Who Qualifies for Associate Membership?

For over 100 years only lawyers could join the Maryland State Bar Association. In 2001, the MSBA authorized associate membership for the following persons:

(a) Law Students: A law student, currently enrolled in an ABA-approved school.

(b) Paralegal/Legal Assistants: A paralegal/legal assistant is a person qualified through education, training or work experience to perform work that requires knowledge of legal concepts and is customarily, but not exclusively, performed by a lawyer. This person shall be retained or employed by a lawyer, law office, governmental agency or other entity or be authorized by administrative, statutory or court authority to perform this work. A paralegal/legal assistant may apply for associate membership if sponsored by an active lawyer member of the Association.

(c) Law Firm Administrators: A law firm administrator is a non-lawyer who is qualified through education, training or work experience. This person shall be retained or is employed as a law office manager or administrator by a lawyer, law office, governmental agency or other entity. A law office administrator may apply for associate membership if sponsored by an active lawyer member of the Association.

The publications alone are worth the cost of annual dues. The Maryland Bar Journal reports everything from changes in the law to practical tips. Every month the Bar Bulletin brings you up-to-date news about your association, your fellow members, continuing education, career opportunities, computer advice, and more. You’re also eligible to purchase at the member price and be listed in the Maryland Lawyers’ Manual, the most comprehensive lawyer and judge directory in Maryland which also includes a complete directory of government agencies.

Members also receive benefits such as discounts on car rentals, office equipment, Lexis computerized legal research, mobile phones, express mail, and conference calling telephone service.

Our Law Office Management Administration provides guidance and information to our members, especially to our solo and small firm practitioners. With an eye to rapidly changing technology, the MSBA offers Maryland appellate opinion summaries by email through EBB, Electronic Bar Briefs.

The staff of the MSBA Lawyer Assistance Program can offer practical assistance to members suffering from: poor working habits, poor office and financial organization, alcohol or drug dependency, or lack of knowledge and skills.

MSBA represents and protects your legislative interests before the Maryland General Assembly, through its Committee on Laws and our office of Legislative Relations.

The Bar Associations’ Insurance Trust offers insurance programs for disabilities, dental, basic life, supplemental life, universal life and personal accidents. The Bar Associations’ Insurance Trust strives to bring the best possible coverage at the least cost to members.

Still not convinced? How about the Continuing Legal Education Program? You will automatically receive a 25% discount on all courses offered by the Maryland Institute for Continuing Professional Education of Lawyers (MICPEL). There’s no better or easier way to keep up with the constant changes in the law.

The MSBA Ethics Hotline will answer your ethical questions free of charge as well as provide advisory written opinions. You can also consult our members-only Ethics Online service.

Check out the MSBA’s 50 plus active sections and committees. You can take an active role in developing legal policy in areas of special interest to you. The personal rewards of extending your legal knowledge through this forum can have a direct impact on the success of your profession.

MSBA’s Annual and Mid-Year meetings offer an opportunity to exchange ideas with colleagues and sharpen your skills through instructional sessions and presentations by prominent members of the legal profession.

In conclusion, we remind you of the MSBA Travel Program, which offers discounts on travel packages. Bank Of America also offers Maryland State Bar Association members a Platinum or Gold MasterCard with no annual fees, the Gold Reserve Credit Line and the Professional Services Account which allows attorneys to accept VISA and MasterCard for the payment of client services.

You’ll find our arguments irrebuttable. The Maryland State Bar Association is one of your best professional bargains.

Law students, paralegal/legal assistants, and law firm administrators may participate in activities of the Association as authorized by the Board of Governors, except that they:

1. may not participate in electing members of the Board of Governors;

2. may not participate in nominating a member of the Board or an officer of the Association, and may not serve in any of those capacities;

3. may not vote in Association elections or referendums; and

4. may not sign a petition for Association elections or referendums.

5. may never have been disbarred or suspended from the practice of law in any jurisdiction, and are of good moral character.

Copyright 2006 The Maryland State Bar Association, Inc. All rights reserved.
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