New Member FAQ



Admissions


1. When do I receive my bar number?
Within one week after attending the Oregon State Bar Swearing-in Ceremony, or two to three weeks after taking the oath elsewhere.

2. What should I do in the meantime?
Write "Bar Number Pending" in place of your bar number.

3. How do I request a Bar Membership Card?
Contact our office at memberservices@osbar.org or call (503) 620-0222 to request a Bar Membership Card.

4. How do I order a Supreme Court Certificate of Admission?
You may order a 12“ x 16“ Supreme Court Certificate of Admission online for a $100 processing fee. The Certificate is not necessary to practice law; however, some lawyers like to have it framed to hang in their office.



Membership Fees


1. When do I have to pay my bar membership fees?
All membership fees are on a calendar year basis. After your admission to the bar, you will receive a prorated membership fee statement, based on the month, not the day, you were admitted. Membership fees are due 30 days from the date of admission to the Oregon State Bar. You will be suspended if payment is not received 90 days from the date of admission. In December of each year thereafter, you will receive your annual fee statement via email for the next calendar year, which is due the following January 31.

2. Is there a discount for new members?
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. Eligible members may claim a 20% discount on their base membership fee. Visit the Membership Fee FAQ page online for current licensing fee and discount information.



Interest on Lawyer Trust Account (IOLTA) Reporting


1. Do I have to submit an IOLTA report?
All active members of the Oregon State Bar must submit an IOLTA Reporting Form. This includes all active members who reside in other states, and active members who do not hold client funds.

2. Why do I have to submit annual IOLTA reporting?
ORS 9.675 mandates that every active member certify annually to the bar whether the member maintains any lawyer trust accounts in Oregon. The member must disclose the financial institution in which each account is held and the account number for each account. This form includes the reporting of a member's Oregon IOLTA account and not an individual client trust account. For more information regarding IOLTA reporting visit online.



New Lawyer Mentoring Program


1. Where can I find information about the New Lawyer Mentoring Program?
You can find detailed information about the Program and sign up for it online.

2. Is the Program mandatory?
Yes, the Program is mandatory, but much of the curriculum is not. You may create, with your Mentor, a program that is designed to most assist you.

3. How do I get a Mentor?
You may choose your own Mentor or ask to be assigned one when you sign up for the Program.

4. May I practice law before I complete the Program?
Yes, you may fully engage in the practice of law while you are enrolled in the Program.

5. Are there any exceptions?
Yes, if you've practiced law for at least two years in another jurisdiction, you are exempt.



Continuing Legal Education and Minimum Continuing Legal Education


1. What is the difference between MCLE and CLE?
CLE Seminars produces seminars and other programs that are eligible for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit. MCLE is the regulatory department that verifies member compliance with the MCLE requirement. You send your compliance report to the MCLE department.

2. How many credits are required for compliance, and when do I report them?
Your minimum requirement is 15 credits, including 9 practical skills (4 must be Oregon Practice and Procedure), 2 legal ethics (1 must be Oregon Ethics), 1 mental health/substance use, and a 3 credit introductory course in access to justice. Thereafter members have a 3-year reporting period in which to complete 45 credits.

3. How do I report MCLE credits?
MCLE reporting instructions for new lawyers reporting for the first time can be found online.

4. What are practical skills credits?
Practical skills credits are courses designed to instruct new members in the methods and means of the practice of law. See MCLE Regulation 3.400(a) for more information. The MCLE Rules and Regulations can be found online.



General


1. What is the difference between a committee and a section?
The OSB has 18 committees that advise, study and recommend matters within their jurisdiction to the board of governors in its oversight and policy-making roles for the bar. Committees are the vehicles that provide for group analysis, creativity, and reasoned recommendations. Committees have no budget. The board of governors appoints committee members. Names are compiled from the members who volunteer during the bar's annual recruitment campaign. For more information visit the Volunteer Opportunities page online.

There are 40 sections that members may pay dues to join annually. Sections are intended to provide bar members who share particular interests an opportunity to develop and improve skills and to provide a forum for communication and action in matters of common interest. Sections have budgets, produce newsletters, sponsor CLE's and take positions on legislation and law improvement issues.

2. How do I join a section?
The fastest way to join a section is online. Alternatively, you can add the section to your annual membership fee, or send a letter to the bar's accounting department with your name, bar number, section name, and enclose a check for the appropriate section fee. Some sections offer new members complimentary membership for the year they are admitted to the bar. The complementary membership pricing is indicated in the online form linked above, or on the enrollment form found online. Section fees are not refundable if a member later finds they were eligible for complimentary membership.

3. When do I pay my Professional Liability Fund fees?
PLF coverage begins immediately upon admission and registration with the Oregon State Bar. Once your Oregon bar number has been assigned you will receive a notice form the PLF showing the prorated assessment owing for the remainder of the calendar year. You will be assigned a default date (due date) for the statement based on your date of admission. If you are not engaged in the private practice of law in Oregon, you may be eligible to declare an exemption from coverage. More details on exempt activities and categories are available online.

4. What address should I list with the bar?
Rules of Procedure BR 1.11 requires all attorneys to designate a current business address and telephone number, or in the absence thereof, a current residence address and telephone number. A post office address designation must be accompanied by the county and state of residence. All attorneys must also designate an e-mail address for receipt of bar notices and correspondence, except attorneys whose status is retired and attorneys for whom reasonable accommodation is required by applicable law.

5. How do I change my address with the bar?
You can change your address and contact information online in the Profile page of your member dashboard found online. You can also email changes to addresschanges@osbar.org.

6. How do I change to inactive status?
You must fill out the Application for Transfer to Inactive Membership Status form found online. You have 30 days from the date of admission to change your status to inactive. The membership fee for inactive status is $150. More information about status transfer options is available online.

If you have any questions which this FAQ has not answered, please call us at (503) 620-0222, or send an email to info@osbar.org.