Since its founding in 1925, the WBA has been a beacon for Black lawyers in the District of Columbia and beyond. Long established as a leading organization in the local legal community, the WBA is a strong advocate for its members and the Black community, particularly on matters of social justice and racial equality. As one of the oldest Black Bar associations in the country, the WBA has significant influence, which is imparted to our members. Today, hundreds of legal professionals enjoy the benefits of WBA membership.

Why join the WBA?

WBA events provide opportunities to enhance your legal career by fostering relationships with our members and friends, with ties to organizations across the full legal industry spectrum. This includes law firms of all types and sizes, corporate and nonprofit law departments spanning a range of industries, the nonprofit sector, as well as all branches of local, state, and federal government, including members of the judiciary.

Membership in the WBA provides valuable opportunities to share information, gain access to career enhancing opportunities, build relationships, develop as a leader, and increase your professional visibility.

Through our standing and special committees, the WBA organizes a wide range of professional development opportunities for members.  Our programs address relevant and timely topics of importance to the Black legal community and the legal community at large, always with a focus on issues of social and racial justice. We routinely offer programs featuring members of our community who are legal experts, authors, academics, public officials, and other prominent figures in the law.

The WBA community includes more than a thousand diverse legal professionals in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area who share a strong affinity with the WBA and its mission. Through WBA membership, you gain instant access to a core segment of the local legal community that other bar associations in the area simply cannot provide.

The WBA is also well-known for its ability to bring together a cross-section of Black professionals, working in a range of disciplines, from across the region. This provides our members with networking opportunities that reach beyond the legal profession, which can often result in referrals as well as new client or mentor-protégé relationships.

In addition to our first-class signature events, the WBA hosts a variety of networking receptions, panels, fireside chats, roundtable discussions and other premier events throughout the year.

The WBA is dedicated to the pursuit of equal justice under law.  Through WBA membership you not only help advance social and racial justice by supporting our programs, causes, and initiatives, but you also demonstrate your commitment to the success of Black lawyers, judges, and law students, as well the uplift of the Black community.

Membership also provides opportunities to get involved in just causes, whether through traditional legal advocacy, legislative and public policy efforts, or at a grass-roots level through our public service and community outreach programs. 

By joining the WBA, you become part of the nearly 100-year legacy of Black legal excellence in the District of Columbia.  Through your membership in the WBA, you honor our forebearers in the law, who paved the way for our ongoing fight for equal justice under law. 

The WBA has a rich history that can serve as great inspiration as we continue build upon the organization’s tradition of excellence. 

Membership Categories

Join The Washington Bar Association And Enjoy The Benefits Of Membership

Regular Member

$85

Any lawyer in good standing of the Bar of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, or the Bar of the highest court of any State, Commonwealth, Territory, or Possession of the United States shall be eligible for Regular Membership in the Association.

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Judicial Council Member

$100

Any appointed and/or elected judicial officer in good standing of the Bar of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, or the Bar of the highest court of any State, Commonwealth, Territory, or Possession of the United States shall be eligible for Judicial Council Membership in the Association.

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Sustaining Member

$200

Sustaining members help the WBA meet financial and operational goals that result in improved programs and services for all members. In exchange, Sustaining Members receive enhanced benefits. Any lawyer in good standing of the Bar of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, or the Bar of the highest court of any State, Commonwealth, Territory, or Possession of the United States shall be eligible for Sustaining Membership in the Association.

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Government Member

$75

Any lawyer in good standing of the Bar of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, or the Bar of the highest court of any State, Commonwealth, Territory, or Possession of the United States who is also employed either in state, local, or federal government or in the non-profit sector shall be eligible for Regular Membership in the Association at a discounted rate.

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Non-Profit Member

$75

Any lawyer in good standing of the Bar of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, or the Bar of the highest court of any State, Commonwealth, Territory, or Possession of the United States who is also employed either in the non-profit sector shall be eligible for Regular Membership in the Association at a discounted rate.

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Young Lawyer Member

$65

Any lawyer meeting the requirements of Regular Membership who has been a member of the bar for five (5) years or less or is age thirty-six (36) years or younger, or both, shall be eligible for Young Lawyer Membership in the Association.

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Life Member

$2,000

Life Membership is the most prestigious level of membership in the WBA. Any lawyer who meets the requirements of Regular Membership and makes the designated lump sum payment of one-time dues shall be eligible for designation as a Life Member of the Association. Life Members shall have all the rights and privileges of Regular Membership in the Association, but are not required to pay annual dues and shall receive other special member benefits and recognition for life.

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Associate Member

$30

Associate Membership is available to paralegals, professors, retired attorneys and law school graduates who have not yet passed a Bar. Non-lawyers interested in supporting the WBA mission are also eligible for Associate Membership. A J.D. degree is not required. Associate members are eligible for membership benefits, as designated by the WBA Board of Directors. Associate members do not have voting privileges in the Association.

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Student Member

$5

A student matriculating at any accredited law school of any State, Commonwealth, Territory or Possession of the United States, or the District of Columbia shall be eligible for Student Membership in the Association. Student Members do not have voting privileges in the Association.

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Judicial Council Division

To accommodate the interests of a younger generation of judicial officers, and to direct more attention to local issues, in September 1999, the WBA created the Judicial Council Division of the Bar Association.

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Law Students Division

The Law Students Division is a pipeline for law students to establish relationships with other law students across the region, as well as local attorneys, judges, and other legal professionals while pursuing their law degrees.

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Young Lawyer Division

This group of approximately 200
young attorneys practicing in the
Washington metropolitan area provides networking and professional development opportunities for its members.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Any lawyer in good standing of the Bar of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, or the Bar of the highest court of any State, Commonwealth, Territory, or Possession of the United States shall be eligible for Regular or Sustaining Membership in the Association.
Any appointed and/or elected judicial officer in good standing of the Bar of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, or the Bar of the highest court of any State, Commonwealth, Territory, or Possession of the United States shall be eligible.

Any lawyer meeting the requirements of regular membership and showing that the lawyer has been a member of the bar five (5) years or less or the lawyer is thirty six (36) years or under.

Any lawyer who meets the requirements of a regular membership and makes the designated lump sum payment of one time dues. Life members attend paid events without additional cost, no longer pay annual dues, and receive special recognition.
A student matriculating at any accredited law school of any State, Commonwealth, Territory or Possession of the United States, or the District of Columbia shall be eligible for Student Membership.
Associate Membership may be available to law firms, paralegals, professors, retired attorneys and graduates who have not yet passed a Bar. Associate members are eligible for membership benefits, designated by the Board. However, Associate members do not have voting privileges in the Association.

Article XII, Section 2 of the Bylaws of the Washington Bar Association states as follows: “The Bar year of the Association shall begin on the first day of September and end on the day following the June Annual Meeting.”

The WBA’s dues schedule runs from September to June. Dues paid between July 1 and September 1 are considered timely for the bar year beginning on September 1 of the same year. Dues paid after October 30 of any bar year may be subject to a late fee.

MAKE A DIFFERENCE. DONATE NOW!

Every donation – no matter the amount – is extremely valuable to the Washington Bar Association. Your contribution will help the WBA support professional development and address the related needs of Black lawyers in the District of Columbia, while furthering our commitment to social justice and advocacy efforts on behalf of the Black community.

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