The Massachusetts Bar Association or MBA is located in Boston and functions as a voluntary legal society for the state’s lawyers. It does not require any of the lawyers who practice in the state to join before being permitted to take on clients and cases. However, those who do join gain benefits that are not available to non-MBA members.
The organization was founded in 1911 and requires all members to adhere to stringent professional and ethical standards. The amount of the membership dues are based on the amount of time an attorney has been practicing law. A lawyer who has been admitted to the bar for 50 years is considered to be a lifetime MBA member and no longer required to pay dues to the organization.
Membership benefits vary and range from savings at state businesses to discounts on professional services like couriering and package deliveries. One of the most notable advantages to being an MBA member involves getting access to Fastcase, a service that allows members to conduct free legal research. They do not have to pay to access case law or documents that could help them grow their practices or represent their clients more effectively.
Additionally, members get discounts at businesses like Hertz and Rocket Matter. Discounts are also available for payroll services, credit card processing, and other services that can make running a law firm more cost effective.
While the MBA does not govern the legal profession in the state, it can help with ethical inquiries members might have about other attorneys. They can file a complaint or raise concerns by using the ethical inquiries link under member services on the website.
The public also can benefit by visiting the MBA’s website. For example, if they are in need of a lawyer but do not know what ones practice in various legal areas, they can use the free legal directory on the MBA website.
Further, the public can find out what lawyers take pro bono cases or participate in legal aid services for people who have modest financial means. They can also learn about programs like student loan bankruptcy assistance and mock trials that could help them prepare for court better.
The Massachusetts Bar Association has its main office at 20 West Street in Boston, Massachusetts 02111. It also has an office at 1441 Main Street in Springfield, Massachusetts 01103.