About the Bar

Overview and Mission

The Virginia State Bar (VSB) was created in 1938 by the General Assembly as an administrative agency of the Supreme Court of Virginia. The creation of the agency unified Virginia's lawyers in a mandatory State Bar. The VSB is governed by its Council and Executive Committee, whose members are elected or appointed from every judicial circuit in the Commonwealth. The mission of the Virginia State Bar, as an administrative agency of the Supreme Court of Virginia, is to regulate the legal profession of Virginia; to advance the availability and quality of legal services provided to the people of Virginia; and to assist in improving the legal profession and the judicial system.

VSB Organizational Chart (pdf)*

COMMENTARY

The Mission Statement contains the three basic elements which are found in most of the sources relating to the existence, power, and authority of the Virginia State Bar. They are (1) professional regulation; (2) public access to legal services; and (3) improving the system. The authority for the Mission Statement is found in, e.g., Va. Code Section 54.1-3909 (the Supreme Court's authority to promulgate rules and regulations regarding the practice of law), Va. Code Section 54.1-3910 (establishing VSB as an administrative agency of the Court for professional regulation). Rules of Court Part 6, Section IV, paragraph 9(j) (the "necessary powers").

Everything the VSB does should and can be related to one of these three areas. In the list which follows, each of the State Bar's present functions has been placed in one or more of these categories.

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I. Regulating the Legal Profession

  1. Office of Bar Counsel / Professional Regulation Department / Clerk of the Disciplinary System
  2. Disciplinary Board
  3. District Disciplinary Committees
  4. Standing Committee on Lawyer Discipline
  5. Standing Committee on Legal Ethics
  6. Standing Committee on Unauthorized Practice of Law
  7. Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Board / Staff
  8. Communications Department and Communications Committee
  9. Membership Department
  10. Administrative Support

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II. Improving Legal Services to Public

  1. Lawyer Regulation (see I. above)
  2. Standing Committee on Professionalism / Professionalism Course
  3. Committee on Access to Legal Services
  4. Alternative Dispute Resolution Joint Committee
  5. Lawyer Referral
  6. Communications Department
  7. Clients' Protection Fund
  8. Access to Justice Director
  9. Membership Department
  10. Administrative Support

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III. Improving Legal Profession and Judicial System

  1. Lawyer Regulation (see I. above)
  2. Professionalism (see II. above)
  3. Judicial Nominations Committee
  4. Sections and Conferences
  5. MCLE (see I. above)
  6. Lawyer Assistance Program
  7. Local and Specialty Bar Relations Coordinator
  8. Bench Bar Relations Committee
  9. Administrative Support
 

Approved by Council February 28, 1998

Office Hours:

Mon.–Fri. 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. (excluding holidays)
The Clerk's Office does not accept filings after 4:45 p.m.

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* Documents in Adobe pdf format. You may need to download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view and print these documents. Once you have downloaded and installed the Acrobat Reader, you can download the forms and print or view them.

Updated: Nov 25, 2014