Yearly Bar Admission Fees and Non-Legal Work

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Yearly Bar Admission Fees and Non-Legal Work

Postby r973 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:43 pm

I have looked through my state's website on for the bar, but couldn't find an answer to my issue. If I end up in a non-lawyer career, does anyone know if I have to keep paying the yearly dues and keep taking CLE courses? I do not want to end up having to take a bar exam again years down the road but would like to keep my license so I can practice if I chose to do so. (I know once in a non-lawyer career, it may be unlikely that I could be practice as a lawyer -- who would hire me? Probably no one). But putting that issue aside, is it pay the fees or lose the license to practice law? There is no way to temporarily suspend my license to practice or something??? Then reinstate it without taking the bar exam years down the road? Any thoughts?

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Re: Yearly Bar Admission Fees and Non-Legal Work

Postby piccolittle » Thu Apr 19, 2012 3:40 am

There should be an FAQ page on the court system website. If not, just call and ask. I'm pretty sure you can suspend your license, since plenty of attorneys in the registry are listed as "suspended." I also know someone who suspended her license while she lived overseas. Some jurisdictions additionally don't make you do CLE while you're not practicing law in the state, but you would still have to pay your registration fees however often they come due. Seriously, I would just call them and ask.


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Re: Yearly Bar Admission Fees and Non-Legal Work

Postby BeautifulSW » Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:20 pm

Most state bars have several membership categories. Among these are "active" which means paying the dues, doing the CLE, and being able to engage in law practice. Another category is "inactive" which exempts you from doing CLE and allows you to pay much reduced annual dues but does not permit you to do any act that would constitute the practice of law. Going from active to inactive is usually a matter of a simple form. Going back, however, might be easy, might require doing CLE, or might mean retaking the bar exam. This will depend on the state and the length of your inactive status.

I am told that California is easy, Washington hard, and New York has no inactive status but check it out for yourself.

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