How Attorney Bar Associations Can Improve Your Firm

Bar associations have been around for a very long time. Traditionally, they were the governing body for lawyers and law firms in each state. Membership was mandatory, and the bar handled everything from the entrance exam to becoming a licensed attorney in the state.

Protocols have changed a lot in recent years. Today, many states have a mandatory state bar that handles administrative and disciplinary actions, while other voluntary bars may exist that provide other benefits for law firms and attorneys. 

The many benefits of joining a local or national bar association

Whether mandatory or voluntary, joining a state or local attorney bar association can improve your firm in some pretty important ways. 

1. Pro bono work

If you’re looking for an opportunity to do pro bono work, your local bar association is where to look. While not all attorneys or law firms offer pro bono work, there’s a lot to be said for doing things “for the public good.” 

Pro bono work allows you to give back to the local community and represent those who might not be able to afford an attorney on their own. It also helps support our legal system, which is dependent on people having equal access to the privileges and protections codified into it. It also gives you the chance to stretch your skills beyond your comfort zone if you want a challenge. 

Pro bono work can provide the opportunity for professionals within your firm to work together, enhancing core skills and building new ones, while also forming stronger relationships.

2. Get outside your office

Much of the time, your connection with other attorneys, paralegals, and judges is confined to your office or your role in a particular case. Being part of a local, regional, or state bar association allows you to change that paradigm and meet these individuals outside the office. 

It’s not just about networking. It’s about building relationships and working with these people in a different capacity than the norm. 

This way, you get to know the real person behind the position. Judges are more than just a gavel and gown. Paralegals are more than an extra set of hands or another pair of experienced eyes in the office. By working together outside the office, you build a stronger legal industry.

3. Get the CLE opportunities you need

Like many other professions, attorneys are required to complete a specific number of continuing education (CE) units each year. In the legal industry, they’re called continuing legal education (CLE) units, and obtaining them can be a challenge. Bar associations are a great place to look.

True, CLEs can be found in many places. However, they often come at a relatively high cost, which can be a challenge for solo attorneys and smaller firms without deep pockets. Bar associations can offer discounted or even free access to CLE opportunities, helping your firm comply with state rules without breaking your budget.

4. Access to resources

Too often, aspiring lawyers assume that all they need to get started in the industry is their law degree. And to an extent, that’s true. However, experienced attorneys know that there’s a lot more that goes into practice than just formal education. Your bar association can provide the guidance you need to develop an actual business.  Through educational material, conferences and lectures, and discounts on partnered vendors and their services, bar associations can help provide the resources needed to start, develop, or grow your law practice into a thriving operation. 

5. Help with recruiting

Getting the right people in the right places within a law firm can be more than a little challenging. Often, new attorneys are something of an unknown. The same goes for paralegals, legal secretaries, and others who you might need within your firm. Joining your attorney bar association allows you to get a jumpstart on your hiring and ensure you’re bringing in the right talent.

The bar association can be seen as something of a proving ground, allowing newer attorneys the chance to develop their reputations, which can then translate into positions with firms like yours. Connections with other attorneys can help you fill administrative and paralegal slots in your firm, too.

Another important advantage for your law firm

As you can see, joining a state or local bar association can have profound benefits for your law firm and your career. However, don’t neglect another important aspect of successful law firms: engaging communication. Working with an experienced legal answering service can ensure that you never miss another phone call and that your lead screening and intake process is smooth and productive.’s experienced virtual receptionists can help with appointment booking, after-hours answering, bilingual answering, email & SMS follow-up, and more. To learn more, schedule a consultation or reach out to

Law Firm
Written by Tom Armitage

Tom Armitage is a Senior Marketing Manager with

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