The West Virginia State Bar or WVSB was founded in 1947 as a mandatory or unified bar association. Attorneys who want to practice law in the state are required to be admitted to the bar and be members in good standing of the state bar. It currently has more than 9000 members, some of whom live and practice out-of-state as well as in West Virginia.
A 25-member board governs the WVSB. These members are elected to their positions. The WVSB does not get any funding from the state or federal government. It sustains itself entirely through membership dues.
The WVSB serves a variety of purposes including protecting the interests of the legal profession in the state. It also works to ensure that justice is administered properly in West Virginia. It does this by working closely with law enforcement agencies, the court system, and other state bar associations across the country.
The WVSB likewise has a mission of improving the relationship between the public and the legal profession. It accomplishes this by holding its members to high moral and ethical codes of conduct.
Attorneys who join the WVSB receive benefits and opportunities that would not be available to them as non-members. For example, lawyers wanting to gain career experience may want to volunteer to be a court mediator. This service would allow them to represent the court for which they are mediating while also working to solve legal dilemmas for clients. This experience can benefit them in their own private law practices.
Further, they have the opportunity to attend board of governor meetings and also work on committees and sections of the WVSB. They will get to network closely with other attorneys who practice throughout the state and also mentor those who are new to the profession.
Finally, lawyers who want a career change or wish to become better established in the industry can uset the career center on the WVSB website. They can find open positions at law firms or search for positions with city or state governments wanting to hire legal counsel.
The WVSB website also exists to help the public. For example, people can use the Freedom of Information Act or FOIA forms to request that information about case or individuals be released to them. Further, they request legal help for their cases using the public portal. The WVSB’s mailing address is 2000 Dietrick Boulevard, Charleston 25311.