Yes, Bar Association dues for the 2008-2009 fiscal year are going up by $30 for active categories of membership. But the following facts, compiled for the NHBA Finance Committee, provide context and points of comparison.
1. From 1979-80 to 2007-08, NHBA for members in practice over five years have increased from $175 per year to $270, an increase of $95. Dues for members in practice less than five years have also increased $95 in the same period. This averages out to a little more than $5 per year increase in dues over the 18-year period.
2. During that same period, the Bar Association menu of services has greatly increased, with the launch of the website, enhanced services to Sections, Casemaker Web Library, the addition of the NHBA Insurance Agency, and increased law practice management services, to name a few.
3. Professional Conduct Committee and Public Protection Fund assessment levels, and the NHMCLE filing fee are not set by the Board of Governors, but are set by the Supreme Court.
4. Looking at the total cost to practice [bar dues + mandatory fees] in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and US Virgin Islands (52 jurisdictions) shows the following:
a. Range of cost is $125 to $820
b. Average cost is $407.19
c. The midpoint of all 52 jurisdictions is $400.00
d. New Hampshire ranks 11th of 52 on total costs to practice
5. Looking at the total cost to practice [bar dues + mandatory fees] in the six New England states:
a. Range of cost is $380 (VT) to $820 (CT)
b. Average cost is $533
c. The midpoint of all six jurisdictions is
d. New Hampshire ranks 3rd in the region
6. NHBA membership dues rank in the middle, 14th of 34, when compared with other unified bar dues around the country.