About the Bar

Bar Service Opportunities

You Are the Virginia State Bar.

Among its many boards, standing and special committees, and disciplinary system bodies, there are hundreds of lawyers across the commonwealth who volunteer to help maintain the bar as a self-regulating, self-governing body. 

All calls for applications appear in Virginia Lawyer magazine, the news page, news emails from the bar (make sure your email is up-to-date in the member portal), and VSB social media accounts. At any point throughout the year, Executive Director Karen Gould welcomes the opportunity to discuss board or committee interests and options with members of the bar.

The bar seeks balance and diversity in board and committee membership, not only in aspects of race and gender, but in the types of practice the lawyers engage in – from solos to corporate counsel, prosecutors to defense – as well as diversity of geography.

Four bodies also have lay members (i.e. non-lawyer members): the Committee on Lawyer Discipline (2), the Disciplinary Board (4), the Clients’ Protection Fund Board (1), and the Special Committee on the Resolution of Fee Disputes (2). The 17 disciplinary district committees have three lay members each. The process of application for lay members is the same as for lawyer members.

All members of VSB boards and committees serve 3-year terms, with two consecutive terms allowed, except Bar Council’s Executive Committee and the Judicial Candidate Evaluation Committee.

 

How are members chosen?

1. Appointed by the VSB President-elect

Volunteers are solicited beginning in November in the magazine, in emails, and online; applications are due in February. Applicants send a brief résumé and fill out a committee preference form for:

Standing Committees

  • Budget and Finance – 10-lawyer committee
  • Legal Ethics – 9-lawyer committee
  • Professionalism – 15-lawyer committee
  • Lawyer Discipline – 12 members (10 lawyers, 2 lay members) with preferred with experience within the disciplinary system (local disciplinary district committees and/or the Disciplinary Board)

Special Committees

 

2. Nominated by Bar Council’s Nominating Committee, voted on by full Council

Volunteers are solicited beginning in December in the magazine, in emails, and online; applications are due in March. Applicants send a brief résumé and a short statement of interest to nominations@vsb.org for:

 

3. Nominated by Bar Council’s Nominating Committee, appointed by the Supreme Court of Virginia

Volunteers are solicited beginning in June in the magazine, in emails, and online; applications are due in September. Applicants send a brief résumé and a short statement of interest to nominations@vsb.org for:

 

4. Nominated by local representatives on Bar Council, voted on by full Council 

Volunteers are solicited beginning in October in the magazine, in emails, and online; applications are due in February. Applicants send a brief résumé and short statement of interest for:

 

5. Elections 

Bar Council is the 81-lawyer body that oversees all other boards, committees, and bar functions. Virginia lawyers elect 65 council members by circuit, with larger circuits having a proportional number of seats, in an online process. The remainder consists of the nine at-large members (see #3), the chairs of four VSB conferences, and three officers.

Candidates are solicited beginning in March and must collect 10 signatures of active, in-good-standing members in their circuit on or before April 1 to be placed on the ballot. Ballots are emailed in mid-April, and VSB members have a few weeks to cast their ballots online. 

 

Non-VSB Boards

There are three joint boards with outside organizations: the Joint Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee with the Virginia Bar Association, the Virginia Law Foundation’s board, and the foundation’s Committee on CLE. Please see their respective websites for more information. 

 

Have questions about any bar service opportunities? Contact Asha Holloman at 804-775-0551.

 

Updated: Oct 30, 2018