Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the difference between the Tenth Judicial District Bar and the Wake County Bar Association?
The Tenth Judicial District Bar is a mandatory body required by the State Bar to maintain your law license. It is an annual dues that is separate from your State Bar dues and runs on an October 1 through September 30 fiscal year. The Wake County Bar Association (WCBA) is a voluntary organization that provides member benefits and public service opportunities. The WCBA's fiscal year is January 1 through December 31.
What is the Tenth Judicial District Bar? Who are the members?
The State of North Carolina is divided into Judicial Districts. A licensed attorney must belong to a district Bar in order to maintain good standing as an active attorney in North Carolina. However, you may belong to only one district Bar. If you live in Wake County but practice in another District, you may choose which district Bar to join. If you live in another District, but practice in Wake County, you may elect to join the Tenth Judicial District Bar. You can obtain more details about the requirement to pay dues to a judicial district Bar by checking the North Carolina General Statutes (NCGS §84-18) or by checking with the North Carolina State Bar at www.ncbar.gov.
What do Judicial District Bars do other then collect dues?
The mandatory Bar has various responsibilities and functions derived from North Carolina statutes. The members of the Tenth Judicial District Bar elect eight councilors to the State Bar's Council. In addition the members of the Tenth, not the general public, elect the Public Defender for the Tenth Judicial District. The members also submit nominations for judicial appointments when a new district court judgeship is created or a vacancy occurs. In addition, formal grievances and fee disputes that are not handled by the State Bar are referred to the Grievance and Fee Dispute committees of the Tenth Judicial District Bar.
When must I pay my Judicial District Bar dues?
Our fiscal year runs from October 1 - September 30 of each year. The mandatory dues of $75.00, payable to the Tenth Judicial District Bar, must be paid within 90 days of the invoice.
Dues are not prorated for those who enter the district mid-year. However, if you paid dues in your previous district prior to leaving, your Tenth dues can be waived. Contact Shaula Brannan at email@example.com or 919-659-1441 to see if your dues can be waived.
If I move to the Tenth Judicial District Bar in the middle of the fiscal year, must I pay dues?
Yes, unless you have documentation that you already paid dues to another District Bar during the same fiscal year. Please note that other district bars may not operate on a October 1 - September 30 fiscal year.
Is it my responsibility to advise the Judicial District Bar of any changes to my address or membership status?
Yes, even if you have provided that new information to the State Bar, you must also contact the District Bar. The State Bar does not routinely provide that information to the District Bar. Report any changes to Membership Coordinator Shaula Brannan at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 919-659-1441. You can also log in to your member profile and make the edits yourself. If you are moving out of the district, you will want to contact Shaula.
What if I work in a business or teach, rather than practice law, do I still have to pay dues?
The requirement to pay district bar dues is not based on how or where you work. If you are on active status with the North Carolina State Bar, then you are required to pay dues to a district Bar. However, if you are not in the practice of law in your employment, it will affect your Judicial District. In the case that you do not practice law, you will need to choose your Judicial District by where you live.
What if I am not employed?
The requirement to pay district bar dues is not based on employment. If you are on active status with the North Carolina State Bar, then you are required to pay dues to a Judicial District Bar. In this case, you will have to belong to the Judicial District Bar where you live.
What if I move out of North Carolina?
If you move out of North Carolina and wish to retain your North Carolina license, you must pay dues to the North Carolina State Bar and fulfill all other State Bar requirements. However, membership in a district bar is PROHIBITED for attorneys who do not reside in North Carolina. One must live and/or work in the district in order to be a district bar member.
I was just sworn in as a new attorney, do I need to pay Judicial District Bar dues?
If you were sworn in during the spring, you need to join the Judicial District Bar and pay our annual dues of $75. If you were sworn in during the fall, you will be able to join the Judicial District Bar for the following fiscal year (beginning Oct. 1). Please fill out the registration form (online or a paper version received at your ceremony) and return with payment as soon as possible.
Where are your offices located?
Our offices are located in the NC Bar Center at 8000 Weston Parkway in Cary, along with the North Carolina Bar Association. We are located on the top floor in suite 330. Our mailing address is PO Box 3686, Cary, NC 27519-3686.
How can I join the WCBA?
People who are licensed to practice law, in good standing with the State Bar and who live or work in Wake County are invited to be members of the Wake County Bar Association. Membership comes with a lot of benefits including free CLE, including substance abuse and ethics credits, monthly luncheons, after-work socials, public service opportunities and social events, such as family picnic and holiday party. To join the WCBA, click here for an application or call our membership coordinator Shaula Brannan for membership materials. Annual membership dues are $135.
Am I required to join the WCBA?
No, you are not required to join the WCBA, only the Tenth Judicial District Bar.
What do I get for my WCBA membership?
Members report that they get great value for their $135. Member benefits include: free CLE, monthly luncheons, after-work socials, a family picnic, a members-only oyster roast and barbecue, the holiday party and public service opportunities. To learn more, click here. To join, click here.
What is the cost of membership?
Tenth Judicial District Bar dues = $75.00
Wake County Bar Association dues = $135.00
Can you give me a lawyer referral?
Unfortunately, we do not offer a lawyer referral service, but the North Carolina Bar Association does. You can reach them at http://www.ncfindalawyer.org/ or by calling 1-800-662-7660.
How do I file a grievance against an attorney?
Once you have decided that you want to file a complaint you will need to do that with the North Carolina State Bar. You will need to fill out a State Bar complaint form or send them a letter describing the problem. You can get a complaint form by clicking here or by calling their office at 919-828-4620. They can also send you a brochure describing the grievance process. Your grievance may be referred back to the Tenth Judicial District Grievance Committee for investigating. For more information on the grievance process visit the N.C. State Bar website.
What do I do if I have a fee dispute that involves an attorney?
There is a program called the Fee Dispute Resolution. The purpose of this program is to resolve disputes over legal fees between clients and attorneys without going to court. For more information on the process and to access the petition for Fee Dispute Resolution click here.
These FAQs may not answer all of your questions. If we can help, please let us know.
Membership questions: Membership Coordinator Shaula Brannan - email@example.com
Fee Dispute questions: Colleen Glatfelter - firstname.lastname@example.org
Grievance questions: Stephanie McGee - email@example.com
All other questions: Executive Director Whitney von Haam - firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-677-9903