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General Membership Q&A
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Annual Fees & Assessments

The State Bar's fiscal year runs April 1 to March 31. Annual fees and assessments are due April 1 each year. Statements are mailed March 1.

Active $395
Inactive $150
Active Military $170
Senior $50
Emeritus & Judicial $0

Change of Address

Members can update their contact information by logging into this website. Once logged in choose Edit Bio under Information and Settings within the Manage Profile Area. A written request may also be sent by email to jdiveley@montanabar.org, via fax (406) 442-7763 or mailed to P.O. Box 577, Helena, MT  59624. Please include your bar number and/or date of birth for verification.

CLE Reporting

The CLE reporting cycle runs from April 1 to March 31 each year. All active attorneys must complete at least 15 credits of continuing legal education every reporting year. Of these 15, a minimum of two credits must be earned from programs on the topic of ethics or professionalism. For more information visit the Montana Continuing Legal Education page.

Certificates or Letters of Good Standing

Certificates of good standing are $20 and can be ordered through our online store. The certificate reflects your current status and date of admission with the State Bar of Montana. A statement of discipline must be obtained separately through the Montana Supreme Court's Office of Disciplinary Counsel (406) 442-1648.
 
A letter of good standing can be obtained at no cost by contacting Jill at jdiveley@montanabar.org. The letter reflects your current status and date of admission with the State Bar of Montana.

IOLTA (Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts)

IOLTA reporting is managed by the Montana Justice Foundation. Visit www.mtjustice.org/iolta, call (406) 523-3920 or email mjf@mtjustice.org for more information.

Logging In

By default usernames are your first and last name as it's listed with the State Bar with no space in between. Example: John Doe's username = JohnDoe or johndoe (usernames are not case sensitive) If you share a common name with another member (i.e. John Smith) try including your middle initial if the system is not recognizing it.

Passwords must be created by the member. To create a password for the first time OR if you have logged in before but forgot your password, visit the Forgot Password or New User page. You can also get there from the main homepage by clicking on the "Sign In securely" link. Passwords must be at least 8 characters in length and contain at least one number and one non-numeric character (letters, punctuation, etc.)

Additional log in help HERE

Mailing List/Label Requests

Requests for a mailing list or labels must be provided in writing and requires approval by the Executive Director. View additional details on cost, available criteria, etc. HERE.
 
The State Bar reserves the right to decline to sell mailing labels or lists to anyone and reserves the right to review all materials being mailed through use of such labels or lists. State Bar letterhead may not be used in connection with the marketing of products or services endorsed by the State Bar of Montana. Labels or lists may not be sold for political purposes and may be sold to commercial vendors only if the product or service is law-related, in good taste, and does not conflict with the purposes of the State Bar of Montana. Labels or lists may be sold for judicial campaigns. Decisions concerning the sale of labels or lists will be made by the Executive Director. Only the member’s name and mailing address will be provided. Email addresses will not be provided. Appeals concerning decisions of the Executive Director may be made to the Executive Committee. [Policies of the Board of Trustees, State Bar of Montana Chapter 2-117]

Membership Status Categories

Active Status
The class of active members includes all members of the State Bar licensed to practice law in the State of Montana. Annual dues are $395 and requires reporting of 15 hours of CLE each year.

Active Military Status
The class of active military service members includes those who are full-time military service members.  Many Active Military members are required as part of their service to belong to a State Bar and maintain an active license. Although classified as active members, this category exempts them from paying membership dues or reporting CLE however, Active Military members are required to pay all Montana Supreme Court ordered assessments.

Except as provided in Article I,§3(g) of the State Bar of Montana bylaws, only active and active military service members may practice law in the State of Montana. No person other than an enrolled active member or active military service member of the State Bar may practice in this state or in any manner claim to be authorized or qualified to practice law.

Inactive Status

The class of inactive members includes those who are eligible for active membership but are not engaged in the practice of law in Montana. Annual dues are $150 with no CLE reporting requirement.

Inactive Disability Status
The class of inactive/disability members includes members who have been transferred to such status as per Rule 28 of the Rules for Lawyer Disciplinary Enforcement. 

Senior Status
The class of senior members shall include those members who are 70 years and older who are not engaged in the practice of law in Montana. Senior membership is equivalent to inactive membership, however, senior members are exempt from paying the $25 Supreme Court license tax. Upon return from senior to inactive or active status, the member must pay all license taxes waived during their senior membership. Annual dues are $50 with no CLE reporting requirement.

Emeritus Status
The class of emeritus members shall include members who have applied for and been granted emeritus status pursuant to Article I,§3(g) of the State Bar By-Laws. A member who is granted status as an emeritus attorney may practice law only as provided in the by-laws and will be awarded upon application to a lawyer member who meets the requirements as listed in §3(g).  Emeritus members are Bar members who have been an active or judicial member for a minimum of 10 out of the 15 years immediately preceding the application for emeritus status. To retain emeritus status once approved, the member must annually complete 25 hours of pro bono legal services through a qualified provider. There are no annual dues for Emeritus members however, they are required to report 10 hours of approved CLE per year.  Of the ten (10) credit hours, at least five (5) credit hours must be earned by attendance at interactive seminars as defined in Rule 7 of the Rules for Continuing Legal Education. Emeritus members are subject to the same requirements as active members for credit hours in ethics. More information and how to apply is available HERE.

Judicial Status
The class of judicial members includes elected or appointed members of the Montana judicial system who devote full time professional activity as judges, and retired judges who are eligible for temporary judicial assignment and are not engaged in the practice of law.  The Montana judicial system includes Supreme Court justices, district court judges, the chief water judge, the workers’ compensation judge, attorneys serving as justices of the peace, attorneys serving as city judges, standing masters, federal administrative law judges residing in Montana, and federal trial, appellate and bankruptcy judges residing in Montana. Judicial status is also accorded to members of the State Bar who are justices or judges of other courts of record of the United States or of the several states, or who are retired from such courts and are not engaged in the practice of law. 

Resigned Status
The class of resigned members includes lawyers who were previously a member of the State Bar of Montana but submitted a voluntary letter of resignation or retirement to the State Bar of Montana.

Paralegal Section Member
The class of paralegal associate members includes those who have voluntarily enrolled as paralegal associate members.

Membership Status Changes

How do I transfer to Inactive, Senior or Active Military?
Requests to change to inactive, senior or active military must be made in writing, include bar number and/or date of birth and filed with the State Bar. Members changing to an active military status must provide documentation of their service requirements. Unless otherwise indicated in the request a change of status will occur upon receipt at the Bar office.

What if I am no longer serving in the military and need to transfer to Active membership?
Requests to change to inactive, senior or active military must be made in writing, include bar number and/or date of birth and filed with the State Bar. The request must also include payment of the difference in member dues, fees and assessments for the current year. The member will be responsible for the filing of the required 15 CLE credit hours in the year following the status change.

How do I transfer from Inactive* to Active?
Members must petition the Montana Supreme Court using the required petition form in order to regain active status. Once approved by Court order, the member will owe the difference in dues, fees and assessments between active and inactive membership for the current year. Also, as might be ordered by the Court, the member may be required to complete 15 or 30 hours of CLE within 6 months of the status change. You do not have to have the CLE requirement, if any, completed before you can change to active. The original petition along with 2 copies needs to be submitted to the Montana Supreme Court Clerk’s Office, P.O. Box 203003, Helena, MT 59620. We also request an additional copy be sent to the State Bar office at P.O. Box 577, Helena, MT 59624.

*voluntary inactive status; members who were transferred to inactive for non-compliance of CLE please refer to Rule 12 - Rules for Continuing Legal Education https://www.mtcle.org/lawyer/law_rules.asp

How do I transfer from Senior to Active?
Members must petition the Montana Supreme Court using the required petition form in order to regain active status. Once approved by Court order, the member will owe the difference in dues, fees and assessments between active and senior membership for the current year as well as all license tax fees waived during senior status in compliance with Section 37-61-211, MCA. The original petition along with 2 copies needs to be submitted to the Montana Supreme Court Clerk’s Office, P.O. Box 203003, Helena, MT 59620. We also request an additional copy be sent to the State Bar office at P.O. Box 577, Helena, MT 59624.

How do I transfer from Emeritus to Active?
Members must petition the Montana Supreme Court using the required petition form in order to regain active status. Once approved by Court order, the member will owe payment of active fees and assessments for the current year including payment of all license taxes waived during emeritus status in compliance with Section 37-61-211, MCA. In addition, the member shall complete any CLE requirements as might be ordered by the Supreme Court and in accord with the Rules of Mandatory Continuing Legal Education. The original petition along with 2 copies needs to be submitted to the Montana Supreme Court Clerk’s Office, P.O. Box 203003, Helena, MT 59620. We also request an additional copy be sent to the State Bar office at P.O. Box 577, Helena, MT 59624.

What if I am no longer going to practice law in Montana and want to resign my membership?
Whenever a member files with the State Bar a written notice of the surrender of his or her license to practice law in Montana, such person shall thereupon cease to be a member of the State Bar and their name shall be removed from the membership register. A request to resign membership must be made in writing, include bar number and/or date of birth and filed with the State Bar. Unless otherwise indicated in the request a change of status will occur upon receipt at the Bar office. Please note resigning your membership does not dissolve any disciplinary matters that may be ongoing before the Court.

Can I ever return to the practice of law in Montana if I resign my membership?
To apply for reinstatement if you were once a member of the State Bar but resigned your membership, you must petition the Montana Supreme Court using the required petition form and may be required to submit to a character and fitness investigation, supply the supporting documentation, and pay the application fee. Unless otherwise ordered by the Supreme Court, resigned members will not be required to sit for any portion of the bar examination. (Section 1(b)(3) Rules for Admission to the Bar of Montana) You are also required to fulfill the same CLE requirements as inactive members requesting transfer to active status. (Rules for Continuing Legal Education, Rule 14)

How do I transfer to Active, Inactive or Senior if I am on a Judicial status?
Any judicial member may change his or her status to that of an active, inactive or senior member by filing with the State Bar a written request and by paying the applicable dues, fees and assessments for that year.

How do I become a member of the Paralegal Section of the State Bar?
Membership to the Section shall be granted to those eligible persons who have filed an application for membership as provided from the State Bar and who have paid the applicable Section dues. All Section members must be Montana residents. Section membership will exclude any non-attorney who provides any type of legal services directly to the public without the supervision of an attorney. [Paralegal Section By-Laws-Article II,§2.1 Membership]

Apply for Paralegal Section Membership through the online store.