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 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)

VSB Strategic Plan (pdf)

The strategic plan, published in October 2018, includes goals for 2019-2024. Within the framework of the bar’s mission, the bar has set the following goals for the next five years:

I. Protect the Public
II. Regulate the Profession
III. Advance Access to Legal Services
IV. Improve the Legal Profession and the Administration of Justice



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.: 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 VSB as an administrative agency of the Court for professional regulation; and the Rules of Court Part 6, Section IV, paragraph 9, which dictates the organization and government of the VSB.

Everything the VSB does should and can be related to one of these three elements. 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. Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Board / Staff
  7. Communications Department 
  8. Membership Department
  9. 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
  11. Special Committee on the Resolution of Fee Disputes

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III. Improving Legal Profession and Judicial System

  1. Lawyer Regulation (see I. above)
  2. Professionalism (see II. above)
  3. Judicial Candidate Evaluation 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


For more information about the VSB, view the Virginia State Bar Video Brief.

Updated: Dec 03, 2018