Membership Fee FAQ
Below are some of the common membership fee questions and answers asked by members.
Please contact the bar if you do not find an answer to your question here.
General Fee Questions
What are the 2017 membership fees?
|Active member admitted in any jurisdiction before January 1, 2015||$557.00|
|Active member admitted in any jurisdiction on or after January 1, 2015||$470.00|
|Active Pro Bono member||$125.00|
Are there changes to the 2017 membership fees?
For all active and inactive members who pay by the due date, there are no changes to the membership fees and the fees are the same as the 2016 fees.
For members who pay the fee after the due date, the House of Delegates approved two changes. In past years there were two additional fee assessment dates. The new policy collapses the two assessments into one. The second change increases the active membership fee by $100.00 and the inactive membership fee by $50.00 if not paid by the due date. There is no second additional fee assessment. The 2016 active membership fee increased $50.00 if not paid by the due date and another $50.00 if not paid within thirty days of the due date. The additional inactive fee increased by $25.00 at each date. See the chart below for the fees if not paid timely.
Members who fail to pay the membership fee are administratively suspended. In 2013 House Bill 2565 shortened the time between the due date for membership fees and administrative suspension to 90 days. With the statute change, a member is in default after 30 days (March 2, 2017) and is suspended if payment is not made by May 1, 2017.
When are the 2017 membership fees due?
Member fee payments are due on or before January 31, 2017. Payments made on January 31 must be physically received at the bar center office by 5:00pm. A payment received after January 31 is not considered timely made even if the postmark date is on or prior to January 31.
Payments can be made until midnight on January 31 if paid online at the bar's website with a credit card. The payment by credit card is not complete until the transaction is approved by the bank card authorizer.
The due date for members admitted during 2017 is 30 days from the date of admission to the Oregon State Bar.
What is the fee increase if I pay after January 31, 2017?
Fee increases for members admitted prior to 2017, and who pay after January 31, 2017 are as follows:
Membership Fee Status
Fee effective February 1
|Active Over Two Years||$557.00||$657.00|
|Active Under Two Years**||$470.00||$570.00|
|Active Pro Bono||$125.00||$125.00|
**Based on admission date to ANY jurisdiction, not admission to Oregon.
How can I pay my fees?
The fastest and most secure method of payment for members located in the U.S. is online. There are two ways to pay your membership fees:
- Online with a Visa or MasterCard (members located in the U.S.) or debit card with the Visa or MasterCard logo. Online credit card payments made on the bar’s website are secure—even more secure than sending your payment by U.S. mail. Your successful credit card payment received online immediately records your payment in the bar’s system. You will receive an online acknowledgement that confirms your credit card charge has been approved by your bank, and you will receive a receipt from the bar’s membership fee system confirming the payment has been applied to your fees.
- Print your statement at the online fee payment site, mail a check, money order or cashier’s check payable to the Oregon State Bar. Include your bar number.
Payments are not accepted by phone, e-mail or fax. Credit card payments are accepted only online.
How can I check if the bar received my payment?
Members can check if their payment has been processed online. All members are sent a payment confirmation when their payment has been posted via e-mail, fax or mail, depending on the contact information the bar has on file. The bar cannot confirm receipt until your payment has been processed, generally within 24 hours of receipt.
Who can I contact if I have any questions?
|Phone: (503) 620-0222 or (800) 452-8260|
|Status Change, Reinstatements, Resignations, Active Pro Bono Information||Extension 343|
|Waivers - Military, Vista, Peace Corps, Americorps, Other||Extension 304|
|Hardship Exemptions||Extension 386|
|Web Payment Problems||Extension 304 & 305|
Credit/Debit Card Questions
What credit cards are accepted?
The bar accepts Visa, MasterCard, or debit cards with the Visa or MasterCard logo.
Can I give you my card information over the phone, by fax, or by e-mail?
No. Membership fee payments are not accepted via the phone, fax, or e-mail. For your security, membership fee payments by credit or debit card must be made online.
Can I fax my credit card payment?
The bar does not accept card payments via fax for security reasons. You may pay your fees online using your credit card or a debit card with the Visa or MasterCard logo.
Can I use a debit card to make payment?
Yes, if your debit card has the Visa or MasterCard logo, you can use it to pay your membership fees online. All debit card payments require that you supply the billing address of where you receive your monthly bank statement. If you are experiencing any technical problems paying online with your debit card, please call the bar’s accounting department at (503) 620-0222 ext. 304.
I am located outside the U.S., want to pay using my Visa or MasterCard and can’t pay online.
Members located outside the U.S. can pay by credit card, but your payment must be specially handled. Contact the bar's accounting department at (503) 620-0222 ext. 304 for instructions.
I am having a problem paying online. Who can I call?
Contact the bar’s accounting department at (503) 620-0222 ext. 304 or 305.
I paid online, but received a fatal error and am not sure it went through. Who can I call?
Contact the bar’s accounting department at (503) 620-0222 ext. 304 or 305 before making an attempt to try again.
I tried to pay online and received an AVS error. What does this mean?
AVS is short for Address Verification System. This message refers to the credit card billing address you entered on the screen, and means that the address and/or zip code provided does not match your address on file with your bank.
Does the bar have an installment payment plan?
The bar does not have an installment payment plan, but will accept and process partial payments for the mandatory fees. However, submitting a partial payment will not avoid any fee increase. If there is a balance after January 31, 2017 the member will be assessed the appropriate fee increase, but has until 5:00 p.m., May 1, 2017, to spread out the payments. Members should include a copy of the remittance portion of their statement with each partial payment and clearly indicate on the statement that it is a partial payment. A receipt with a balance owed is sent each time a partial payment is processed.
How can I obtain a duplicate statement?
The fastest way to obtain a duplicate statement is online.
Members do not need a password or login to access their current membership fee
statement. Simply select the Member
Fees link on the bar’s website, supply your bar number, and press the "Find my statement" button. The online system will retrieve the information, including
voluntary section renewal(s).
Voluntary sections can be changed or deleted before printing your statement by selecting the add/change sections button.
Status Change Questions
Where can I find answers to status change questions?
What waivers and exemptions are available for membership fees?
The bar offers two types of waivers/exemptions: Military/Other voluntary organizations serving the national interest, and the Hardship Exemption. Voluntary section memberships are not eligible for either waiver.
Military: Annual OSB membership fees and assessments may be waived for members in active U.S. military service. Waivers for members serving in any branch of the U.S. armed forces will be granted regardless of the lawyer’s length of active duty in the military for the year the waiver is granted. Military members requesting this waiver: please supply a copy of your current active duty orders with the waiver request.
Other Waiver: Annual OSB membership fees and assessments may also be waived for members participating in VISTA, Peace Corps, Americorps and other volunteer programs serving the national interest or the legal profession, and for which the member receives only a subsistence income, stipend or expense reimbursement that is the member’s principal source of income. For members in these volunteer programs, waivers will be granted if the lawyer’s service encompasses the majority of the year and meets the criteria for the “Other Waivers” category. Please supply documentation with this waiver request.
Requests for Military and Other waivers must be submitted annually on the Waiver Request Form, and are due by January 31 of the year for which it is granted. Section memberships are not eligible for either of these waivers. For further assistance with Military and Other waivers, please contact the bar’s Accounting Department, extension 304.
Hardship Exemptions are granted in case of proven extreme hardship and entail both extreme financial hardship and physical or mental disability that prevents working. The bar's Chief Executive Officer may exempt or waive payment of annual membership fees and assessments of an active or inactive member in these cases. Hardship exemptions are for a one-year period only, and requests must be resubmitted annually on or before January 31 of the year for which the exemption is requested. Exemptions for extreme hardship for annual membership fees and assessments will be approved only if both of the following conditions are met: (1) Physical or mental disability, and (2) extreme financial hardship. Members who wish to apply for a hardship exemption should complete the Hardship Exemption form and provide the requested documentation. For further assistance regarding Hardship Exemptions, call (503) 620-0222 ext. 386.
How do I apply for a waiver?
Members who wish to apply for a Hardship Exemption must complete the Hardship Exemption form. Members who wish to apply for the military or other voluntary organizations waiver must complete the Military/Other Waiver Form. Forms must be remitted by 5:00 p.m., January 31 for the year waiver on exemption is being request.
My spouse is deployed overseas. Can I complete the waiver form?
Anyone who has been granted power of attorney for a member currently serving in the military and deployed overseas can complete the waiver form on the member's behalf. The person holding power of attorney should sign the form and indicate he or she is signing as the member's power of attorney. The form must be remitted by 5:00 p.m., January 31, 2017.
How do I obtain a receipt for my payment?
Members automatically are sent a receipt via e-mail, fax or mail, depending on what the member has provided for contact preferences. If you need a duplicate receipt, log in to your Member Dashboard, select "5 Year Member History", then select "Fees". For each entry there is a "Print Receipt" button off to the right.
Do I need a password or login to pay the membership fees?
No. A password or login is not required to pay the membership fees. Only the member’s bar number is needed to access their membership fee information, confirm payment has been received, print a statement or pay the fees online.
Can I choose to receive fee notices through the U.S. mail instead of email?
For most members all fee notices will be sent electronically. Rule 1.11 of the OSB Rules of Procedure requires all members to designate an email address for receipt of bar notices and correspondence except attorneys who are over the age of 65 and fully retired from the practice of law, and attorneys for whom reasonable accommodation is required by applicable law. For purposes of this rule an attorney is "fully retired from the practice of law" if the attorney does not engage at any time in any activity that constitutes the practice of law including, without limitation, activities described in OSB bylaws 6.100 and 20.2. An attorney seeking an exemption from the email address requirement must submit a written request to the Executive Director, whose decision on the request will be final. Attorneys who have been exempted from the email requirement receive required regulatory notices through the U.S. mail.
What happens if I do not pay my membership fees?
Members who do not pay by January 31, 2017, will automatically be assessed a membership fee increase. If the member does not pay by May 1, 2017, the member will be administratively suspended for nonpayment of fees.
If an active or inactive member decides does not to maintain his or her membership, the member should resign from the bar to avoid suspension.
Who qualifies for under 2-year active membership?
Active under two-year membership is determined by a member’s admission to any jurisdiction, not the admission or reinstatement date to the Oregon State Bar. Members admitted to practice law in any jurisdiction on or after January 1, 2015, will be billed the active under two-year membership fee rate. Members admitted to practice law in any jurisdiction prior to January 1, 2015, will be billed the active over two-year membership fee rate.
Are membership fees refundable?
The mandatory membership fees and assessments are not refundable except for the following circumstances:
- Member Status Change. If a member pays active membership fees and transfers to inactive, active Pro Bono, or Retired on or before 5:00 p.m., January 31, 2017, the difference in the membership fee rates will be refunded. The difference in membership fee fees is not refunded if a member transfers status after January 31, 2017.
- Section membership dues. If a member pays section dues and later decides no longer to retain the section membership or enrolled in the section in error, a refund is at the discretion of the section and must be approved by the section chair. Section dues are not refundable if the member later discovers he or she qualified for a complimentary section membership offer.
Section membership can be changed or deleted before printing your statement by selecting the add/change sections button. Members who believe they are eligible for complimentary section membership should unmark the section before processing the online payment.
How are my membership fees allocated?
Your annual membership fee comprises three separate funds:
- The General Fund includes funding for mandatory and discretionary services for members and the public.
- The Client Security Fund (CSF) makes monetary awards to clients who have lost money or property due to misappropriation or embezzlement by their lawyers. The CSF assessment is $15.00, and is not prorated for new members. Questions regarding the CSF should be directed to Helen Hierschbiel, firstname.lastname@example.org or call the bar’s offices, (503) 620-0222 ext. 361.
- The Diversity and Inclusion Department (formerly Affirmative Action Program) is designed to support the Oregon State Bar’s mission by "striving to increase the diversity of the Oregon bench and bar to reflect the diversity of the people of Oregon, by educating attorneys about the cultural richness and diversity of the clients they serve, and by removing barriers to justice." The assessment is $45.00 for active members who have been in practice for over two years, and $25.00 for active members who have been in practice for less than two years. Questions regarding the Diversity & Inclusion department should be directed to email@example.com, or by contacting the bar’s offices, (503) 620-0222 ext. 338.
What is the 2017 OSB budget? How are fees used?
What is the Oregon Law Foundation contribution? How are the funds used?
The Oregon Law Foundation (OLF) is a nonprofit that manages the IOLTA program and makes grants to legal services programs serving Oregonians of lesser means. The OLF asks for a voluntary contribution of $15, $25, $50 or more from each Oregon State Bar member. Questions regarding the OLF should be directed to Judith Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the bar offices, (503) 620-0222 ext. 323.
Are section membership renewals automatic?
Section membership renewals are automatically included on your 2017 membership fee statement if you joined any section(s) in 2016.
Can I add or change my section memberships?
Members may add or delete section memberships on their annual membership fee statement before payment is made. Members may not switch from one section to another once section membership payment has been processed.
When can I join sections?
Members may join sections in 2017 through October 31. The quickest way to join a section after the initial billing time is online. Joining online immediately places you in the bar’s section membership system. If you do not wish to join online, send a letter to the bar stating your name, bar number, the section name and three-digit section code, and the appropriate section membership fee to the Oregon State Bar, attention: Accounting, PO Box 231935, Tigard, OR, 97281-1935.
Who can join sections?
Section membership is voluntary and any active or inactive members of the bar may join any number of sections. Some sections also accept associate non-member and law student memberships. Non-attorneys interested in joining the voluntary sections should use the Associate Non-Member Section Membership form. Law students interested in joining the voluntary sections should use the Law Student Associate Program form.
Do sections offer complimentary memberships?
Some sections offer complimentary section memberships to new lawyers, law students, over 50-year members and members of the judiciary. If you think you may qualify for complimentary membership, do not enroll for the section(s) online, but contact the Member Services department (503 620-0222 ext. 385) to verify which sections are offering complimentary memberships and to request the complimentary section enrollment form. Section membership fees are not refundable if you later discover you qualified under the complimentary offer.