The Rhode Island Bar Association or RIBA is a bar association for which membership is mandatory for all lawyers who want to practice in the state. It was founded in 1898 and is headquartered in Providence. It now has more than 6000 members who are licensed to practice law in the state of Rhode Island.
RIBA is governed by an executive committee as well as a House of Delegates to which representatives are elected. Three Officers of the Bar and a Bar president also help govern RIBA. The House of Delegates meets on a quarterly basis while the executive committee meets every month. RIBA as a whole meets on a yearly basis to adopt by-laws and other mandates by which RIBA members must abide.
RIBA serves a variety of functions including advocating for the legal profession in the state. It holds members to stringent moral and ethical criteria that they are expected to adhere to at all times during their careers. Even after they retire, members must remain in good standing with both RIBA and the state’s courts.
RIBA also administers the state’s bar examine and admits members to the bar. It has adopted a multi-state examination and holds its testing twice a year. The exam consists of essay questions and standardized testing to determine a lawyer’s readiness to practice law. New attorneys wishing to be admitted to the bar also have to pass the MPRE ethics test and a background check and pay all of the required fees to become a bar member and practice law in Rhode Island.
Lawyers who become bar members are given access to benefits like the bar’s attorney-to-attorney networking program. This program allows attorneys to mentor each other while also making themselves available for legal assistance if or when a lawyer needs legal representation. Lawyers also have access to Casemaker software that can help them build and take case to court in a faster and more efficient manner.
The RIBA website also exists for the public who can use it to find attorneys using the lawyer referral resource. They can also find out about low cost legal options like pro bono lawyer services and legal aid, which is available for people who are living on limited financial means. The physical address for the Rhode Island Bar Association is 41 Sharpe Drive in Cranston, 02920.