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Bar News - June 15, 2012

About Your Bar Association: Convenience Can Lead to Confusion

Each June, Bar members receive their annual dues billing in a single envelope. This envelope contains invoices for NH Bar Association dues and also the mandatory court fees and compliance forms required by the Judicial Branch.

This combined mailing of Bar Association and Court fees is efficient, saves money, and is a convenience to members, but it can lead to confusion about the two entities.

The mailing includes two invoices:
  • Bar Association dues. This invoice includes your annual dues plus options for section memberships and donations to the Campaign for Legal Services (a joint fundraising entity that supports NH Legal Assistance, the Legal Advice & Referral Center, and the Pro Bono Referral Program.)
  • Supreme Court fees. Depending on your membership status, you are required to pay fees for the Attorney Discipline system, the Public Protection Fund assessment and the NHMCLE continuing legal education fee, waived this year, which is sometimes assessed to defray the cost of administering Supreme Court Rule 53 (more about that in a moment.) Also, depending on your status, there is a fee for the NH Lawyers Assistance Program.

The envelope includes, unless you are a judge or have been on inactive member status for the entire past year, an Annual Trust Account Compliance Certificate and mandatory certification that eligible attorneys maintain an IOLTA account. Whether or not you have an account, you must complete and return this form to the Bar Association address, and we forward it to the Court.

The IOLTA requirement was imposed by the NH Supreme Court’s Rule 50 and 50-a, and the proceeds of IOLTA accounts are directed to the NH Bar Foundation which makes grants for charitable purposes, including legal services for the poor and public education about the law.

Yes, the Bar Association offers…
No, the Bar Association does not...
  • A wide array of member services and benefits including Casemaker, dispute resolution, law practice management help, mentoring and professionalism initiatives.
  • Insurance purchasing advice and discounts
  • Experienced, confidential guidance on ethical issues
  • Low-cost, high-quality, home-grown continuing legal education programming
  • A proven service to expand your practice – the Lawyer Referral Service
  • The Pro Bono Referral Program, a nationally recognized, diversified program to facilitate members’ fulfillment of their public service responsibilities to provide free legal services to disadvantaged people.
  • Administer discipline. In some jurisdictions, the state bar association administers lawyer discipline. In New Hampshire, attorney discipline is handled by the Professional Conduct Committee, appointed by the NH Supreme Court. The Attorney Discipline Office oversees the professional staff that performs the attorney discipline function.
  • Set the rules for continuing legal education credit. The NH Supreme Court appoints the NH Minimum Continuing Legal Education Board that oversees the application of Supreme Court Rule 53 (NHMCLE). The administrative support for the Supreme Court NHMCLE Board is hosted at the Bar Center.
  • Keep all the money. While the Bar receives all of members’ checks, we process them efficiently and distribute the revenue to the appropriate entities, sparing the Judicial Branch the time and expense of maintaining a large clerical staff to handle this large-volume, once-a-year activity.

If you are looking for help or assistance, we do encourage you to call the Bar Association. We are always ready to help answer your questions or direct you to where you need to go. Call 603-715-EASY(3279) for our direct member line, or e-mail us at

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