About the Bar

Bar Service Volunteer 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 VSB as a self-regulating, self-governing body. 

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

The VSB 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 VSB Council’s Executive Committee and the Judicial Candidate Evaluation Committee.

How are members chosen?

  1. Appointed by the VSB President-elect

    Volunteers are solicited in the fall 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

    Special Committees

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Local disciplinary district committees – 17 committees among 10 judicial districts; each has 7 lawyer members and 3 lay members

      See Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia Part 6, § IV Rule 13-4 for eligibility requirements.

      • Local disciplinary district committees are a great way for lawyers and members of the public to get involved on the ground floor of one of the bar’s most important functions. Committee members review complaints and investigations against attorneys in their jurisdiction and determine whether there is sufficient evidence of a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct. Committee members also review agreed dispositions and hear disciplinary matters.

      • Service on a district committee can lead to a place on the Disciplinary Board, which handles cases of suspension and disbarment. And most members of the Committee on Lawyer Discipline, which oversees the disciplinary system, have served some years in the disciplinary system. 

      • Members attend a two-day disciplinary conference in July (with CLE credit).

      • VSB Council members nominate from the applicant pool within their districts, and the entire Council body votes on nominees at the VSB Annual Meeting in June.

      • Interested applicants cannot have:

        • A criminal record
        • A disciplinary record of disbarment, revocation or suspension
        • A public reprimand within the past 10 years
        • Private discipline within the past five years (with a few exceptions)
  5. Elections 

    VSB 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 January–March in Virginia Lawyer magazine, in emails, and online, and must collect 10 signatures of active, in-good-standing lawyers in their circuit on or before April 1 to be placed on the ballot. Ballots are emailed in mid-April, and Virginia lawyers have a few weeks to cast their ballots online. 

  6. Joint ADR Committee

    The Joint Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee is a collaboration of the VSB and the Virginia Bar Association. Please see its website for more information. 

Have questions about Bar service opportunities? Please contact Shawne Moore by email or call (804) 775-0551.

 

Updated: Nov 30, 2022