May 1, 2019 – Wisconsin Supreme Court assessments and State Bar of Wisconsin membership dues for fiscal year 2020 (July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020) are due July 1, 2019. Statements will be sent in early May.
The State Bar’s Board of Governors approved a $2 dues increase for fiscal year (FY) 2020 at its April meeting. The last dues increase – in the amount of $4 – was two years ago.
The amount of your State Bar dues varies based on your membership classification:
Membership dues are $260 for full dues-paying active members.
Active new members (lawyers admitted to their first bar after April 30, 2017) and inactive members pay half dues of $130.
Nonvoting judicial members pay $174.
Emeritus members continue to pay no State Bar dues.
Each member may deduct the portion of their dues that pays for the State Bar’s legislative activities, also known as the Keller dues reduction. That amount totals $15.45 for FY 2020.
No Change in Supreme Court Assessments
To assist the Wisconsin Supreme Court and avoid duplication of efforts, the State Bar collects court assessments in addition to your annual dues.
The four court-imposed assessments, totaling $236, remain the same for the seventh year. These assessments support:
* The court assesses active-licensed attorneys and judicial members $50, paid to the Wisconsin Trust Account Foundation, to fund civil legal services for people who cannot afford an attorney.
Not all member types pay the full court assessment amount. To find out more information, see Maintaining Your Membership on WisBar.org.
Ways to Pay: Online, by Mail, or by Phone
Fully enrolled State Bar members in good standing may pay their court assessments and dues online, from a computer or mobile device with a credit card. Find out more about online dues payment.
Members will receive their statements via the USPS, unless they opted out of the first mailing, preferring to receive notification by email. Members who opt not to receive a paper statement will receive an email informing them that the Online Dues Portal is open, with links for access and instruction on using the portal.
Payment is due by July 1, 2019; pay by this date to avoid late fees.
Methods of payment include:
Via a print statement received in the mail or by download at wisbar.org/mydues;
Online with a credit card by visiting wisbar.org/mydues; or
By phone in May, June, and July by calling Customer Service at (800) 728-7788.
Who Can Pay Court Assessments and Dues Online?
Fully enrolled attorneys in good standing – those who have a Bar card – may pay online.
You cannot pay your dues online if:
You are a new member who joins on or before July 1, 2019;
You want to change your name or membership status;
Your membership is suspended; or
Your office participates in the firm billing program.
After remitting payment, you can visit myStateBar to verify that the State Bar has processed your payment. Your receipt and membership card should arrive within two weeks from the date the State Bar receives payment.
Questions? See Membership FAQs and Paying Your Assessments and Dues FAQs on WisBar.org or contact Customer Service at (800) 728-7788 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are My Dues Tax Deductible?
Supreme Court assessments and State Bar dues are not deductible as charitable contributions but may be deductible as business expenses. Internal Revenue Code section 6033(e)(1) requires certain organizations to notify members that a portion of dues is allocable to lobbying activities. We are uncertain whether the requirement applies to the State Bar of Wisconsin. If it does, your Bar card mailing will outline this percentage. See the Dues FAQs on WisBar.org or the instructions with your mailed dues statement for more information.
If you made a donation to the Wisconsin Law Foundation or paid your Fellows pledge, these payments are 501(c)3 charitable contributions; receipts will be issued from the Wisconsin Law Foundation.
Keep These in Mind
Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when completing the dues and assessments statement:
Please self-identify in the Demographic Data Section. The Diversity Inclusion and Oversight Committee seeks to better understand and serve an increasingly diverse membership. Please take the time to read the insert accompanying the printed dues statement, and provide or verify demographic data collected in support of the State Bar’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Be sure to sign the trust account statement to retain your license – and your permanent notary commission. The Supreme Court rules require that every lawyer and judge sign this statement, regardless of whether you maintain a trust account.
Suspensions may impact your permanent status as a notary public. Failure to accurately and timely submit the trust account statement may result in loss of permanent notary public status. The Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) may suspend permanent notary commissions of attorneys who are suspended from the practice of law. This means when you are reinstated, you must reapply for a four-year notary public commission and will continue to be reappointed in four-year increments. This matter is solely within DFI’s discretion.
Take Advantage of Your Member Benefits
Through your dues, the State Bar offers you exclusive access to a wide variety of helpful resources and opportunities, including helping you to build your practice.
Visit WisBar.org to access your guide to these exclusive programs and services, representing hundreds of tools and resources designed to help you succeed in your practice.
Remember the Wisconsin Law Foundation on Your Dues Statement
Please consider a gift to help support the Wisconsin Law Foundation. Any level of contribution is gratefully appreciated. You can make your donation via Line 9 of your dues form.
Your support goes directly towards supporting worthy statewide programs like:
High School Mock Trial;
programs that enhance and support diversity in the profession;
scholarships to assist news lawyers with debt and establishing their practice; and
grants to innovative programs that improve the justice system.
To find out more about what the Foundation does, see the newsletter on WisBar.org.