Alabama State Bar
415 Dexter Avenue (P.O. Box 671)
Montgomery, Alabama 36101
Phone (334) 269-1515
Fax (334) 261-6310.
Creation and Authority
The Alabama State Bar was created in 1923. See the 1975 Ala. Code, §§ 34-3-1 to 34-3-89.
The Alabama State Bar has jurisdiction over the conduct of all attorneys and is
charged with stimulating interest in improving the administration of justice.
Its Board of Commissioners provides for the examinination of applicants who seek
to practice law. The Alabama State Bar is the licensing and regulatory agency
for attorneys in the State of Alabama, subject to Rules of the Alabama Supreme
Board of Bar Commissioners
Composition. The affairs of the Alabama State Bar are administered by a
Board of Commissioners which is composed of at least one elected representative
from each judicial circuit in Alabama. One additional Commissioner is elected
for each 300 members of the State Bar in a circuit who maintain their
principal office in the circuit as of March of each year, subject to the
requirement that no circuit is entitled to more than ten Commissioners. For
purposes of electing Commissioners, the Tenth Judicial Circuit excludes the
portion of the circuit known as the "Bessemer Cut-Off," which is treated as a
separate circuit. The President and President-elect of the Alabama State Bar are
ex officio President and President-elect of the Board of Bar
Commissioners. The President-elect is elected annually by secret ballot
delivered or mailed to the State Bar headquarters at a date designated by the
Board of Bar Commissioners. The President-elect succeeds to the Presidency at
the end of the annual meeting at which the term of the President expires. Annual
Meetings of the Board of Commissioners are held following the annual meetings of
the State Bar, at which time a Vice President is elected by the board from its
current membership. Special meetings may be called by the President.
Commissioners serve three-year terms of office, subject to the requirement that
no person may serve more than three consecutive terms. The Board of
Commissioners may delegate such power as it deems appropriate to an executive
council composed of the President, President-elect, Vice President, Immediate
Past-president, and three Commissioners elected by the Board of Bar
Commissioners. Commissioners receive no compensation other than expenses as
provided by law. No quorum is specified by law except in the case of
disciplinary proceedings, where a majority of Commissioners constitutes a
Duties. The Board of Bar Commissioners adopts policies pertaining to
the operation of the Alabama State Bar. Pursuant to legislative authority, with
approval of the Supreme Court, it prescribes rules concerning admission to the
Bar. In addition, subject to the approval of the Alabama Supreme Court, the
Board adopts rules for the conduct of members of the State Bar. It has the power
to enforce these rules by disciplinary proceedings, including reprimand,
suspension, or disbarment. The Alabama State Bar publishes a journal. The
Alabama Lawyer, bulletins and other items to improve the educational and
ethical standards of the bench and bar. It makes studies and recommendations
concerning substantive and procedural law and performs other functions
pertaining to the practice of law.
The Board of Commissioners provides for a Board of Bar Examiners to examine
persons wishing to be admitted to the State Bar. The Board of Commisioners
prescribes the regulations governing the selection, number, tenure,
compensation, and authority of the examiners, subject to the approval of the
Supreme Court. It may also make rules concerning bar examinations.
Organization of the State Bar
The Alabama State Bar has a full-time staff consisting of a
Secretary/Executive-Director, General Counsel, administrative and clerical
personnel. The Bar oversees and supports a Mandatory Continuing Legal Education
Program as well as other programs for the members of the Alabama State Bar. The
Bar also maintains a separate office, which is operated under aegis of the State
Bar's Disciplinary Commission and works with the General Counsel.
All practicing attorneys pay an annual license fee, which goes into a
special trust fund. From this trust fund the Legislature makes an appropriation
for the use of the Alabama State Bar.