Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Virginia State Bar?
The Virginia State Bar is an administrative agency of the Supreme Court of Virginia. It is responsible for the regulation of the legal profession, protection of the public from lawyer misconduct and support of the rule of law. All lawyers admitted to practice in Virginia register, pay dues and comply with licensing requirements. How many lawyers are licensed to practice in Virginia? More than 29,000 lawyers are admitted to practice in Virginia. More than 45,000 attorneys are registered in all categories of membership, including associate, judicial and retired.
How is the Virginia State Bar funded?
The VSB is supported entirely by lawyer dues, self-generated income and volunteer service. It receives no tax dollars.
How can I find a lawyer to handle my legal problem?
The VSB provides several services to help you find an attorney. The bar’s pamphlet Selecting and Working with a Lawyer gives an overview of what to consider when selecting an attorney. The Virginia Lawyer Referral Service, operated by the VSB, can connect you with a lawyer who is prepared to work with your type of problem. It can be reached at 1-800-552-7977 toll-free, or 775-0808 in Richmond.
Does the Virginia State Bar require malpractice insurance?
The VSB does not require lawyers to be covered by malpractice insurance, but it encourages them to purchase coverage, and every year they must report to the bar whether they are covered. To find out if an attorney has reported that he or she does NOT have coverage, search attorney’s records on the Virginia State Bar Web site.
What can the Virginia State Bar do if I feel that an attorney has treated me unfairly?
If you wish to file a complaint you may download a form from the bar’s Web site, submit a complaint online or call the Virginia State Bar Intake’s Office at (804) 775-0570. Callers outside the 804 area code may dial 1-866-548-0873.
Any person who has lost money or property because of dishonest conduct from a Virginia lawyer may be eligible to receive an award from the Clients’ Protection Fund. Please contact the Virginia State Bar office at (804) 775-0500 to request a petition or to ask questions. The application form is available online.