Inside Track: Look For Your Annual Court Assessments and Dues Statements:

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  • June
    02
    2021

    Look For Your Annual Court Assessments and Dues Statements

    Members should have received FY 2022 statements for Wisconsin Supreme Court assessments and State Bar of Wisconsin membership dues. Be sure to take advantage of your member benefits.
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    June 2, 2021 – During the 2020-21 pandemic, your State Bar of Wisconsin worked diligently to connect you with resources to help turn challenges into opportunities and support the courts and the legal community in ensuring the continued administration of justice – all while maintaining cost-effective operations.

    As we look ahead to a new fiscal year on July 1, you can count on the State Bar to help you through the unprecedented change facing our profession, says Kathy Brost, State Bar president. “We also want you to take advantage of everything your State Bar membership offers to help you save time, money, and frustration.”

    Members should have received Wisconsin Supreme Court assessments and State Bar of Wisconsin membership dues for fiscal year 2022 (July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022). These payments are due July 1, 2021.

    Questions? See Membership FAQs and Paying Your Assessments and Dues FAQs on WisBar.org or contact Customer Service at (800) 728-7788 or service@wisbar.org.

    State Bar Dues Vary By Membership Class

    For FY 2022, the amount of your State Bar dues is based on your membership classification:

    • Membership dues are $268 for Active and Judicial members.
    • Active New members (lawyers admitted to their first bar after April 30, 2019) and Inactive members pay half dues of $134.
    • Senior Active members pay half dues of $134
    • Nonvoting Judicial members pay $179.

    Emeritus members continue to pay no State Bar dues. However, the Emeritus member classification has recently changed. To learn more, see Emeritus Membership FAQs.

    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 $7.15 for FY 2022 (varies by membership class).

    Supreme Court Assessments: What Do They Support?

    State Bar membership dues are distinct from annual assessments established and imposed by the Wisconsin Supreme Court. To assist the Supreme Court and avoid duplication of efforts, the State Bar collects court assessments in addition to your annual dues.

    Court assessments for FY 2022 total $236. These assessments support the following:

    fiscal year 2022 court assessments graph

    * 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 assessments. To find out more information, see Maintaining Your Membership on WisBar.org.

    State Bar Dues Increase 3 Percent

    After a rigorous budget review to ensure all activities are cost-effective and relevant, State Bar dues will increase $8 for full dues-paying members in FY 2022, a 3% increase over FY 2020. There was no dues increase in FY 2021, and the last dues increase was $2, approved two years ago for FY 2020.

    Although the Finance Committee had recommended a $4 increase last year for FY 2021, the State Bar’s Board of Governors turned to its reserves to balance the budget rather than increase dues during the 2020-21 pandemic year. While current financial success during the pandemic has remained possible given a larger expense savings in comparison to a smaller revenue shortfall, post-pandemic those expenses are expected to outpace any hoped-for rebound in revenues as well as typical inflationary factors.

    At the unanimous recommendation of the Finance and the Executive committees, the Board of Governors voted to increase dues to maintain the current level of member services and programs.

    fiscal year 2022 court assessments and dues graph

    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. For more information about paying dues online, view FAQs: Paying Your Assessments and Dues.

    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, 2021; 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, 2021;
    • 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 service@wisbar.org.

    Discover the Benefits of Membership

    The State Bar is here to help you succeed. Membership comes with access to exclusive benefits – a compelling mix of products, services, and discounts that help you advance your practice and meaningfully engage with the legal community.

    Products such as FastCase, a $995/year value, and the Ethics Hotline, a $300/hour value, are just two valuable resources to help members save time and money.

    Advance your practice, enrich your career, and improve the quality of your personal and professional life. Take 15 minutes to discover the benefits of membership. We’re sure you’ll find a benefit that will help you save time, money, and frustration.

    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 assessments and dues 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.

    Questions? Contact State Bar Customer Service at (800) 728-7788 or email org service wisbar wisbar service org.

    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.

    ​​



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