Membership Fee FAQ
Below are some of the common membership fee questions and answers asked by members.
Please contact us if you do not find an answer to your question here.
General Fee Questions
What are the 2021 membership fees?
|Active member admitted in any jurisdiction before January 1, 2021||$617.00|
|Active member whose annual gross income is estimated to be less than <$40,000 in 2021||$511.00|
|Active Pro Bono||$150.00|
Are there changes to the 2021 membership fees?
Active membership fees have increased by $25 due to a decrease in the Client Security Fund assessment and an increase in general fees. The CSF assessment for 2021 is $30 per active member. Membership fees increased by $45 for a net fee change of $25 in 2021. Active pro bono, inactive and retired membership fees increased by $25 to $150.
Also, at its annual meeting on October 30, 2020, the OSB House of Delegates (HOD) voted to replace membership fee waivers and discounts based on years in practice with more equitable discounts based on income. This means that beginning in 2021, we will no longer be waiving license fees for 50-year members or giving automatic discounts to new lawyers. Instead, active members whose annual income is at or below $40,000 will be able to claim a 20% discount on their base membership fees.
How does the new income-based fee discount work?
The BOG established and the HOD approved a reduced fee equivalent to eighty (80) percent of the regular active member fee for active members with annual gross income (AGI) below $40,000. Members will use their projected AGI for the coming year to determine that year's license fee.
The discount does not apply to special assessments or section dues (e.g., D&I Assessment, CSF Assessment, LRAP Assessment, Section Dues). The discount is not available for active pro bono, active partial year, inactive, or retired members.
Annual gross income (AGI) includes income from all sources (not just law practice) and from all geographies (not just Oregon sourced income). AGI does not include income from a spouse or other members of the household.
To qualify for the discount, members must certify on the form established by the CEO, that their projected AGI meets the income threshold requirements. If a member's AGI exceeds $40,000 in the year a discount was taken, the member must make a true-up payment—that is, the amount of the discount given. Members who take the discount may be audited to verify the accuracy of projected AGI.
When are the 2021 membership fees due?
Member fee payments are due on or before February 1, 2021. Payments made by U.S. mail or other delivery service must be physically received at the bar center by 5:00 p.m. on the due date, regardless of postmark or delivery service guarantee. Online payments are timely if received by 11:59 p.m. on the due date. The website payment function will automatically be unavailable after midnight and late fees will be assessed beginning February 2, 2021.
Payment by credit card is not complete until the transaction has been approved by the bank card merchant authorizer.
What is the fee increase if I pay after February 1, 2021?
Fee increases for members admitted prior to 2021, and who pay after February 1, 2021 are as follows:
Membership Fee Status
Final Due Date
|Active||$617.00||$717.00||Final due date prior to suspension is April 1 (by 11:59 PM)|
|Active AGI < $40,000||$511.00||$611.00|
|Active Pro Bono||$150.00||$200.00|
How can I pay my fees?
To view or adjust your fee statement you will first need to log in to the OSB website, then select the fee payment option from your member dashboard. We have instructions to guide you as you proceed. If you are a member of a firm or company with multiple OSB members, you may also consider establishing a Company Administrator with authority to pay fees and complete IOLTA reports for all of your firm’s OSB members.
There are two ways to pay your membership fees:
- Online with a U.S.-based Visa or MasterCard, a debit card with the Visa or MasterCard logo, or by electronic transfer (ACH) from a U.S.-based checking account. Online payments offer greater security along with the ability to print a receipt and receive an email confirmation of your payment.
- Print your statement and send it by mail or delivery service with a check, money order or cashier’s check payable to the Oregon State Bar. Include your bar number on your payment.
For security reasons, we are not able to accept payments by phone, email or fax. Credit card payments are accepted only online.
Special options are available for members located outside the U.S. -- contact our accounting department at (503) 620-0222 ext. 304 for instructions.
How can I check if the bar has received my payment?
You will receive an email confirmation at the address we have on file once your payment has been processed. Online payments will receive faster notification; physical payments take longer to be processed. Your member dashboard will also be updated within 24 hours of payment processing.
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 313|
|Web Payment Problems||Extension 304 & 305|
What types of payment are accepted?
We accept Visa and MasterCard, or debit cards with the Visa or MasterCard logo. We also accept ACH payments from U.S.-based checking accounts.
Can I give you my card information over the phone, by fax, or by email?
No. Membership fee payments are not accepted via the phone, fax, or email. For your security, membership fee payments by credit or debit card must be made online.
I am having trouble or receiving error messages when attempting to pay online. What can I do?
1. First, make sure you are using an acceptable payment type. We do not currently accept online payments from financial institutions outside the U.S., and only accept Visa and MasterCard credit and debit cards.
2. Second, make sure you have correctly entered the billing address for your debit card or bank. You must use the billing address where you receive your statements.
3. If you are still having trouble, please call our accounting department at (503) 620-0222 ext. 304.
I am located outside the U.S. and am having trouble paying online.
Your payment may need special handling if you reside outside the U.S. Please call our accounting department at (503) 620-0222 ext. 304 for instructions.
Do you offer an installment payment plan?
We do not offer installment plans but do accept partial payments. Please note, however, that partial payments will not prevent a fee increase if you have a balance due on mandatory fees after the deadline for payment. If you make a partial payment, please clearly indicate your intent to make partial payment and include your bar number on your statement or check. A receipt showing the remaining balance owed is sent each time a partial payment is processed.
Status Change Questions
Where can I find answers to status change questions?
What waivers and exemptions are available for membership fees?
We offer two types of fee waivers and one type of exemption, all of which require applications that must be received by the January 31 deadline to be effective. Waivers and exemptions apply only to mandatory fees and assessments, not section memberships. The available options are:
Military: Available to OSB members in active U.S. military service serving in any branch of the U.S. armed forces. Waivers will be granted regardless of the lawyer's length of active duty for the year the waiver is granted. Please supply a copy of your current active duty orders with the completed Waiver Request Form.
Other Waiver: Available to OSB 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. Waivers will be granted if the lawyer's service encompasses the majority of the year and otherwise meets the criteria for this category. Please supply documentation with this waiver request using the Waiver Request Form.
Hardship Exemptions require proof of both extreme financial hardship and of a physical or mental disability that prevents working. Hardship exemptions are for a one-year period only; requests must be resubmitted annually on or before January 31 of the year for which the exemption is requested. Members who wish to apply for a hardship exemption should complete the Hardship Exemption form and provide the requested documentation.
Can I complete the waiver form on behalf of another person?
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 under power of attorney. The form must be remitted by 5:00 p.m., February 1, 2021.
How do I obtain a receipt for my payment?
You should receive a receipt via email to the account listed in your membership record. 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?
Yes. This is a relatively new requirement, and is in response to known security issues with public display of members' payment status. You may pay fees through your individual credentials or have an authorized Company Administrator pay your fees. Please note that individual bar members are responsible for ensuring all compliance matters are completed.
Can I choose to receive fee notices through the U.S. mail instead of email?
Only in special, limited circumstances. 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 on time?
You will be assessed an automatic fee increase, and will then have until Apri 1, 2021, to make your payment. If you do not pay by the April 1deadline you will be administratively suspended. If you do not wish to maintain your OSB membership, or wish to change your status, please review our Status Changes pages.
Are membership fees refundable?
Fees are not refundable except for the following limited circumstances:
- Member Status Change. If you pay active membership fees and then transfer to inactive, active pro bono or retired status on or before 5:00 p.m. on February 1, 2021, we will refund the difference in membership fees.
- Section membership dues. If you pay section dues in error or change your mind about section enrollment, any refund is at the discretion of the selected section and must be approved by that section's chair. Section dues are not refundable if you pay the section dues and later discover that you qualify for complimentary membership.
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 $30 and is not prorated for new members. Questions regarding the CSF should be directed to General Counsel's Office firstname.lastname@example.org or call the bar's offices, (503) 620-0222 ext. 312.
- The Diversity and Inclusion Department supports the 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 for active members. Questions regarding the Diversity & Inclusion department should be directed to email@example.com.
What is the 2021 OSB budget? How are fees used?
The active member fee pays for the cost of regulatory programs and other bar services.
The allocations by program are estimates developed from the current budget. Actual results may vary.
Are section membership renewals automatic?
No, but any sections you belonged to in 2020 will be pre-checked on the Sections page of your member fee statement. You can add or remove sections on that same page, but please note that section dues may not be refundable after payment has been made. Section memberships are not transferrable.
Who can join sections?
Section membership is voluntary and any active or inactive member of the bar may join any number of sections. Some sections also accept associate non-member and law student memberships. Non-lawyers 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 qualify for complimentary membership use the respective form available here. New lawyers and 50-year members can receive complimentary section memberships online after logging in. Note that section membership fees are not refundable if you later discover you qualified under the complimentary offer.
How much are section dues?
Membership dues vary by section. For the current dues pricing for each section visit the section home page and select the section name to see the membership dues for the year