The Vermont Bar Association or VBA is the sole professional organization in Vermont for lawyers, judges, law students, and others in the legal profession. It was founded in 1878 with Edward John Phelps as its first president. It was then and continues to be a voluntary membership organization. Membership is not required to it in order to practice law in the state of Vermont.
The organization is entirely self-funded and does not get money from the state. The membership dues that attorneys and others pay depends on a number of factors. Lawyers wishing to join will be charged dues according to how long they have been practicing law. Lawyers who are new to the profession and practicing for less than one year pay $110 per year while retired lawyers pay $125 a year. Similarly, law students pay $25 a year to join the VBA while law professors pay $155 a year to join.
The membership dues give access to a host of benefits that might make joining worthwhile for attorneys of all skill levels. One of the main advantages they have access to is a voice in the state legislature. The organization advocates for the legal profession in the state as well as the attorneys who join the group.
Further, members can take advantage of programs like low cost insurance. Lawyers who go into business for themselves may want to take out life, health, and property insurance for themselves, their practices, and their families. They can receive discounted insurance through a broker that partners with the VBA.
Finally, members who join can take advantage of networking opportunities with their fellow attorneys. Mentor programs are designed to ease new attorneys into the profession and also provide support for lawyers of all skill levels. The networking can take the edge off practicing law and also prevent attorneys from experiencing career burnout.
The public also has resource available to them on the VBA website. For example, finding a lawyer can be done for free by using the attorney directory. The directory lists all of Vermont’s member attorneys who practice throughout the state. They are listed by specialties and cities in which they are located.
The public can also file complaints about attorney practices or fees on the VBA website. They can also reach the Vermont Bar Association at its mailing address of PO Box 100 in Montpelier, Vermont, 05601.