The Oklahoma Bar Association or OBA was created after the Oklahoma Territory Bar Association and the Indian Territory Bar Association merged into one organization in 1904. Before then, each law society was its own individual entity. When Oklahoma became a state in 1907, the state legislature formally recognized OBA. After briefly repealing that recognition in 1938, the legislature permanently granted recognition to it in 1939 and required membership to the bar to be mandatory for all lawyers practicing law in Oklahoma.
OBA has a governing board that consists of 17 members who are elected to serve on its Board of Governors. The board meets on a monthly basis. In the meantime, the executive director takes care of OBA’s daily operations. He or she employs a staff of both attorneys and non-attorneys to assist in the daily operations.
OBA is entirely self-funded through its members’ donations. It does not receive any funding from the state government or the state’s legislature. With its membership dues, OBA publishes a publication called the Oklahoma Bar Journal, which is put out on a bi-monthly basis. The dues are also spent on programs that benefit attorneys on a professional and personal level. For example, attorneys have access to case management software designed to help them manage and organize their practice’s case loads. This software is available at a discounted rate.
Further, attorneys also can take out discounted insurance policies for themselves, their practices, and their families. This insurance ranges from life and health insurance to business insurance. The policies are offered through an approved broker that partners with OBA.
Members of OBA also have access to discounts on courier, copying, and other professional services that can help them run a successful law practice. The low costs are available to members who keep their accounts in good standing with OBA. If they allow their memberships to lapse, they lose access to these programs.
The OBA website is also a resource for the Oklahoma public. For example, people who visit the website can use the free Find a Lawyer directory. They can search for legal representation based on the legal specialty or city in which they live. They can also file complaints they have with attorneys or law firms on the OBA site. Complaints can be sent online or to OBA’s physical address at 1901 North Lincoln Boulevard in Oklahoma City, 73105.