The Mississippi Bar is a mandatory state bar association. It requires membership for all attorneys who currently practice or plan to practice law in Mississippi. It has over 10,000 members, 3000 of which are from out-of-state. The state bar made membership mandatory during the Depression when public opinions regarding lawyers was low. Membership to the organization is designed to bolster the reputation of the lawyers who belong to it.
The Mississippi Bar got its initial start in 1821. At the time, membership in the bar was voluntary. This initial group was disbanded after four years. Another attempt to start a state bar took place in 1886. The second group lasted only six years before it too was disbanded. The third attempt took place in 1905 and was successful in establishing the state’s official bar association. Membership to it became compulsory in 1932.
The Mississippi Bar carries out a variety of functions although it does not administer the state bar exam. Instead, the Mississippi Board of Bar Admissions oversees the administering of the test and admission of new bar members.
However, the bar does play a role in ensuring clients are happy with the attorneys they hire. If clients have complaints, they can file and have them investigated by making a report on the bar’s website. Further, the bar also ensures state lawyers complete 12 CLE credits each year. This requirement guarantees that the state’s lawyers are knowledgeable and updated on the industry’s latest standards and practices. Attorneys also keep their licenses current by completing CLE coursework.
Membership to the bar also grants access to a variety of attorney benefits and services. For example, lawyers who join the bar can take advantage of the retirement planning services. They also can get discounts on gifts, apparel, and travel services through the Mississippi Bar.
The public also has access to services that can make them better clients to represent in court. Namely, people can find lawyers who are taking new clients and experienced in the right legal specialty by using the bar’s free member directory.
This directory has the name of over 10,000 attorneys who practice both in and out of the state. People can find those who have offices closest to their homes or in areas where they plan to file a legal case. The Mississippi Bar itself is located at 643 North Street in Jackson, Mississippi, 39202.