What does my annual enrollment fee support?What value do I receive in return for my annual enrollment fee?How does the total cost to practice in Missouri compare to other states?Can I pay my attorney annual enrollment fees online?How do I know how much I owe?I’ve misplaced my enrollment fee statement. How do I get another one?I’m on Active Duty. Do I still need to pay my annual enrollment fee?Who is exempt from paying the attorney annual enrollment fee?What are the 2016 Attorney Enrollment Fee Categories? Are there penalties for paying late?Can I be suspended for not paying my attorney annual enrollment fee on time?How often is the annual enrollment fee increased?What’s the process for increasing the annual enrollment fee? When do I receive my bar card?What if I choose to go inactive?Why does the question of gender now appear on the annual enrollment fee form?How do I complete the mandatory trust account certification portion on the annual enrollment form?
What does my annual enrollment fee support?
For every dollar a member pays in enrollment fees, 63 cents goes toward the operation of The Missouri Bar, 25 cents supports the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel and 12 cents is directed to Legal Services. Of the 12 cents of each dollar that goes to Legal Services, 40 percent (or the $20 that all members have been assessed since 2003 as part of their Bar Fee) is passed through The Missouri Bar and paid to Legal Services, and 60 percent (the “Low Income Legal Services Fee”) is collected by the Supreme Court and paid to the statutory basic civil legal services fund and then distributed to Legal Services.
What value do I receive in return for my annual enrollment fee?
The value of a Missouri Bar membership far exceeds the cost of the annual enrollment fee thanks to the dozens of free membership services, benefits and discounts with law practice resources and management services. Missouri Bar members receive discounts from companies totaling a savings of nearly $1,000 a year compared to the overall cost to practice in the state of $410. Of note, active members receive free access to legal research via Fastcase, a value of $695 per year. Learn more about all the benefits, services and discounts available to you in the Missouri Bar’s Member Benefits and Services Guide.
How does the total cost to practice in Missouri compare to other states?
The Missouri Bar has the ninth largest membership of 33 Unified State Bars, but ranks 12th in the total cost to practice in a state at the annual enrollment fee of $410 (based on data provided by the American Bar Association). Total cost to practice in a state ranges from $250 to $660. With 47 full-time staff, The Missouri Bar operates at nearly half the average number of 84 full-time employees at Unified State Bars which serve 20,000-49,999 members. The average staff to member ratio for Unified State Bars serving 20,000-49,999 members is one staff person per 363 members. The Missouri Bar offers the same services with one staff person for every 635 members.
Can I pay my attorney annual enrollment fees online?
Yes, you may pay your fees online by clicking here. Please note that you will be charged a transaction fee by the online service provider contracted by the State of Missouri requires for processing the payment.
How do I know how much I owe?
All licensed Missouri attorneys will receive an annual fee statement and invoice from the Supreme Court of Missouri in the mail. These are traditionally delivered in the first part of December. However, Missouri Bar members in good standing may log on to the Members Only portion of The Missouri Bar’s website anytime to access My Fees. My Fees provides the member with background information regarding the Annual Enrollment Fee process, including such items as Enrollment Fee Categories and the member’s fee balance, as well as access to the Pay Fees Online process. Find out your attorney fee balance by clicking here and logging on. Once your payment has been submitted and processed, you may log on to the Members Only portion of the website to obtain a receipt under My Fees in the Member Resources menu.
I’ve misplaced my enrollment fee form and statement. How do I get another one?
Missouri Bar members in good standing may log on to the Members Only portion of The Missouri Bar’s website anytime to retrieve a replacement enrollment fee statement. Retrieve your replacement enrollment fee statement by clicking here and logging on.
I’m on Active Duty. Do I still need to pay my annual enrollment fee?
Section 41.950(4), RSMo, provides that a lawyer called to active duty whose enrollment fee comes due while performing such military service may renew within 60 days of completing such military service without penalty. Attorneys called to active duty should notify the Office of the Clerk of the Supreme Court of Missouri so that proper steps may be taken. Please notify the clerk’s office in writing at:
Office of the Clerk of the Supreme Court of Missouri
Attn: Attorney Enrollment
PO Box 150
Jefferson City, Missouri 65102
Who is exempt from paying the attorney annual enrollment fee?
A person who is in good standing as a member of The Missouri Bar and:
(1) Is a retired judge, or
(2) Is a retired commissioner of a Missouri court of record, or
(3) Has been licensed to practice in this state for 50 years or more, or
(4) Has reached the age of 75 years,
is excused from the payment of enrollment fees becoming due and payable thereafter.
Exemptions based on age and years of practice are automatic if you have provided the Office of the Clerk of the Supreme Court of Missouri with your date of birth. A retired judge, to qualify for the exemption, must be receiving retirement benefits from the State of Missouri or any other state and must request the exemption in writing. A retired commissioner must be receiving retirement benefits from the State of Missouri.
What are the 2016 Attorney Enrollment Fee Categories? Category 1 - $410 – All persons licensed and not included in category (2) or (3); Category 2 - $280 – Persons licensed less than three years, except those admitted to the bar without examination; Category 3 - $325 – Persons licensed but who neither reside, nor practice, nor are employed in this state; Inactive - $50 – Any lawyer currently not stricken who has ceased practicing law in Missouri.
To learn more, please see the Supreme Court of Missouri’s rules outlining attorney enrollment fees.
Are there penalties for paying late?
Each person licensed to practice law in Missouri shall pay to the Clerk of the Supreme Court on or before Jan. 31 of each year an enrollment fee. The fee is due and shall be paid regardless of any assessment, notice or demand by the clerk of the Court. Payment of the annual enrollment fee on or before Jan. 31 of each year under Rule 6.01 means either receipt thereof by the clerk on or before that date or the placing the fee in the U.S. mail addressed to the clerk of this Court on or before Jan. 31.
A penalty of $50 shall be paid if a member is delinquent in payment of fees. In addition, a penalty of $5 per month shall be paid for each month or fraction thereof during which a member is delinquent in payment of fees beginning with the month of March.
Can I be suspended for not paying my attorney annual enrollment fee on time?
In default of timely paying the annual enrollment fee, the lawyer shall be subject to automatic suspension. Any lawyer thus suspended for such nonpayment shall be retroactively reinstated as a matter of course upon paying the enrollment fee prescribed for each calendar year of the suspension plus the accumulated penalty. If any lawyer remains delinquent for three consecutive years in the payment of any annual enrollment fee, the lawyer shall be required to apply to the Court under Rule 5.28 for reinstatement as a member in good standing.
How often is the annual enrollment fee increased?
The Missouri Bar does not increase enrollment fees for its operating costs on an annual basis. Rather fee increases have occurred years apart (in some cases more than a decade). This means following an increase in fees, the state bar builds its reserve fund to be used in future years to prolong the need for a fee increase of its members. The last fee increase was in 2014. It was the third time in 26 years the state bar requested the Supreme Court of Missouri for a fee increase to support Bar operations.
What’s the process for increasing the annual enrollment fee?
A fee increase must be recommended by the Board of Governors of The Missouri Bar. Once recommended by the board, members are notified of the proposed change via Missouri Bar publications and provided a period of time to offer input on the recommendation. Following the time frame for member feedback, the Board of Governors then votes on whether or not to proceed with the recommended increase. If approved, a notice of intent to change the fee is sent to the Court. The Supreme Court of Missouri may then determine whether or not to accept the change to the fee in whole or in part. If the Court approves the change, it also outlines when the new fee takes effect.
When do I receive my bar card?If you pay online, the Court states you can expect your bar card in one to two weeks. If you submit your payment through the mail, the Court states you can expect your bar card in three to four weeks.
What if I choose to go inactive?The Supreme Court rules do not provide for a resignation or withdrawal. However, an attorney in good standing may elect to become inactive pursuant to Rule 6.03. The return to active status is governed under Rule 6.06. The request to go inactive must be made in writing to the Clerk of the Supreme Court. However, changing your status to inactive limits your access to a number of practice tools. Below is a list of what lawyers can and cannot do during a period of inactive status:
Why does the question of gender now appear on the annual enrollment fee form?The Supreme Court of Missouri added the optional question of gender to the annual enrollment fee form beginning with enrollment forms for 2016. The recommendation stemmed from the Supreme Court of Missouri and Missouri Bar Joint Commission on Women in the Profession. The recommendation to add the optional question was endorsed by the state bar's Board of Governors before it was ultimately submitted to the Court and implemented.
How do I complete the mandatory trust account certification portion on the annual enrollment form?Information and trust account rules are provided by the Missouri Interest on Lawyer Trust Account Program. You may view the information and rules online at www.moiolta.org or by calling (573) 634-8117 for assistance.
For more details or personal assistance, contact The Missouri Bar at (573) 635-4128.
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Paid for by The Missouri Bar Sebrina Barrett, Executive Director PO Box 119 Jefferson City, MO 65102