Frequently Asked Questions
- How and when are the Bar’s annual dues notices mailed?
- When must my dues be remitted?
- How can I pay my dues?
- How do I change my username and password?
- Who do I make my check payable to?
- When are my dues considered late?
- What happens if my dues are unpaid by July 15?
- If I am suspended for nonpayment of dues or late fee, how can I secure reinstatement?
- How do I get my Bar membership card replaced?
- Can I get my course or event CLE-accredited for the District of Columbia?
- How will I get my registration statement if I have relocated?
- Can I give you my change of address over the phone?
- Am I required to maintain an office in the District of Columbia?
- The registration statement has three member types: active, inactive, and judicial. What are the differences?
- Does the D.C. Bar offer a disabled status?
- Is there a reduced rate for government employees?
- How do I change my status?
- What status should I choose? Can you advise me?
- I am retired but would like to continue receiving D.C. Bar materials. How do I switch to retired/inactive status?
- If I elect retired/inactive status, may I later elect to return to active, inactive, or judicial status?
- How do I get a certificate of good standing?
- How do I change my name in the District of Columbia Bar records?
- If I am a member of the D.C. Bar, does this automatically mean that I am a member of the U.S. District Court?
- Does the D.C. Bar offer a lawyer referral service?
How and when are the Bar’s annual dues notices mailed?
The D.C. Bar sends out annual registration statements by first-class mail each May in advance of its upcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1. Each registration statement includes the amount of annual dues the member must remit.
How can I pay my dues?
Payment may be submitted over the phone, by check, or by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover). Members may also pay online. When paying online, members may also update their member profiles, join a section, and contribute to the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program.
Payment over the phone: 202-626-3475
Mail payment to: D.C. Bar Dues, P.O. Box 79834, Baltimore, MD 21279-0834
In order to change your profile information, including your username and password, please follow the steps below.
- Login to the Bar's Web site through My Account.
- Click on the first link in the list. It is “Update your Member Profile.
- You should see a page, where there are a list of descriptions on the left-hand side and a corresponding data entry field on the right-hand side. Overwrite the existing information with your new information and then click submit at the bottom of the page.
Who do I make my check payable to?
Checks are made payable to the D.C. Bar.
What happens if my dues are unpaid by July 15?
Members whose dues are unpaid by July 15 are sent a final registration statement by first-class mail that includes the amount of dues and late fee to be paid along with instructions. For 2015–2016, payments must be postmarked by September 30 to avoid automatic suspension of membership. Individuals suspended administratively for nonpayment of dues and/or late fee shall not be entitled to practice law in the District of Columbia during the period of such suspension.
If I am suspended for nonpayment of dues or late fee, how can I secure reinstatement?
For 2015–2016, if your dues are not received postmarked by September 30, your membership will automatically be suspended administratively for nonpayment. If you wish to be reinstated, you must submit a written request to the D.C. Bar executive director that includes payment of unpaid dues and/or late fee plus a reinstatement fee of $50. If the year in which you are applying for reinstatement is beyond the year in which you were suspended, you must also include the current year dues. Your written request must also include a statement that you are not suspended, temporarily suspended, or disbarred by any disciplinary authority and, if applicable, a certificate of completion of the Mandatory Course on the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct and District of Columbia Practice.
Members who need their D.C. Bar membership card replaced should contact Member Services at 202-626-3475 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no fee for the replacement of D.C. Bar membership cards.
The District of Columbia Bar has no mandatory continuing legal education requirements at this time, which also means that we have no CLE accreditation body and do not accredit courses. We do not certify CLE providers or keep records of our members’ attendance at other providers’ CLE courses for the same reason. While the D.C. Bar requires members to maintain their legal competence, we do not specify how they must do so and do not require that attorneys submit attendance documentation from any courses they attend.
How will I get my registration statement if I have relocated?
Members are required by Rule II, section 2, of the D.C. Court of Appeals Rules Governing the District of Columbia Bar to update their address information in writing within 30 days of any change. A U.S. Postal Service forwarding notice sent to the Bar is not a substitute for the member’s explicit written notice.
Can I give you my change of address over the phone?
Yes, by contacting the Member Service Center at 202-626-3475. Changes also can be sent to the D.C. Bar Member Service Center, 1101 K Street NW, Suite 200 Washington, D.C. 20005-5937, submitted online, or via e-mail at email@example.com.
The registration statement has three member types: active, inactive, and judicial. What are the differences?
Active membership is required for members who practice or hold themselves out as licensed to practice in the District of Columbia. Only active members are eligible to vote in Bar elections. Active membership dues are currently $280.
Inactive membership is available for members who are eligible for membership but do not hold themselves out as licensed to practice in the District of Columbia. It maintains your record on file with the Bar should you decide in the future to practice law in the District of Columbia. Inactive dues are currently $145.
Judicial membership is available to 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 assignments and are not engaged in the practice of law. If a member’s terms and conditions of employment require that he or she be eligible to practice law, the member may choose to be an active member. Judicial membership dues are currently $142.
Yes. The Bar does offer a disabled member status as a retired/inactive member. In order to qualify for this status, you must submit proof of a disability from a physician, along with the completed Retired/Inactive Request form (option 2).
Mail your request to: The District of Columbia Bar, ATTN: Member Service Center, 1101 K Street NW, Suite 200, Washington, D.C. 20005.
How do I change my status?
You can change your status at any time by notifying the Bar in writing. If the change is from inactive to active status, the member must also remit the additional dues amount for that dues year based on the date of the change. For the 2015–2016 dues year, those amounts are $135.00 for status changes made on or before December 31 and $67.50 for changes made after that date. Members wishing to return to active status after having been inactive for five years or more are also required to complete the Mandatory Course on the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct and District of Columbia Practice before the change can take effect. Members who decide to change status from active to inactive after having paid their annual dues do not receive a refund.
What status should I choose? Can you advise me?
Although the Bar staff cannot advise you on what status to elect, we recommend you consult the appropriate D.C. Court of Appeals rules, particularly Rule 49 and commentary on the practice of law in the District of Columbia.
I am retired but would like to continue receiving D.C. Bar materials. How do I switch to retired/inactive status?
Yes. The D.C. Bar offers a retired/inactive status for two categories of members: members who have been active for at least five years (note: two years of any combination of inactive or judicial status may be substituted for one year of active membership), have been engaged in the practice of law in the District of Columbia or elsewhere for a total of 25 years, and have retired from the practice of law; and members who are totally disabled and are thus unable to practice. For 2015–2016, to avoid having to pay dues, members must elect retired/inactive status on or before September 30 of the dues year. Download the Retired/Inactive Request form.
If I elect retired/inactive status, may I later elect to return to active, inactive, or judicial status?
Yes, but you will be required to pay a reinstatement fee of $100 plus current year dues to return to active status.
How do I get a certificate of good standing?
You can request a certificate of good standing in writing or in person from the Committee on Admissions, D.C. Court of Appeals, 430 E Street NW, Room 123, Washington, DC 20001. The phone number is 202-879-2710. The cost of the certificate is $5 (cash or check payable to “Clerk, D.C. Court of Appeals”). You can expect about a 10-minute wait if applying in person. Download the Certificate of Good Standing form.
How do I change my name in the District of Columbia Bar records?
In order to change your name on our official Bar records, you must complete the Change of Name Request form.
Mail your notarized request to: The District of Columbia Bar, ATTN: Member Service Center, 1101 K Street NW, Suite 200, Washington, D.C. 20005. Any updates to your contact information should be included with this request. A new bar card will be mailed to reflect the name change.
No. If you want to become a member of the U.S. District Court, they can be reached at 202-354-3100.