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Maintaining Your Membership

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From the day the State Bar of Wisconsin was established, we have aspired to serve and support our members in a variety of ways.

As times change and the practice of law evolves, we’re committed to grow and evolve with it, providing the information, education, and advocacy you need to excel at your practice and lead a balanced life. While that’s earned us the reputation as one of the most innovative and service-oriented bars in the country, our focus is on the future. We’re working to enhance our services to help you meet the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Please contact us with ideas and insights on serving you better.

After all, your practice is our purpose.

 

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Membership class options

Only active and emeritus members of the State Bar of Wisconsin may practice law in Wisconsin, as outlined in SCR Chapter 10. There are four membership class options available to State Bar members: active, inactive, emeritus, and judicial.

Active

Active or Emeritus status is required to practice law in Wisconsin. While on active status, you must comply with continuing legal education requirements set by Supreme Court rule and pay the fees required of active members.

If you are currently on inactive status and wish to transfer to active status, the first step is to contact the Board of Bar Examiners to determine what your CLE requirements are. Once you have complied with this requirement, you will be issued an authorization from the Board that will indicate you are authorized to make the change from inactive to active.

Once you have received the authorization, it will be necessary for you to contact the State Bar in writing and request active status. We will then inform you of the amount due to upgrade your fees to the active rate. If you have been inactive for 10 or more consecutive years, it also will be necessary for you to show proof of active membership from another state or petition the Supreme Court of Wisconsin.

Active members may practice law in Wisconsin, have full member benefits and may vote in Bar elections. To find out what your CLE requirement would be, contact the Board of Bar Examiners, Room 715, 110 E Main St., Madison, WI 53703, (608) 266-9760

Inactive

Inactive membership is for those who are eligible for active membership but are not engaged in the practice of law in this state.

If you wish to transfer to inactive status, you need to inform the State Bar in writing. You will not be allowed to practice while inactive, and the dues payment drops to one-half of the Bar dues and one-half of the assessments. The inactive member does not contribute to the Wisconsin Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection.

As an inactive member, you are not subject to the CLE requirement. Inactive members may not practice law in Wisconsin but are eligible for most State Bar benefits but may not vote in Bar elections.

Emeritus "Active (Legacy)" (prior to July 1, 2022)​

The class of Emeritus “Active (Legacy)” members includes those persons who are either actively practicing or no longer actively practicing but who were at least 70 years of age before 7/1/2021 and also filed with the State Bar written notice requesting enrollment in the class of emeritus members prior to 7/1/2021. Emeritus “Active (Legacy)” members are exempt from continuing legal education requirements.

As an Emeritus “Active (Legacy)” member, you will receive full membership benefits without payment of State Bar dues or Supreme Court assessments. You will pay only for the Wisconsin Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection when there is an assessment. The current annual assessment is $25 and will be listed on your dues statement.

Emeritus “Active (Legacy)” members still actively practicing continue to do so without restrictions, including no restrictions on their pro bono work. Those that are no longer practicing are permitted to do pro bono work as long as they comply with SCR 10.03(3)(am) and are only volunteering with a “qualified pro bono program” authorized in SCR 31.01(12).

For more information, please see SCR 10.03(3)(a). Questions? Contact Customer Service at (800) 728-7788 or service@wisbar.org. If you have questions about pro bono service, please contact the Pro Bono Program Manager at probono@wisbar.org.

Senior Active

The class of active members includes all members of the State Bar, including those designated as Senior Active members, who are authorized to engage in the practice of law, either full-time or part-time, salaried or non-salaried, regardless of age. Commencing July 1, 2021, upon attaining age 75, an active member is designated as a Senior Active member unless a written notice requesting enrollment in a different membership class is filed with the State Bar.

Supreme Court Rules require lawyers to maintain active status to fully practice law in Wisconsin. They must comply with continuing legal education requirements and pay the fees required of active members. For Senior Active members, that requires payment of half Supreme Court assessments and half State Bar dues as well as the requirement of obtaining just half of CLE requirements (15 instead of 30 credits per two-year reporting period, and 3 of those 15 credits must be ethics credits)

For more information, please see SCR 10.03(3)(a). Questions? Contact Customer Service at (800) 728-7788 or service@wisbar.org

Emeritus "Inactive" (on or after July 1, 2022)

If you are at least 70 years old on or after July 1, 2021, you can elect to become an Emeritus "Inactive" member of the State Bar. You will need to file a written notice with the State Bar requesting enrollment in the class of emeritus members. Emeritus “Inactive” attorneys may not engage in the practice of law in Wisconsin other than pro bono service as provided in SCR 10.03(3)(am). Emeritus “Inactive” members are exempt from continuing legal education requirements.

As an Emeritus "Inactive" member, you will receive full membership benefits without payment of State Bar dues or Supreme Court assessments. You will pay only for the Wisconsin Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection when there is an assessment. The current annual assessment is $25 and will be listed on your dues statement.

For more information, please see SCR 10.03(3)(a). Questions? Contact Customer Service at (800) 728-7788 or service@wisbar.org. If you have questions about pro bono service, please contact the Pro Bono Program Manager at probono@wisbar.org.

Judicial Status

If you are assuming a judicial post, you should change your membership status to judicial with the State Bar. You will need to choose either voting or non voting status; voting pays full dues portion while non voting pays two thirds of the full dues. Judicial members do not pay board assessments, but do pay into the Wisconsin Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection. You may not practice law while under judicial status. Judicial members do not comply with regular CLE credits but should review the applicable rules and comply with applicable judicial education requirements. Municipal judges can choose judicial status if they are required to take judicial education.

 

If you wish to change your membership status, you must submit a written request to: State Bar of Wisconsin, Membership Department, P.O. Box 7158, Madison, WI 53707-7158.

You may submit your written request when paying annual State Bar dues and Supreme Court assessments. If you send them in with your statement, please call the State Bar for the proper fees for your new status.

If you are considering retirement, please call Customer Service at (800) 728-7788 so that we may walk you through the process.​

State Bar Dues and Supreme Court Assessments

Active New: Admitted to first bar after 4/30/20

 

State Bar of Wisconsin
Membership dues

Supreme Court assessments
Board of Bar Examiners
Office of Lawyer Regulation
WI Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection
WisTAF

Total Fee


$136.00


$    5.50
$  75.00
$  25.00
$  50.00

$291.50


Active: Admitted to first bar before 5/1/20

 

State Bar of Wisconsin
Membership dues

Supreme Court assessments
Board of Bar Examiners
Office of Lawyer Regulation
WI Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection
WisTAF

Total Fee


$272.00


$  11.00
$150.00
$  25.00
$  50.00

$508.00

Senior Active: Age 75 and over before 7/1/2022 and actively practicing
       Automatically assigned, unless the State Bar is otherwise notified in writing by member

 

State Bar of Wisconsin
Membership dues

Supreme Court assessments
Board of Bar Examiners
Office of Lawyer Regulation
WI Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection
WisTAF

Total Fee


$136.00


$    5.50
$  75.00
$  25.00
$  50.00

$291.50


Inactive:

​ 

State Bar of Wisconsin
Membership dues

Supreme Court assessments
Board of Bar Examiners
Office of Lawyer Regulation
WI Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection
WisTAF

Total Fee


$136.00


$    5.50
$  75.00
$    0.00
$    0.00

$216.50

Emeritus Inactive: Age 70 and over after 6/30/2022 and not actively practicing
       Elected by member via written notification to the State Bar

 

State Bar of Wisconsin
Membership dues

Supreme Court assessments
Board of Bar Examiners
Office of Lawyer Regulation
WI Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection
WisTAF

Total Fee


$    0.00


$    0.00
$    0.00
$  25.00
$    0.00

$   25.00


Emeritus Active (Legacy): Age 70 and over and elected before 7/1/2021

 

State Bar of Wisconsin
Membership dues

Supreme Court assessments
Board of Bar Examiners
Office of Lawyer Regulation
WI Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection
WisTAF

Total Fee


$    0.00


$    0.00
$    0.00
$  25.00
$    0.00

$   25.00

Judicial: With voting privileges in Bar elections

 

State Bar of Wisconsin
Membership dues

Supreme Court assessments
Board of Bar Examiners
Office of Lawyer Regulation
WI Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection
WisTAF

Total Fee


$272.00


$   0.00
$   0.00
$  25.00
$  50.00

$347.00

Judicial: With no voting privileges

 

State Bar of Wisconsin
Membership dues

Supreme Court assessments
Board of Bar Examiners
Office of Lawyer Regulation
WI Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection
WisTAF

Total Fee


$181.33


$   0.00
$   0.00
$  25.00
$  50.00

$256.33

Justice

 

State Bar of Wisconsin
Membership dues

Supreme Court assessments
Board of Bar Examiners
Office of Lawyer Regulation
WI Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection
WisTAF

Total Fee


$272.00


$   11.00
$ 150.00
$   25.00
$   50.00

$508.00​

Voluntary State Bar section and division dues - Fiscal 2023

Voluntary State Bar section and division dues - Fiscal 2023

The State Bar offers its members the opportunity to affiliate with lawyers who have a common practice or professional interest. To join one of the State Bar's 24 sections or four divisions, send a letter of request, along with the appropriate annual fee, if applicable, to the State Bar of Wisconsin, P.O. Box 7158, Madison, WI 53707-7158 . Members also can join sections and divisions through the State Bar annual dues and Supreme Court assessment statement mailed prior to July 1. For additional questions, contact Customer Service.

New!Join a group online

Administrative & Local Government$20.00
Appellate Practice$25.00
Bankruptcy, Insolvency & Creditor's Rights$30.00
Business Law$30.00
Children & the Law$35.00
Civil Rights & Liberties$35.00
Construction & Public Contract Law$35.00
Criminal Law$29.00
Dispute Resolution$27.00
Elder Law and Special Needs$44.00
Environmental Law$30.00
Family Law$35.00
Health Law$30.00
Indian Law$37.00
Intellectual Property and Technology Law$30.00
International Practice$32.00
Labor & Employment Law$25.00
Litigation$32.00
Public Interest$28.00
Public Utilities$25.00
Real Property, Probate & Trust Law$35.00
Solo/Small Firm & General Practice$25.00
Sports & Entertainment$30.00
Taxation$33.00
Government Lawyers Division$0.00
Nonresident Lawyers Division$0.00
Senior Lawyers Division$30.00
Young Lawyers Division$0.00

Contact Us

Membership

Customer Service Manager
(608) 250-6191
(800) 444-9404, ext. 6191

Membership Benefits and Services

Member Services Manager
(608) 250-6181
(800) 444-9404, ext. 6181

Dues

Email Customer Service or call (800) 728-7788.

Membership Status

Email Customer Service or call (800) 728-7788.​​