First Year in Practice Resources and Information

Virginia State Bar Information:

Young Lawyers Conference:


Mandatory Professionalism Course: // (pdf)*
The Professionalism Course is mandatory within one year of licensing for all newly active attorneys in Virginia. There are eight courses offered each year across the commonwealth.

Mandatory Continuing Legal Education:
Certify your courses online or check your MCLE record.

VSB Member Login:
Register as a member of the bar (you’ll need your VSB ID number) for access to Fastcase legal research, check and certify your MCLE compliance information, edit your address of record, enroll in an online public directory, sign up for the VSB’s monthly E-News, and download forms, including dues statements, Consumer Real Estate Settlement Protection Act compliance forms, and more.

Virginia Lawyer Referral Service:
An inexpensive resource to advertise a new law practice and expand an existing client base, the VLRS is also a way to educate the public about their rights and establish a new client-attorney relationship.

Pro Bono Information:
This site includes free and nominal fee training opportunities for public interest lawyers and pro bono attorneys as well as volunteer opportunities, and contact information for Virginia’s legal aid societies and public defender offices.

Checklist for Opening Your First Office:

Professional Guidelines and Rules of Professional Conduct:

Lawyers and Other People's Money; A Resource for Maintaining Trust Accounts:

Fee Dispute Resolution Program
This site provides information on the Fee Dispute Resolution Program. Mediation and/or arbitration services are available to assist attorneys and their clients when they have disagreements over fees.

Many other useful publications can be found at

VSB Sections:
There are twenty practice sections in the Virginia State Bar. Section membership is open to all members in good standing. Many sections also have law student and associate memberships. The sections are supported by dues that range from $10
to $35.

Virginia Court Information:

Supreme Court of Virginia:
This is the website for the Virginia Judicial System.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit:
The public website for access to the Court's opinions (posted daily), docket entries through PACER, oral argument calendar, and rules, procedures and forms. You can also link to other federal court websites.

U.S. District Court, Western District of Virginia:
The public website of the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia is designed to inform members of the public and the bar of procedures observed by the court, provide assistance with those procedures and indicate the status of cases maintained by the clerk's office.

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia:
This Web site contains links to all four divisions of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia as well as access to case records, local bankruptcy rules, forms, fee schedules, court calendars, and opinions issued by judges of the court. The General Information page links to many sources of information about the federal courts and bankruptcy law. The CM/ECF page provides all the material necessary to file and process bankruptcy cases electronically.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Virginia:
Home page, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Virginia

U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Virginia:
This site contains links to local rules of practice for EDVA, information on electronic case filing, forms, calendar, court docket for Eastern Division, special information on each divisional office and a link to the PACER Web site.

Other Resources for Attorneys:

American Bar Association:

Attorneys Liability Protection Society (ALPS):
ALPS is the Virginia State Bar-endorsed carrier of legal malpractice insurance.

A Guide To Purchasing Lawyer’s Professional Liability Insurance In Virginia (Word doc)
presented by the Virginia State Bar's Special Committee on Lawyer Malpractice Insurance to assist lawyers in purchasing professional liability insurance.
The legal malpractice insurance market is complex and offers many different options for Virginia lawyers. Exercise caution and good judgment when you compare your options to make sure that you and your client are going to be protected if, and when, a claim is presented. The Committee would like to acknowledge and thank ALPS for its assistance in preparing this Guide.

Lawyers Helping Lawyers:
Confidential, nondisciplinary help for lawyers, judges, law students and their members with substance abuse or mental health problems.

Virginia CLE:
Virginia CLE is the bar-affiliated provider of continuing legal education seminars and publications.

The New Lawyer's Edge
Virginia CLE offers many seminars and publications to develop and enhance the careers of new lawyers. 

The Virginia State Bar Members Insurance Center:
The Virginia State Bar Members Insurance Center is a full-service consultant for health and other insurance benefits focused solely on Virginia State Bar members.

Conference of Local, Specialty and Statewide Bar Associations (CLBA):

There are more than one hundred thirty-two voluntary local and statewide bar associations in the state of Virginia representing various jurisdictions, practice types, and specialty groups. To learn more about the voluntary bars and the CLBA, visit

Updated: Nov 15, 2013