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About the Bar

The Virginia State Bar (VSB) was created in 1938 by the Virginia General Assembly as an administrative agency of the Supreme Court of Virginia, unifying Virginia lawyers into 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. Appointed volunteer lawyers and nonlawyers make up the many VSB boards and committees

Our Mission

The mission of the Virginia State Bar is (1) to protect the public, (2) to regulate the legal profession of Virginia, (3) to advance access to legal services, and (4) to assist in improving the legal profession and the judicial system.

All VSB activities relate to one or more of these four elements. The VSB is supported entirely by annual lawyer license fees, self-generated income, and volunteer service. It receives no tax dollars.

Primarily, the VSB:

The VSB is separate from:

VSB membership statistics, updated monthly, show how many lawyers practice law in Virginia at any given time. The organizational chart shows the structure of its departments. 

Be a Leader: Learn more about volunteer bar service opportunities.

Our Authority

The Virginia State Bar’s authority is found in, e.g.: Virginia Code Section 54.1-3909, the Supreme Court of Virginia's authority to promulgate rules and regulations regarding the practice of law; Virginia Code Section 54.1-3910, establishing the Virginia State Bar as an administrative agency of the Court for professional regulation; and the Rules of Court Part 6, Section IV, paragraph 9, which dictate the organization and government of the Virginia State Bar. The most recent version of the mission statement was approved by Bar Council on October 25, 2019.

Learn more about the VSB’s goals and mission in its 2019-2024 Strategic Plan.