The State Bar Association of North Dakota or SBAND is a bar association that requires all lawyers practicing in the state to join. It is headquartered in Bismark and has a membership of more than 2000 lawyers. Out of that number, around 500 lawyers are from out-of-state.
SBAND was founded in 1899, making it the oldest integrated bar association in the country. It functions as an educational and advocacy law society in the state. It offers CLE or Continued Legal Education courses who are expected to complete 45 credits per year. It also makes available attorneys resources like case management, legal research, and a lawyers assistance program.
Admissions to the bar is contingent upon a number of different criteria that all attorneys practicing in the state are expected to fulfill. The North Dakota State Board of Licensing Examiners determines who is admitted to the bar. The Board of Licensing is a separate entity that operates with the authority of the state’s supreme court.
Upon being admitted to the bar, each member is expected to review and understand the requirements for belonging to the organization. Attorneys can find out what will be expected of them as members by downloading and reading the Handbook for New Members, which is available at no cost on the SBAND website.
SBAND has its own foundation that functions as a charitable branch of the law society. The foundation offers educational resources for attorneys in the state. It also raises funds for its legal assistance program as well as its migrant legal services. The foundation also offers three scholarships each year to incoming students at the University of North Dakota.
In addition to offering scholarships to university students, SBAND also offers public resources like a client protection program. This program provides help for clients who feel they have been taken advantage of by their attorneys or attorneys’ staff.
Further, the public can file complaints against their lawyers by using the forms found on SBAND’s website. The complaints launch investigations into the conduct of lawyers who are reported to SBAND. The site also offers free civil education resources.
Finally, residents of North Dakota as well as people from out-of-state can use the SBAND website at no cost to search for a North Dakota attorney to represent them. The address for SBAND is 1661 Carrollton Way Suite 104LL, Bismark, 58501.