Please Wait a Moment
X

Annual Dues, Fees & Assessments

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

Dues, Fees & Assessments Active Inactive Active Mil Senior Emeritus New - Active New -Inactive
Membership Dues $300 $190 $0 $50 $0 $50 $50
MT Supreme Court License Tax $25 $25 $25 $0 $0 $25 $25
Lawyers’ Fund Assessment $20 $0 $20 $0 $0 $20 $0
CLE Fee $45 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Discipline Counsel Assessment $125 $0 $125 $0 $0 $125 $0
TOTAL: $515 $215 $170 $50 $0 $220* $75*
*Pro-rated amount applies to remainder of fiscal year of admission; must be paid prior to swearing in

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are Inactive members required to pay the Montana Supreme Court’s license tax?

The Clerk of Court is the authority that issues your license and collects the license tax (through the State Bar) on behalf of the Supreme Court. Active, active military and inactive members must maintain their license each year. [Section37-61-211, MCA]

Can fees and assessments be paid by credit card?

Yes-the State Bar accepts Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express and ACH. Members who pay fees and assessments by credit card will be charged a processing fee. There is no fee for an ACH transaction.

Why are governmental lawyers required to pay the Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection assessment?

The assessment is a Court-ordered requirement for all active and active military members of the State Bar. [165 Mont. 1, 530 P.2d 765 (1975)]

How do I renew membership online?

During the annual renewal period log in at www.montanabar.org and from the membership dashboard click the Renew Membership icon, on the Membership Renew link under the Alerts & Reminders area, or through the Invoices/Receipts icon.

How would I request a hardship waiver?

Members having trouble because of financial hardship or who become disabled and unable to work may request a full or partial waiver of dues using the necessary form obtained from the State Bar. This waiver applies to dues ONLY. The State Bar does not have authority to waive Court-ordered fees or assessments. Only those applicants who have been a member for a year or more are eligible to apply. To request the form please send a message to membership@montanabar.org.

Who pays the assessment for the Office of Disciplinary Counsel?

The assessment is a Court-ordered requirement for all active and active military members of the State Bar. [MT Supreme Court Order dated January 15, 2002]

What happens if I do not pay the fees and assessments?

Members who do not pay by the deadline will be mailed a second notice and assessed a $50 late fee. If, after 30 days from the date of the second notice, there is no payment received, a notice of delinquency will be sent certified mail. Within 20 days from the date of this notice the member is suspended for non-payment and will incur an additional $200 reinstatement fee. The names of suspended members will be provided to all Courts of Record in Montana. Dues and penalty fees will continue to accrue for each year left unpaid. Members whose dues are in arrears for 3 or more years are required to petition the Montana Supreme Court before reinstatement will be granted.

I paid but have not received my bar card. When can I expect it?

A copy of your current card can be printed through the member dashboard. For cards sent by mail please allow up to fourteen business days from the date your payment is processed. To request a replacement card please send an email to membership@montanabar.org.

Certificates and Letters of Good Standing

An electronic version of the certificate is available through the member dashboard but an original copy by mail must be ordered through the online store at www.montanabar.org (Membership category). A letter of good standing can be obtained by sending a request to membership@montanabar.org. Certificates and letters reflect your status and date of admission to the State Bar of Montana. A statement of discipline must be obtained through the Montana Supreme Court's Office of Disciplinary Counsel (406) 442-1648.

Change of Address

Members can update their contact information by logging into their member dashboard or send an email to membership@montanabar.org

CLE Reporting

The CLE reporting cycle runs from April 1 to March 31 each year. All active attorneys must complete at least 15.0 total CLE credit hours per reporting year, of which at least 2.0 CLE credit hours must be in approved Professional Fitness and Integrity (PFI – formerly called ethics) courses, as defined in Rule 5B. Of those 15.0 total CLE credit hours, 10.0 CLE credit hours must be earned through attending live interactive courses, as defined in Rule 9A1.

How do you report your CLE credits?

-Log into your Member Dashboard at www.montanabar.org
-Click on the "Report CLE Credits" tab, located in the left-hand menu on your dashboard.
-Click the blue "Select A Course" button and search for your course by title and/or provider name.

For more information visit https://www.montanabar.org/Membership-Regulatory/Mandatory-Continuing-Legal-Education/Attorneys

IOLTA

IOLTA (Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts) 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

Usernames are the email address on file with the State Bar, but 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, select the Forgot Password button from the Account Login page.

Mailing List Requests

Requests for mailing lists must be provided in writing using the required Mailing List Application. Submissions are subject to review and approval by the Executive Director with a cost associated. 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 name and mailing address will be provided. Emails are not included. Appeals concerning the 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 Changes

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, you will owe the difference in fees for the current year. In addition, and as might be ordered by the Court, you 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. At the Court’s discretion Petitioners who maintain an inactive status for five or more years may be required to submit a character and fitness review as part of the process.

The original petition along with one copy must 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.

*voluntary inactive status; members who were transferred to inactive for non-compliance of CLE please refer to Rule 13 - Rules for Continuing Legal Education https://www.mtcle.org/lawyer/law_rules.asp

How do I transfer to Inactive, Senior, or Active Military?

Requests to elect inactive, senior, or active military must be made in writing by email or mailed letter and include bar number or date of birth for verification. Members requesting an active military status must provide documentation of their service requirements using the required form. Unless otherwise indicated in the request it will be considered effective immediately upon receipt.

What if I am no longer serving in the military and need to transfer to Active membership?

Requests to return to inactive, senior, or active military must be made in writing, include bar number and/or date of birth for verification and filed with the State Bar. The member must also make payment of the difference fees 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 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 fees for the current year as well as all license tax fees waived during senior status in compliance with Section 37-61-211, MCA. At the Court’s discretion Petitioners who maintain a senior status for five or more years may be required to submit a character and fitness review as part of the process.

The original petition along with one copy must 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.

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 dues, 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 one copy must 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. 

What if I am no longer going to practice law in Montana and want to officially resign my membership?

Whenever a member files with the State Bar a written notice of official resignation surrendering 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. Unless otherwise indicated in the request a change to resigned 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)

The original petition along with one copy must 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.

How do I transfer to Judicial status?

Qualifying members can request judicial status by filing a written notice requesting a change in status. 

What if I am no longer going to practice law in Montana and want to officially resign my membership?

Whenever a member files with the State Bar a written notice of official resignation surrendering 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. Unless otherwise indicated in the request a change to resigned 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)

The original petition along with one copy must 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.

How do I transfer to Active, Inactive, or Senior if I am on a Judicial status?

A 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. For a transfer to active status 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 become a member of the Paralegal Section of the State Bar?

Membership of the Section shall be granted to those eligible persons who have filed an application for membership as provided by 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 at www.montanabar.org (Membership category).

What if I am a suspended member?

Please contact the State Bar - membership@montanabar.org - to determine reinstatement requirements.

Member Status Categories

Active Attorney Status

The class of active members includes all members of the State Bar licensed to practice law in the State of Montana. 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. 

Active Military Attorney Status

Many Active Military members are required as part of their service to belong to a State Bar and maintain an active license. The intent of the status is for full-time active military service members whose only practice of law is military. The State Bar of Montana considers a member eligible for active military status if the member is serving on active duty or active service or working exclusively as a judge advocate in the Armed Forces of the United States.  The guard or reserve would qualify if that was the member's only reason for having a license or they were full time for the guard or reserve.  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. Active military members must certify their status annually with the State Bar.

Inactive Attorney 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. 

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. 

New Lawyers' Section (NLS) Lay-Law Student Associate Member

Lay associate membership in the NLS is available to students registered in an ABA accredited U.S. law school expiring in September of your graduation year. Membership does NOT provide for privileges of practice, voting, or holding office.

Senior Attorney Status

The class of senior members shall include those members who are at least 70 years of age and not engaged in the practice of law in Montana. Senior members are considered inactive but 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. 

Emeritus Attorney 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 as well as 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. 

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, tribal court judges not otherwise practicing law, 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 to the State Bar of Montana. Resigning membership relinquishes your license to practice in Montana. Members who file notice of the surrender of their license shall cease to be a member of the State Bar and their name will be removed from the rolls of licensed attorneys.

Paralegal Section Member

The class of paralegal associate members includes those who have voluntarily enrolled as a member of the paralegal section.

Voluntary Sections

Animal Law Section ($20)
Bankruptcy Section ($20)
BETTR* Law Section ($20)
Construction Law Section ($20)
Criminal Law Section ($15)
Dispute Resolution Section ($10)
Family Law Section ($10)
Federal Practice Section ($20)
Health Care Law Section ($10; FREE 1st yr.)
Indian Law Section ($20)
Intellectual Property Law Section ($30)
Natural Resources & Environmental Law Section ($10)
New Lawyers’ Section ($15)
Nonprofit Law ($20)
Paralegal Section ($60)
Public Law Section ($10)
Public Utilities Law Section ($20)
School Law Section ($20)
Veterans Law Section ($20)
Water Law Section ($30)
Women’s Law Section ($20)
*Business, Estates, Tax, Trusts & Real Property