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FAQ/Membership [+] Show All Answers

  1. Does the State Bar need a member's official mailing address on file? Can the address be marked private?

    Bar Rule 1-207 requires that all members maintain a valid official address and phone number with the State Bar of Georgia. All address changes must be in writing by one of the following methods: (1) logging into the member's account at www.gabar.org and selecting "Edit Contact Information", (2) emailing the Membership Department at membership@gabar.org or (3) mailing information to State Bar headquarters, attention Membership Department. 

    If a member does not want their contact information visible in the printed or online directories, they may contact Membership at 404-527-8777 or email membership@gabar.org and request their information be marked private. Their firm/employer name, street address, phone, fax and email addresses will be hidden from public view. To release the privacy restriction, the Membership Department must be contacted. 

  2. How can I be sworn in to practice in the higher courts?

    You can contact the clerk of the court that you wish to practice in and they will arrange for you to be sworn in. You must first be admitted in Superior Court before you can be sworn in to the higher courts. Some of the telephone numbers for the higher courts are listed below:

    Supreme Court - 404-656-3470
    Court of Appeals - 404-656-3450
    U.S Court of Appeals - 404-335-6100
    U.S. Northern District - 404-215-1660
    U.S. Middle District - 478-752-3497
    U.S. Southern District - 912-650-4020

    In order to be notified of any mass swearing in ceremonies for the higher courts, email the Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar of Georgia by clicking here.

  3. How do I change my name?

    CLICK HERE to download the Name Change Form. This is a fillable form, which may be completed online before you print it for a signature. Please fax or mail this form.

  4. How do I change my status to active?

    If you have not paid your dues for the year, simply mark your dues notice and pay the active dues amount. If you have already paid inactive dues for the year, mail a check for the difference between inactive and active dues along with a note and your Bar Number to: State Bar of Georgia, PO Box 102054, Atlanta, GA 30368-2054. If you are unsure of the amount to send, email  membership@gabar.org and someone will be happy to assist you.

  5. How do I change my status to inactive?

    If you have already paid active dues, you may send an email to membership@gabar.org and request that your status be changed. Be sure to include your Bar Number and the effective date. If you have not paid your dues, the change can be indicated on the dues notice and you may pay the inactive dues amount shown on the notice.

  6. How do I login to the website?

    State Bar members, if you have created a username and password, please use the one you created. Proceed by clicking here.

    If you have not created an account, your username is your Bar number and your password is your last name with no punctuation or spaces and four digit birth year in all lowercase (i.e., username: 006400, password: smith1978).

  7. How do I obtain a disciplinary history?

    Any member seeking a disciplinary history that includes information about grievances or actions that are currently pending in confidential status, or about private discipline, should send their written request to the Office of the General Counsel, State Bar of Georgia, 104 Marietta Street, Suite 100, Atlanta, Georgia 30303, Attn: Deloise Mathews. The request must include the member's explicit authorization to release such information. Requests sent via email are not accepted. There is no cost to a member requesting their own disciplinary history.

  8. How do I obtain information about Admission on Motion (Reciprocity)?

    Under some circumstances, Georgia offers admission on motion without examination to lawyers who are licensed in another jurisdiction. Out-of-state lawyers who wish to apply for admission on motion without examination to the State Bar of Georgia should visit the website of Georgia's Office of Bar Admissions: www.gabaradmissions.org. Each jurisdiction may have different eligibility requirements. Please contact the Office of Bar Admissions at 404-656-3490 for more detailed information.

  9. How do I order a Letter of Good Standing?

    A Letter of Good Standing is usually required for a member of the State Bar of Georgia to be admitted to practice in another jurisdiction. Letters of Good Standing include the attorney's name, Bar Number, address, current status and a history of any public disciplinary actions that have been taken against the attorney. If the jurisdiction you are applying to requires information about grievances or actions that are currently pending in confidential status, or about private discipline, please see the last paragraph below for instructions.

    Some jurisdictions require that the letter come from the highest court in the state. In Georgia, the highest court that you are required to be admitted in, in order to practice, is the Superior Court. However, you may have been separately sworn in to the Supreme Court of Georgia and/or the Court of Appeals of Georgia.

    The State Bar of Georgia is an official arm of the Supreme Court, but if the jurisdiction in which you are applying requires you to submit a letter from the highest court to which you are admitted (i.e., Supreme Court of Georgia, Court of Appeals of Georgia, etc.), you must contact those courts directly, (but only if you are admitted to them) to request a letter of good standing. Otherwise, if you have only been admitted in Superior Court, a letter of good standing from the State Bar of Georgia will be sufficient.

    Letters are available from the Membership Department at a cost of $15 for the first letter and $5 for each additional letter requested at the same time. Requests for Letters of Good Standing will be processed and mailed out each business day. Cutoff time for receipt of orders is 12 p.m. If your order indicates that you would like to pick up your letter, you will be notified by email or phone when the letter is ready. To order a letter after 12 p.m. for same day pick up, an additional charge of $20 will apply for expedited letters. To receive a Letter of Good Standing your Membership Dues must be current.

    To order your letter of good standing please login by clicking here and proceed to the storefront. To order with a check by mail or courier, click here to download an order form.

    Any member seeking a disciplinary history that includes information about grievances or actions that are currently pending in confidential status, or about private discipline, should send their written request to the Office of the General Counsel, State Bar of Georgia, 104 Marietta Street, Suite 100, Atlanta, Georgia 30303, Attn: Deloise Mathews. The request must include the member's explicit authorization to release such information. Requests sent via email are not accepted. There is no cost to a member requesting their own disciplinary history.

  10. How do I order a Membership Certificate that is suitable for framing?

    Any active member in good standing with the State Bar of Georgia is eligible to order a personalized membership certificate. Printed on ivory parchment paper, these certificates are stamped with the official seal of the State Bar and signed by the current president. Unframed certificates are $25.

    Framed membership certificates are double-matted in black and gold and enclosed in a gold wood frame. Complete with a hook for easy hanging, they are available for $50.00.

    To order your certificate, please login by clicking here and proceed to the storefront.

  11. How do I order a Photo ID?

    A photo ID card is a convenient and quick way to identify you as a State Bar of Georgia member.

    To order your photo ID, please login by clicking here and proceed to the storefront.

    Once you make your purchase, you will need to email membership@gabar.org and attach a high-resolution picture. Be sure to include your Bar Number. The State Bar of Georgia reserves the right to decide if the photo you provide is appropriate for use on your State Bar of Georgia photo ID.

    If you would prefer to pay by check, mail $11 to Membership, State Bar of Georgia, Suite 100, 104 Marietta Street, Atlanta GA 30303. Be sure to include your Bar Number with the request.

    (If you don't have the ability to send a photo electronically, you may mail those to Membership as well. Be sure to include your Bar Number on all requests.)

  12. I am a member of the State Bar of Georgia and my information in the online directory is incorrect. Who must I contact to fix it?

    The Online Directory is a direct reflection of the State Bar of Georgia's membership database. To change this information, you can change your address online by clicking here, write an email to membership@gabar.org or send a fax to the Membership Department at 404-527-8747.

  13. I am not employed yet, should I wait to be sworn in?

    You have one year from the date you received your certificate of eligibility from Bar Admissions to be sworn in. If you do get sworn in, you have 60 days from the date you were sworn in to apply for admission to the State Bar of Georgia. If you passed the July exam and are not practicing, you can save ½ year of dues by waiting until after January 1 to be sworn in. Or if you passed the February exam and are not practicing, you can save ½ year of dues by waiting until after May 14 to be sworn in.

  14. I have a hardship right now and cannot pay my dues. Is there a hardship exemption I can apply for or can I make payments?

    Dues must be paid in full by the 9/1 date or you will be ineligible to practice. If you are not practicing, you can pay inactive dues and later in the year convert to active.

  15. I have just been notified that I passed the Bar Exam. What do I do now in order to practice?

    All of the materials necessary to enroll with the State Bar of Georgia are available on the website and can be accessed by clicking here.

  16. I have to appear in court but my dues are unpaid, can I still appear in court?

    After 9/1 of each dues year, unpaid members are ineligible to practice law until their dues are paid.

  17. I wish to check my membership status, or check the membership status of an attorney. Who should I speak to?

    The State Bar of Georgia's Membership Department maintains and updates each bar member's status. For information about your membership status, or to make sure an attorney is in good standing, please check our online membership directory which is updated daily. If you still have questions call the Membership Department at 404-527-8777 or e-mail membership@gabar.org.

  18. If I am inactive and wish to take CLE hours anyway are there any restrictions?

    Up to two years of CLE hours (24 credit hours) taken while inactive can be carried over and applied when you reactivate.

  19. If I go inactive, how difficult is it for me to become active again?

    You would simply need to send a check for the difference in active and inactive dues for that year. Be sure to include your Bar Number and a note that you would like to become active. The check should be sent to:

    State Bar of Georgia
    P.O. Box 102054
    Atlanta, GA 30368-2054

  20. If I have already paid active dues for the year, would a portion of my dues be refunded if I become inactive?

    Due to the complexities and time involved with refunds for status changes, we do not refund any portion of the active dues.

  21. If I have decided I do not want to keep my membership, how do I resign? If I decide to reinstate after I have resigned, can I do that?

    Bar Rule 1-208 states that members who would like to resign their membership need to petition the Executive Committee for leave to resign from the State Bar of Georgia. Members who desire to resign their membership need to fill out the Official Petition for Resignation and send the notarized form to the address on the form. Members may resign while in good standing with the State Bar. Members may also resign while delinquent or suspended for failure to pay dues, or for failure to comply with CLE requirements. The process to be reinstated after resignation is similar to the process for non-payment of dues. After the five-year period, you will be required to retake the Bar Exam to be readmitted. Click here for Official Petition for Resignation. Click here for full text of Rule 1-208.

  22. If I have not practiced in Georgia for a long period of time and have not changed my status to inactive, can I make my status inactive retro active back in time?

    You can make your status effective back to the date you stopped practicing by indicating the date and the fact that you have not practiced in Georgia on your correspondence to us.

  23. If I live out of state and do not practice in Georgia, am I required to go inactive?

    You are not required to change to inactive status. In order to eliminate the CLE requirement if you are not practicing in Georgia and live out of state, you may file an out of state exemption. Please contact CLE at 404-527-8710 for additional information about CLE.

  24. Now that I have passed the Bar, where can I get sworn in?

    Any Superior Court Judge in the State can swear you in. You can make an appointment by contacting the clerk of the court in the county that you choose. A directory of Superior Court Clerks can be found at www.gsccca.org/clerks. If you reside out of state and wish to be sworn in by proxy, contact the Fulton County Superior Court Clerk’s office at 404-613-4217 or email nicholas.cotten@fultoncountyga.gov for additional information. They will require a copy of your original certificate of eligibility and a copy of a state issued ID.

  25. What are the benefits of being inactive?

    As an inactive member, you are not required to complete CLE hours and your dues are lower. However, inactive status requires that you do not practice law in Georgia. A possible disadvantage is the fact that if you plan to use your Georgia license to be admitted by reciprocity to another jurisdiction, the other jurisdiction often requires that you have been active 5 of the last 7 years.

  26. What happens if I do not pay my Bar Dues?

    A late fee of $75 is assessed after 8/1 and you are ineligible to practice after 9/1. Another late fee of $100 is assessed after 1/1 (Total Late Fee $175). After the second year of unpaid status, your membership status is changed to administratively suspended. Your membership will remain as administratively suspended for a five year period starting from the first year that you did not pay your annual dues. During this five year period, you may reinstate by being recertified thru the Fitness process with Bar Admissions, completing several administrative requirements and paying additional penalty fees, dues and late fees. After the five-year period, you will be required to retake the Bar Exam to be readmitted.

  27. Where can I find information about admission to the State Bar of Georgia?

    The Office of Bar Admissions is the administrative arm of the Supreme Court of Georgia responsible for the admission of attorneys to the practice of law in Georgia. This office has a website separate from the State Bar of Georgia's which can be accessed by clicking here: Office of Bar Admissions

  28. While on inactive status, would I have to take CLE hours? Are there other requirements to maintain inactive status besides paying inactive dues?

    You are not required to take CLE hours while you are inactive. There are no other requirements to maintain your inactive status. You may remain inactive for an unlimited amount of time. While you are inactive it is very important to keep your address updated with the Bar and pay your dues. You may change your address by clicking here.

  29. Would I have to take CLE hours to regain my active status from inactive?

    You will owe CLE for the year you activate in as well as any hours that you owed CLE from prior years when you deactivated. These hours would need to be completed by March of the following year.

    NOTE:
    You will owe CLE for the current year even if you are only active for one day, week, etc. during the year. Be sure to consider this when you are activating at the end of a year.

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