Frequent Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

DUES 

How and when are the Bar’s annual dues notices mailed?

The D.C. Bar sends out License Renewal Forms 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. 

What is the D.C. Bar’s fiscal year?

The D.C. Bar’s fiscal year is July 1 – June 30 each year.  

When must my dues be remitted?

Membership dues for the fiscal year are due and payable on July 1. Members must remit their payments by July 15 to avoid a late fee.

How can I pay my dues?

Payment may be submitted online, over the phone, or by mail. We accept checks and all major credit cards: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. We do not accept cash. When submitting payment, members may also update their member profiles, join a Section, and/or 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

Who do I make my check payable to?

Checks should be made payable to the D.C. Bar.

When are my dues considered late?

Dues are late if postmarked and/or received after July 15. Members who pay after that date must include a $30 late fee. 

What happens if my dues are unpaid by July 15?

Members whose dues are unpaid by July 15 are sent a license renewal statement by first-class mail that includes the amount of dues and late fee to be paid along with instructions. Payments must be postmarked by September 30 to avoid automatic suspension of membership. Individuals administratively suspended 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?

If your dues are not postmarked and/or received by September 30, your membership will automatically be suspended administratively for nonpayment. If you wish to be reinstated, you must submit the Reinstatement Request Form to the D.C. Bar Member Services that includes payment of unpaid dues, 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. The form includes 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.

Is there a reduced rate for government employees?

There is not a reduced rate for government employees.

Are there special rates for those in the military?

There are not special rates for those serving in the military.

Does the Bar waive dues/late fees for financial hardship?

At this time, the Bar does not have a waiver program in place for financial hardships. If you are unable to pay your active status dues and are not actively practicing law within the District of Columbia, you may consider changing your membership status to inactive.  Otherwise, retired-inactive status and resignation are available to those that qualify. Click for an explanation of the membership classes available. To further discuss your options, please contact Member Services at (202) 626-3475.

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D.C. BAR MEMBERSHIP

Pre/Post Admission and Accreditation

How do I become a D.C. Bar Member?

To become a member, whether by exam, motion, or special legal consultant, visit the Committee on Admissions of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals for application information. The Law School Certification form must be filled out and signed by your law school's dean or registrar.

Learn more about the different classes of membership at the D.C. Bar.

Do you have reciprocity with my state? Where can I find information?

The Committee on Admissions reviews all applications for admission to the District of Columbia Bar. See D.C. App. Rule 46. For further information, please contact the Committee on Admissions, by phone (202) 879-2710 or by e-mail at coa@dcappeals.gov or visit their office at 430 E Street NW, Room 123, Washington, DC 20001.

How can I check on the status of my application?

Please contact the Committee on Admissions. by phone at (202) 879-2710, or by e-mail at coa@dcappeals.gov. They are located at 430 E Street NW, Room 123, Washington, DC 20001. 

How do I obtain a duplicate copy of my original application?

Please contact the Committee on Admissions, by phone at (202) 879-2710, or by e-mail at coa@dcappeals.gov. They are located at 430 E Street NW, Room 123, Washington, DC 20001.

Can I get my course or event CLE-accredited for the District of Columbia?

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 the means and do not require that attorneys submit attendance documentation from any courses they attend.

How do I receive a certificate of attendance for a past CLE event that I attended at the D.C. Bar?

To obtain a certificate of attendance, please contact our Continuing Legal Education Department by phone at (202) 626-3488 or email at cle@dcbar.org.

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Newly Admitted Members

How can I create an online account?

The D.C. Bar creates a member account on your behalf when we receive your registration statement from the District Court of Appeals. Click here to retrieve your username or password and an e-mail will be sent to your address on file. If you do not have an e-mail address associated with your member account, please contact Member Services by phone at (202) 626-3475 or email at memberservices@dcbar.org for log-in assistance. We will ask for member information as a security verification measure.

I created an account online. Why can’t I pay my dues?

If you are a D.C. Bar member and create a new account, your membership will not be connected to the membership account we created on your behalf. Click here to retrieve your username or password and an e-mail will be sent to your address on file. If you are unsure which e-mail address is tied to your member record, contact Member Services by phone at (202) 626-3475 or email at memberservices@dcbar.org for log-in assistance. We will ask for membership information as a security verification measure.

I was recently sworn into the D.C. Bar. When can I expect to receive my Bar number?

You will receive a Bar number once you are entered in our system. Your Bar number is listed on the main page of your D.C. Bar online account once logged in. You will also receive an invoice to your primary address on record, as specified on the registration statement from the District Court of Appeals, that lists your Bar number under “Member Number.” Additionally, you will receive a Bar card with your Bar number. If you provided an e-mail address on your registration statement, you should receive an e-mail from the D.C. Bar with your Bar number and information on your new member account.

As a newly admitted member to the D.C. Bar, I am able to join one section for free. How do I join the free section? 

To join a section for free, you must pay your initial license dues through your D.C. Bar online account. Once you have logged into your account, click on “Pay Dues” and proceed to Step 2. Select the desired sections and proceed through the entire payment process. Your total should automatically deduct the amount for one section. If you have already paid your license dues or have paid via USPS, you are not eligible for the free section promotion.

What if I want to join more sections?

To join more sections, log into your D.C. Bar online account and click on “Join a Section.” Proceed through the steps to select the desired sections and pay the specified amount.

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Membership Information

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. Click here to review annual dues requirements. 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.  View annual dues requirements.

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. View annual dues requirements.

Does the D.C. Bar offer a disabled status?

Yes. The Bar does offer a disabled member status as a retired-inactive member. To qualify for this status, you must submit proof of a disability from a physician, along with the completed Retired-Inactive Request Form.

Mail your request to:
District of Columbia Bar, ATTN: Member Services
1101 K Street NW, Suite 200
Washington, D.C. 20005

How do I change my status?

You may change your D.C. Bar membership status at any time.

If you have already paid dues for the current fiscal year, you must complete the Status Change Request Form and remit payment of any additional amounts due as indicated on the form. The form may be requested of and submitted to Member Services via email to memberservices@dcbar.org, fax 202-942-9752 or mail to D.C. Bar Member Services, 1101 K Street NW, Suite 200, Washington, D.C. 20005.

If you have not paid your annual dues for the current fiscal year, you may select your desired status on your annual dues invoice and remitting payment for the changed status or by contacting our Member Services Center by phone at 202-626-3475. Annual dues invoice along with payment should be mailed to D.C. Bar Dues, PO Box 79834, Baltimore, MD 21279.

Members wishing to return to Active status after being in any other status for five years or more are also required to completed 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?

The D.C. Bar offers a retired-inactive status for two categories of members: members who have been active for at least five years or inactive/judicial for 10 years, engaged in the practice of law in the District of Columbia or elsewhere for a total of 25 years, and retired from the practice of law; and members who are totally disabled and are thus unable to practice. A member may avoid dues payment for the current fiscal year by submitting the retired-inactive status form 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 resign from the D.C. Bar?

You may voluntarily resign or withdraw your membership by submitting the official Resignation Request Form. In order to resign, you must currently be in good standing with the D.C. Bar (i.e. not suspended). If you intended to resign during the renewal period, your resignation form should be received by September 1st to avoid suspension. Under the Rules Governing the Bar, a resignation cannot take effect until it is accepted by the Secretary of the Bar and after consultation with the Office of Disciplinary Counsel. The review process takes a minimum of 30 days.  All members resigning after this date are responsible for the dues associated with their license renewal. Once the form has been received by our office, please allow a minimum of 30 days before the result is delivered to you by standard mail. The completed form may be submitted either by email at memberservices@dcbar.org, by standard mail to 1101 K Street NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20005, or by fax to (202) 942-9752.

How do I report the death of a member of the D.C. Bar?

The D.C. Bar sympathizes with the family, friends, and colleagues of our members who have passed. To report the death of a member, please contact Member Services by phone at (202) 626-3475 or e-mail to memberservices@dcbar.org. In order to appropriately update the member profile, we request you to provide the member’s date of passing. In some instances, you may also be asked to provide a copy of the death certificate or where the obituary is located.

How will I get my license renewal form 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 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 Member Services at (202) 626-3475. Changes also can be sent to D.C. Bar Member Services, 1101 K Street NW, Suite 200 Washington, D.C. 20005, submitted online, or via email at memberservices@dcbar.org

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: 

District of Columbia Bar, ATTN: Member Services
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.     

How do I get my Bar membership card replaced?

Members who need their D.C. Bar membership card replaced should contact Member Services at (202) 626-3475 or at memberservices@dcbar.org with a request and the preferred mailing address. There is no fee for the replacement of D.C. Bar membership cards.

How do I obtain a Certificate of Good Standing?

You can request a Certificate of Good Standing in writing or in person from the Committee on Admissions, which is located at 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 obtain a Certificate Concerning Discipline?

You can request a Certificate Concerning Discipline in writing from the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, which is located at 515 Fifth Street, N.W., Building A, Room 117, Washington, D.C. 20001. Their phone number is (202) 638-1501. You may submit the completed form and enclose a check or money order (NO CASH) payable to “D.C. Bar” in the amount of $25.00 and a self-addressed, postage-prepaid envelope. You must provide your D.C. Bar number and your request affirmed before a Notary Public.

How do I obtain an Engraved Wall Certificate?

You can request an Engraved Wall Certificate by completing the D.C. Courts of Appeals Application for Engraved Wall Certificate Form. This application must be typewritten and include a $40 cashier’s check, certified check or money order payable to “Clerk, D.C. Court of Appeals.” This application may be submitted at any time after you receive your Bar number. Please mail form and fee to:

Engraved Certificate Office
D.C. Courts of Appeals/Committee on Admissions
430 E Street, NW – Room 123
Washington, DC 20001

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?

No. If you want to become a member of the U.S. District Court, information on the requirements for admission to the US District Court for the District of Columbia may be found here or by contacting their offices at (202) 354-3100. 

Am I required to maintain an office in the District of Columbia?

No. There is no residency requirement for the District of Columbia

Is it possible to reserve a meeting room at the Bar?

Yes. Please contact the D.C. Bar at (202) 737-4700 and request to speak with a Facilities staff member.

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Membership Information Privacy Policy

Can the public see my home address and phone number on record?

The District of Columbia Bar’s policy on personal information only allows the public to see or receive information on your listed business address and phone number. Addresses and phone numbers labeled as “home” do not display in our directory and are not given out to any third party without the authorized consent of the attorney. 

What information is publicly available?

The information available to the public is whether an attorney is a member of the District of Columbia Bar, an attorney’s membership status, an attorney’s date of admission, and an attorney’s business address and phone number. All other information is confidential unless a signed authorization form is received from the attorney. Membership verification letters are not sent to a third party, unless requested by the attorney.

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SECTIONS

What is a section?

The 20 sections focus on a variety of practice areas, including environmental law, family law, real estate, litigation, intellectual property, health, and international law. For the seasoned practitioner or new attorney, Sections provide a myriad of opportunities to advance an individual’s specialized interests and network with colleagues. 

How do I join a section?

You may join online today or by phone at (202) 626-3475.   

Do you have to be a D.C. Bar member in order to join a section?

Non-D.C. Bar members may subscribe to a section for $65 per section. Subscribers and section members receive mailings, newsletters, e-mail announcements, and special discounts on events, prerecorded webinars and publications. 

How do I cancel my section membership?

To cancel your section membership, please contact Member Services at (202) 626-3475 or by email at memberservices@dcbar.org.

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WASHINGTON LAWYER MAGAZINE

I am not receiving issues of the Washington Lawyer magazines. Who should I report this to?

Please check your account contact information to ensue your current address is on record. You can update your record through your online D.C. Bar account or by contacting Member Services by phone (202) 626-3475 or by email at memberservices@dcbar.org

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WEBSITE

How do I change my username and password?

In order to change your profile information, including your username and password, please follow the steps below. 

1. Login to the D.C. Bar's website through My Account.
2. Click on the first link, called “Update Your Member Profile."
3. Overwrite the existing username and/or password information with your new information and then click “Submit” at the bottom of the page.

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