and continuing legal education programs and provides the public with legal educational information and tools.


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Oklahoma Bar Association

www.okbar.org
1901 N. Lincoln Boulevard, Oklahoma City, OK 73152 · 405-416-7000

The current Oklahoma Bar Association was created by the Rules of the Oklahoma Supreme Court in 1939, although it was preempted by the Oklahoma and Indian Territory Bar Association formed in 1904. Membership in the bar is required to practice law in the state of Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Bar Association strives to foster and maintain high ideals of public service, conduct, integrity, competence, and learning in the legal profession, provide a forum for discussion of pertinent law reform, and assist the courts in carrying out and advancing the administration of justice. Additionally, the bar seeks to harmonize legal practices with the public's best interest.


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Oregon State Bar

www.osbar.org
5200 Southwest Meadows Road, Lake Oswego, OR 97035 · 503-620-0222

It is the mission of the Oregon State Bar to serve justice through promoting respect for the rule of law, improving the quality of legal services, and by increasing access to justice. The Oregon State Bar is a mandatory organization formally created as a public entity by the Oregon Legislative Assembly in 1935. However, it was precluded by a voluntary, private organization founded in 1890. The purpose of the Oregon State Bar is to regulate, license, discipline, and support those licensed to practice law in Oregon.


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Pennsylvania Bar Association

www.pabar.org
100 South Street, Harrisburg, PA 17108 · 717-238-6715

The catalyst for the Pennsylvania Bar Association was an 1895 meeting of lawyers from various local bar associations across Pennsylvania. The small, individual organizations did not have the resources to combat statewide legislative issues. Now, over 29,000 members strong, the Pennsylvania Bar Association does stand up for important legislative issues, as well as providing membership benefits like publications, practice support, networking, and continuing legal education. The Pennsylvania Bar Association seeks to promote the administration of justice, see that no person is denied his or her legal rights due to poverty, secure proper legislation, encourage thorough, ongoing legal education, uphold the honor and dignity of the legal profession, cultivate cordial relationships amongst Pennsylvania attorneys, and perpetuate the history of the legal profession.


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Rhode Island Bar Association

www.ribar.com
115 Cedar Street, Providence, RI 02903 · 401-421-5740

The Rhode Island Bar Association is the unified bar association for the state of Rhode Island. Membership in the Rhode Island Bar Association is mandatory for any person licensed to practice law in the state. The association is committed to its purpose of defending the laws and Constitutions of Rhode Island and the U.S. while advancing the science of jurisprudence. The association is made up of several divisions and committees who work to enhance the practice of law, offer discounts and other extra benefits to members, and strengthen the relationship between the bar and the community. Continuing legal education (CLE) is an important issue to the Rhode Island Bar Association and participation in some of the 70+ credited courses offered throughout the year is mandatory.


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South Carolina Bar

www.scbar.org
950 Taylor Street, Columbia, SC 29202 · 803-799-6653

Initially, the South Carolina Bar was a voluntary association of approximately 200 lawyers founded in 1884. However, the South Carolina Supreme Court created the South Carolina State Bar in 1968, and the two combined in 1975. The South Carolina Bar is the administrative arm for the practice of law in the state. The bar strives to improve the administration of justice, set high standards of professional conduct and require they be followed, promote high-quality legal education and services, encourage public service, and provide programs and initiatives designed to create an atmosphere of trust and communication between the public and the legal profession.


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State Bar of South Dakota

www.sdbar.org
222 East Capitol Avenue, Pierre, SD 57501 · 605-224-7554

The State Bar of South Dakota is a unified mandatory bar that the South Dakota Legislature established in 1931 according to the South Dakota Supreme Court Rule. The State Bar of South Dakota is responsible to the South Dakota Supreme Court for administering the admission to the profession, as well as the discipline for the lawyers who violate the high standard of professional conduct set by the bar. Additionally, the State Bar of South Dakota is a forum for important legal issues facing lawyers, a means for upholding the honor of the profession while improving the administration of justice, and provider of continuing legal education and other member services.


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Tennessee Bar Association

www.tba.org
221 Fourth Avenue North Suite 400, Nashville, TN 37219 · 615-383-7421

Committed to the professional growth and service of Tennessee lawyers since 1881, the Tennessee Bar Association is a voluntary organization for members of the legal profession across the state. The purpose of the association is to maintain the honor and dignity of the profession, enhance performance, cultivate a high standard of ethics throughout the organization, provide a forum for fellowship among its members, and advocate responsible relationships between the legal profession and the public. Additionally, the Tennessee Bar Association strives to provide premier programs and services to assist in the professional development of its members while participating in public relations activities to improve public perception. Membership in the organization includes every type of legal professional from a small town, home-office attorney to judges.


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State Bar of Texas

www.texasbar.com
1414 Colorado, Austin, TX 78701 · 512-427-1463

Established in 1882, the State Bar of Texas is an administrative agency of the Texas Supreme Court charged with managing procedures for grievance, administering a mandatory continuing legal education program, and providing general education programs for both the legal profession and the public. Membership in the State Bar of Texas is required in order to practice law in the state. In addition to helping the state's supreme court oversee all licensed Texas lawyers, the State Bar of Texas also offers community services and legal information to the public.


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Utah State Bar

www.utahbar.org
645 South 200 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84111 · 801-531-9077

A unified mandatory bar, the Utah State Bar had its beginnings as a group of Utah attorneys who came together to improve communication within the legal community and figure out ways of serving the public. This effort was recognized in 1931 by the legislature of Utah, which understood a need to foster these goals, and the Utah State Bar was thus authorized by statute to regulate and manage the legal profession. The Utah bar is responsible for licensing all people who desire to practice law in Utah. Within this responsibility, the bar strives to encourage high standards of conduct, ongoing learning, integrity, competence, discipline, and public service.


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Vermont Bar Association

www.vtbar.org
35-37 Court Street, Montpelier, VT 05601 · 802-223-2020

Membership in the Vermont Bar Association is voluntary, so the bar thus strives to provide its attorney and other legal professionals with valuable services such as continuing legal education and practice management. Founded in 1878, the Vermont Bar Association's mission is to support the rule of law as the cornerstone of a democratic society, advocate equal access to justice, promote respect, honesty, competence, and diligence amongst the legal profession and encourage the special role of the lawyer as a public servant. Additionally, the Vermont Bar Association champions informed and wise reformation of the law.


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Virginia Bar Association

www.vba.org
701 E. Franklin Street Suite 1120, Richmond, VA 23219 · 804-644-0041

The Virginia Bar Association was founded in July of 1888 and is the voluntary professional organization for lawyers and other Virginians in the legal profession. The VBA strives to be the independent voice of the Virginia lawyer, advancing the highest ideals of the profession through advocacy and volunteer service. With offices in Richmond, the Virginia Bar Association provides a variety of services to its members, including promoting or opposing specific state legislation in the interest of Virginia attorneys, assisting in law office management, offering online continuing legal education, and publishing the quarterly VBA News Journal.


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Virginia State Bar

www.vsb.org
707 East Main Street Suite 1500, Richmond, Virginia 23219 · 804-775-0500

An administrative agency of the Supreme Court of Virginia, the Virginia State Bar exists to regulate, improve, and advance the legal profession throughout the state. It is mandatory to be in good standing with the VSB to be able to practice law in Virginia. Established in 1938, the Virginia State Bar handles regulatory issues such as attorney disciplinary matters and complaints of unauthorized practice of law. In addition, the bar also publishes pamphlets, handbooks, and other publication aids for members of the profession and of the public, as well as providing educational and professional services for its members.


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Washington State Bar Association

www.wsba.org
1325 Fourth Avenue Suite 600, Seattle, WA 98101 · 206-443-9722

An integrated mandatory bar since 1933, the Washington State Bar Association is both an administrative arm of the Washington State Supreme Court and the official statewide professional association for Washington attorneys. In duty to the state supreme court, the WSBA is responsible for the admission, license, and discipline functions for Washington attorneys. As a professional organization, the Washington State Bar Association provides relevant programs for the advancement of the legal profession. These include the Alternative Dispute Resolution Program, the Ethics and Professional Responsibility Program, the Law Office Management Assistance Program, the Lawyer-to-Lawyer program, the Continuing Legal Education Department, and the Lawyer Assistance Program.


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West Virginia State Bar

www.wvbar.org
2006 Kanawha Boulevard, East Charleston, WV 25311 · 304-558-2456

The West Virginia State Bar is the mandatory unified association established in May 1947 for the attorneys actively practicing law in West Virginia. The state bar serves as a way to improve the administration of state justice, jumpstart beneficial programs for the legal profession, and provide legal services and assistance to West Virginia citizens. The two foremost priorities of the bar are upholding a high standard of ethics and professionalism among West Virginia attorneys as well as promote continuing legal education.


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West Virginia Bar Association

www.wvbarassociation.org
1111 6th Avenue, Huntington, WV 25722 · 304-522-2652

Composed of a wide variety of judges, lawyers, professors, district attorneys, public defenders, and other legal professionals, the West Virginia Bar Association is a voluntary, private association dedicated to the enhancement of professional legal development. Established in 1886, the WVBA lobbies for the interests of its members during legislative sessions. Additionally, the West Virginia Bar Association provides other services for its members, including legislative updates, continuing legal education, social events, and small groups for special segments like real estate, law students, and legal nurse consultants. The WVBA strives to encourage its members to achieve high levels of competence, integrity, and ethics in the legal profession.


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State Bar of Wisconsin

www.wisbar.org
5302 Eastpark Boulevard, Madison, WI 53718 · 608-257-3838

The State Bar of Wisconsin was originally established as a voluntary association in January of 1878. In 1992, the Supreme Court finally established membership as mandatory and the bar an integrated bar after the original 1956 effort to unify was suspended in 1988. In addition to providing its members with continuing legal education (CLE) seminars (30 credits every two years is required), books, supplements, an ethics hotline, an office management assistance program, and a helpline, the State Bar of Wisconsin also provides fee arbitration, dispute resolution, information services, and law-related education to the public.


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Wyoming State Bar

www.wyomingbar.org
4124 Laramie Street, Cheyenne, WY 82001 · 307-632-9061

Organized as a voluntary association in 1915, the Wyoming State Bar was integrated by the state legislature in 1939. The bar assists in regulating and improving the profession under the authority of the Wyoming Supreme Court and requires high standards of competence, public service, conduct, and integrity. The Wyoming State Bar also maintains the boards for admissions, professional responsibility and ethics, and continuing legal education (CLE). In order to continue practicing in Wyoming, lawyers must complete 15 bar-authorized credits of CLE each year.


Other Associations 

Guam Bar Association - With more than 400 active and inactive members, the Guam Bar Association (GBA) was established as an integrated bar. The purpose of the GBA is to improve the administration of justice and the standards of the legal profession.

Bar Association of Puerto Rico - The Bar Association of Puerto Rico (BAPR) (Colegio de Abogados de Puerto Rico (CAPR)) is the oldest professional association in Puerto Rico, a territory of the United States. Headquartered in the Miramar section of San Juan, BAPR operates several programs that serve the community including a pro bono legal services program. Puerto Rico has more than 14,000 active and resident lawyers.

Virgin Islands Bar Association - The Virgin Islands Bar Association was created in 1956 to assist the Supreme Court in regulating the practice of law in the territory. As an integrated bar, all attorneys admitted to practice law in the Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands are also required to be members of the Virgin Islands Bar Association. The Virgin Islands Bar Association has approximately 1,000 members who practice within the United States Territory of the Virgin Islands.


Additional Resources

Directories by State Bar Associations - To confirm that an attorney is authorized to practice law in a particular jurisdiction, visit this list of official member directories maintained by the various bar organizations or regulatory organizations in each state. These directories often provide information about an attorney's disciplinary history, if any. Because the attorney is required to update the information, the directory by the state bar or state bar association will usually provide the most updated contact information.

Legal Organizations by State - Find a list of legal organizations listed by state. The list includes information on the bar or bar association4 in each state, civil and criminal legal organizations, and other non-profit groups of attorneys and legal professionals. Legal organizations include regional, specialty, and minority bar associations.

American Bar Association - The American Bar Association (ABA) is one of the world's largest voluntary professional organizations. Less than 15% of lawyers are members of the ABA. The organization is involved in setting academic standards for law schools and the formulating model ethical codes related to the legal profession. With its national headquarters in Chicago, Illinois, the ABA also maintains a branch office in Washington, D.C.


This article was last updated on Friday, January 3, 2019.