Classes of Membership
To practice law or to hold yourself out as licensed to practice in the District of Columbia (as defined in Rule 49 of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals Rules), you must be enrolled as an active member of the District of Columbia Bar. Active membership dues for the year 2016–2017 are $295. See Rule II, Section 4 and Bylaw Article III, Section 1.
Inactive membership is available for members who are eligible for active membership but do not practice or in any way hold themselves out as licensed to practice in the District of Columbia. Individual membership records will remain on file with the Bar regardless of which membership status is selected. Inactive membership dues for the year 2016–2017 are $163. See Rule II, Section 4 and Bylaw Article III, Section 1.
A Letter of Good Standing stating your current membership status may be obtained from the D.C. Court of Appeals Committee on Admissions by calling 202-879-2710.
Active and inactive members receive the same Bar materials with the exception of election materials (inactive members do not vote on Bar elections). Section memberships, Continuing Legal Education programs, and member benefit programs are available at members’ rates.
Changing Membership Status
Members can change their membership status at any time by notifying the District of Columbia Bar Members Service Center in writing and remitting the amount for that dues year to D.C. Bar Member Service Center, 1101 K Street NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20005. Note: If a member seeks to change status from inactive to active after such attorney has been in inactive status for five (5) years or more, such attorney shall complete the Course on the District of Columbia Rules of Professional Conduct and District of Columbia Practice (Mandatory Course) and shall submit certification of completion of the course at the time of the request for status change. See Rule II, Section 4 and Bylaw Article III, Section 1.
Judges of courts of record; full-time court commissioners; U.S. bankruptcy judges; U.S. magistrate judges; other persons who perform a judicial function on an exclusive basis, in an official capacity created by federal or state statute, or by administrative agency rule; and retired judges who are eligible for temporary judicial assignment and are not engaged in the practice of law shall be classed as “judicial” members, except that if a member’s terms and conditions of employment require that he or she be eligible to practice law, then the member may choose to be an active member. Judicial dues for the year 2016–2017 are $142. See Rule II, Section 4 and Bylaw Article III, Section 1.
A member may become an inactive member on a nondues paying basis by certifying that (a) he/she (i) has been an active member of the Bar of the District of Columbia for five years (two years of any combination of inactive or judicial membership may be substituted for one year of active membership to satisfy this requirement), (ii) has been engaged in the practice of law in the District of Columbia or elsewhere for a total of twenty-five (25) years, and (iii) has retired from the practice of law, or (b) he/she is totally disabled and is thus unable to practice law. See Bylaw Article III, Section 1(a)(3).
Special Legal Consultants (SLC)
Any person licensed by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals as a Special Legal Consultant shall be treated for purposes of Article III as an active member and shall be required to pay the same membership dues as an active member. Active membership dues for the year 2016–2017 are $295. See Bylaw Article III, Section 7.
For additional information on membership status, contact the Member Service Center at 202-626-3475, or toll-free outside the Metro area at 1-877-333-2227, ext. 3475.