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About The Virginia Bar Association
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The Virginia Bar Association is the independent voice of the Virginia lawyer, advancing the highest ideals of the profession through advocacy and volunteer service.

The VBA is a voluntary membership organization created and supported by Virginia attorneys.

Key approaches:

  • Advocacy: Improve the law by promoting legislative changes
  • Professionalism: Expand attorney proficiency through continuing education
  • Service: Make our communities better and stronger through member contributions and through increasing access to justice
  • Collegiality: Provide opportunities for attorneys to engage with like-minded lawyers through our Sections and Divisions and events

Sections and Divisions

The VBA encourages members to get involved in our sections and divisions that inform their practice, help them better serve their clients and fulfill their personal and professional needs.

Conferences and Meetings

VBA events bring together colleagues across Virginia for learning and socializing. Our members also build upon their professional networks through attendance at meetings and conferences, such as:

  • All-member meetings (winter and summer)
  • Section-specific educational conferences
  • Legislative update seminars
  • Ethics and professionalism workshops
  • Socials and receptions

View Our Full Calendar

Programs

The VBA initiates and supports various programs that advance the ideals of the profession through advocacy and volunteer service:

Our History

In July 1888, more than 100 attorneys from across the state formed what has become The Virginia Bar Association. For more than 130 years, the VBA has worked to protect the public through law reform, to enhance access to justice and to elevate “the standard of honor, integrity and courtesy in the legal profession.”

Read more about the history of the VBA.

Our Honorees

At each statewide meeting, the VBA president recognizes outstanding achievement and service in the legal profession by individuals or groups. The highest honor of the association is the Gerald L. Baliles Distinguished Service Award. Presented more than a dozen times, this award acknowledges exceptional service and contributions to the bar and public at large.

See the entire list of awards presented by the VBA.

Our Staff

Who Can Join

All licensed Virginia lawyers and lawyers in good standing in the bar in other states and the District of Columbia are eligible for full membership. Membership is not automatic. Interested attorneys must apply to join.

  • Regular membership dues range from $225-$300 per calendar year, depending on number of years in practice.
  • Government attorneys, full-time law school faculty, legal aid lawyers and attorneys working for nonprofits qualify for reduced dues of $150.
  • Members of the judiciary also can join for $150 a year.
  • Fully retired and fully disabled attorneys are eligible for reduced dues of $150 a year.
  • VBA Life Members receive free membership after 40 years of continuous paid membership and attaining age 70.
  • Newly admitted to the bar? Apply for free VBA membership during the year you become licensed.
  • Studying the law? Students enrolled in a fully accredited school of law can advance their careers by joining dues-free in VBA Law School Councils.

Join Today!

Members and nonmembers support the VBA through its foundation

Members become contributors of The Virginia Bar Association Foundation at giving levels beginning at $150 per calendar year ($75 for Young Lawyer donors). The VBA Foundation conducts and supports the charitable and educational purposes of the VBA and is a 501(c)(3) charitable entity.

Donate

Affiliated bar groups

We proudly serve the constituents of the following associations, that have become affiliated with the VBA:

  • Alexandria Bar Association
  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Virginia Chapter
  • Fairfax Bar Association
  • Hill Tucker Bar Association
  • Local Government Attorneys of Virginia
  • Lynchburg Bar Association
  • Norfolk-Portsmouth Bar Association
  • Old Dominion Bar Association
  • Roanoke Bar Association
  • Virginia Academy of Elder Law Attorneys

The Affiliated Bar program began in 2018 as a way to give affiliated bar members a taste of the VBA experience while also adding value for the members of local and specialty bars and the VBA. In return for three leaders of the local bar certifying membership in the VBA, the VBA permits the affiliated bar's members free use of VBA on Main, a member center, the possibility for affiliated bar members to attend VBA CLEs at discounted rates, and potential access to the VBA legislative agenda.

Affiliate [PDF]

Affiliation with the Virginia State Bar

The VBA also collaborates with the Virginia State Bar, whose members can join the Joint Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee of the VBA and VSB by paying $25 dues per year.

VBA by the Numbers

About 4,800 lawyers and law students voluntarily join the VBA. The VBA has a diverse membership by geography, by age, and by type and size of organization.

By geographic location

Statewide dispersion of VBA membership in 2019

By gender and age

Membership skews male and VBA membership is well distributed by age.

VBA membership by gender and age, 2019

Work environment

About two-thirds of VBA members work in legal departments or law firms with 14 or fewer lawyers. But not all VBA members work in a law firm environment, including judges, nonprofit and legal aid attorneys, government lawyers and corporate counsel.

The great majority of VBA members who work in firms work in small and solo law offices.

VBA member categories

Most VBA members are experienced attorneys. However, the 6-plus years in practice category does not include specialty membership types, such as judges, government attorneys and Life Members. VBA Life Members are age 70 or better and have been active in the VBA for 40 or more years.

Experienced attorneys make up the majority of VBA members.

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