The Virginia State Bar or VSB is an integrated bar association to which membership is mandatory for all attorneys who want to practice in the commonwealth. It was founded in 1888 as the Virginia State Bar Association to which membership was voluntary. The Virginia General Assembly passed a law in 1938 changing it to the VSB and made it mandatory for all attorneys to join the bar in order to practice law in Virginia. It is headquartered in Richmond and has over 50,000 active members.
The Council and Executive Committee govern the VSB. The members of this committee are elected to their positions or appointed by the judiciary of the commonwealth. The VSB itself functions as an administrative agency of the Virginia Supreme Court. The VSB should not be confused with the Virginia Bar Association, which is a voluntary membership organization.
The VSB welcomes participation from its members in the various sections and committees that it operates. Among them are opportunities to mentor or be a leader for other attorneys in the commonwealth. The attorneys who volunteer their time benefit because they gain experience that they can take with them in their careers. They also take advantage of the chance to network with more experienced attorneys in Virginia.
The VSB also has the obligation of regulating and disciplining attorneys who do not uphold the codes of behavior for membership. For example, if a member of the public lodges a complaint against an attorney who is later found to be guilty of violating the ethical or moral standards, the VSB can revoke this attorney’s membership and also possibly revoke his or her license to practice law.
To maintain their licenses, attorneys are expected to complete CLE or Continued Legal Education credits on a regular basis. CLE courses are offered in person and online throughout the year. Attorneys wanting to complete CLE credits can find out when the classes are offered and at what cost by visiting the VSB website.
The public also can use the VSB website at their convenience. Among other resources, the forms to submit complaints against attorneys or attorney fees can be found on the public portal on the website. They can also use the online contact forms to email or call the VSB. The VSB is located at 1111 East Main Street Suite 700 in Richmond, Virginia, 23219. The clerk accepts filings until 4:45 p.m. weekdays.