FAQs for Members

Is admission to practice in New York State a requirement of membership?

No; any attorney in good standing admitted to any jurisdiction in any state or country is eligible to join membership, as well as recent law school graduates sitting for the bar and law school students that are enrolled in good standing at an ABA-accredited law school.

If you hold a JD degree and have never been admitted to practice and do not intend to sit for the bar exam, you may join as a JD-Non-Admitted member.

How is my membership classification determined?

Membership classification is based on the following criteria:

  • your earliest date of admission in any state or country
    • If you hold a JD degree and have never been admitted to practice and do not intend to sit for the bar exam, you may join as a JD-Non-Admitted member.
  • the location of the office where you work (if not working, the home address is used)
    • Resident members work in New York City (including all five boroughs)
    • Suburban members work outside of but within 50 miles of New York City
    • Nonresident/International members work more than 50 miles from New York City
  • certain other criteria listed on the dues schedule
    • Corporate membership* – for attorneys working in companies/organizations
    • Public Service membership* – for attorneys working in public service, not-for-profit, academia and government
    • Solo membership* - for solo practitioners
    • Judicial Resident/Nonresident – for court judges
    • Retired membership* – for members aged 65 and older and not engaged in active law practice, full-time teaching or other full-time law-related activity

* Please note: you can join as a Corporate/Public Service/Solo/Retired member online by first selecting Resident or Suburban based on your address and scrolling down to “Corporate Admitted, “Public Service Admitted,” “Solo Admitted” or “Retired – age 65+” when prompted to choose your first year of admission.

Where can I see a schedule of admission fees & dues?

http://www.nycbar.org/images/stories/pdfs/membership/membership%20dues.pdf

What is the one-time admission fee and may it be waived?

The one-time admission fee is part of the initial payment to join the NYC Bar and is equivalent to one year of membership dues for your membership classification. The admission fee is waived in certain circumstances:

The admission fee is waived for anyone whose adjusted gross income is less than $80,000, solo practitioners, all judicial and academic applicants; applicants in public law offices or public service law offices; law students; those joining within two years of law school graduation who are not yet admitted, non-admitted JDs, retired and former members.

I just graduated from law school – which category applies to me?

Our category of Recent Law Graduate applies if you have graduated law school within the last 2 years and have not yet been admitted to practice in any state or country. You must also certify that it is your intention to be admitted to the practice of law within 2 years from your graduation. Recent Law Graduate membership lapses if the member has not been admitted to practice by two years from her or his graduation date. Once the Recent Law Graduate has been admitted, the member becomes eligible for membership under another appropriate classification.

I have a JD, but have never been admitted and do not plan to sit for the bar. Which category applies to me? 

If you hold a JD degree and have never been admitted to practice and do not intend to sit for the bar exam, you may join as a JD-Non-Admitted member.

May I join if I have been disbarred?

No; membership cannot be extended to any disbarred attorney unless that attorney has been re-admitted to practice.

If I join, how often will I be billed?

Our Judicial, Resident, Suburban, Sustaining, JD-Non-admitted, Retired and Recent Law Graduate members are all billed semi-annually on May 1st and November 1st of each year. Our Nonresident/International members are billed annually on May 1. Law Student memberships run the academic year from September 1 – August 30. Law Student membership for 3Ls ends June 30.

All members are mailed renewal statements approximately 1 month before the first day of the upcoming billing period. Dues are considered "payable" on the first day of any billing period (May 1 and November 1). Members are also notified via email about upcoming dues, and may choose to pay dues online, if they wish. 

If I join mid-dues period, will my dues be pro-rated?

The dues payment is not changed, but applicants who join mid-dues period will have a credit of half their dues payment applied to the subsequent dues period.

I would like to join, but I am retired from the practice of law. May I join? Which category applies to me?

We have a discounted Retired membership category, which is $125 semi-annually, for members aged 65 and older who are no longer engaged in active law practice, full-time teaching or other full-time law-related activity.

You may join as a Retired member online by first selecting Resident or Suburban based on your address, and then select “Retired – age 65+” when prompted to choose your year of admission.

What dues reductions are available?

You may be eligible for the following dues reductions.  These also are listed on the reverse of every dues statement under “Dues Issues Item 2”.  Reduction requests must be made in writing; please follow the instructions on the dues bill to claim a dues reduction, including signing the certification.

  1. RETIREMENT – JUDICIAL MEMBERS: If you are a retired judge or justice who was a Judicial Member for at least 10 years, you are eligible to pay dues at the rate paid by Judicial members. Please state those facts with your payment to request eligibility for a dues rate of $125 semi-annually (or $170.00 annually if you reside more than 50 miles from the Association), and enclose your payment.
  2. RETIREMENT: If you are a Resident or Suburban member who has paid dues for over 25 years, has attained the age of 60 and is not engaged in active law practice, full-time teaching or other full-time law-related activity, state those facts with your payment to request a reduction in your semiannual dues to $98.75, and enclose your payment.
  3. UNEMPLOYMENT: If you are currently unemployed, you may be eligible for up to 4 consecutive semiannual waivers of dues during the period of your unemployment. To request this waiver, please write to membership@nycbar.org, and reference item 2C, and include the dates of your unemployment.
  4. INCOME-BASED REDUCTION REQUEST: If you are a Resident or Suburban member admitted to practice 8 years or more and the adjusted gross income attributable to you and reported on your federal income tax return for last year was less than $80,000, and you anticipate the same for this year, please state those facts with your payment if you have the need for a reduction of your semiannual dues, and enclose your payment of the reduced rate of $165.

May I apply for a committee if I am not a member?

You may apply, but if selected, you must join the New York City Bar, as committee service is a benefit of membership.

For more committee-related questions, please visit the Committee FAQ Page.

I’m ready to join online! Where do I go?

You may join online from this link:
https://services.nycbar.org/Members/CreateAccount

I  prefer to mail in a paper application and/or pay with a check

You may print out a paper application from this link:
http://www.nycbar.org/images/stories/pdfs/membership/membership%20appilcation.pdf

What are the benefits of City Bar membership?

A full list of our benefits appears here: 
http://www.nycbar.org/member-and-career-services/member-resources/benefits-of-membership

How do I cancel membership?

By-Law XI, Section 8, states that resignations must be made in writing (membership@nycbar.org) and include payment of outstanding dues. 

I have a question that does not appear here!

Then call our Customer Service Department at 212-382-6665 or email us at membership@nycbar.org and we will be happy to assist you.