Virginia State Bar

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Virginia State Bar
Type Legal Society
Headquarters Richmond, VA
  • United States
45,899 in 2012 [1]

The Virginia State Bar (VSB) is the administrative agency of the Supreme Court of Virginia whose purpose is to regulate, improve and advance the legal profession in Virginia.[2] Membership in good standing in the VSB is mandatory for attorneys wishing to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia.[3]


The VSB is governed by its Council and Executive Committee, whose members are elected or appointed from the judicial circuits in the Commonwealth.

The Virginia Lawyer and the Virginia Lawyer Register magazines are the official publications of the VSB, distributed to lawyers, judges, general subscribers, law libraries, other state bar associations and the media. VSB publishes numerous pamphlets, handbooks and other publications to aid members and the public. It also runs a referral service that provides callers to the service with the name of an attorney who practices in the caller’s requested area of the law, and in the caller's geographic area

The VSB is to be distinguished from the Virginia Bar Association, a voluntary organization.


The predecessor to the VSB was the Virginia State Bar Association (VSBA), a voluntary statewide organization founded in 1888 to promote the ethical practice of law in Virginia. The VSBA worked with the legislature to establish a mandatory state affiliated agency. When these efforts lead to a 1938 act of the Virginia General Assembly, establishing VSB, and delegating to it the power to issue regulatory opinions that are incorporated into the Code of Virginia.[3] The Virginia State Bar Association continued as a voluntary association, renaming itself the Virginia Bar Association.[4]

Ethics Policy Change[edit]

In 2000[5] the Virginia State Bar changed its policy from the "Code of Professional Responsibility" [6] to the "Professional Guidelines and Rules of Professional Conduct".[7] In so doing, the Bar discarded the previously existing ethical canons.[6]


  1. ^ "Virginia State Bar: Membership Report". Virginia State Bar. Retrieved 2007-08-03. 
  2. ^ "Virginia State Bar: About the Bar". Virginia State Bar. Retrieved 2007-03-27. 
  3. ^ a b Virginia Code §54.1-3910 (1950, as amended)
  4. ^ "VBA History and Heritage". Virginia Bar Association. Archived from the original on 2007-03-11. Retrieved 2007-03-27. 
  5. ^ "2000 Policy Change". 
  6. ^ a b "Code of Professional Responsibility". 
  7. ^ "Professional Guidelines and Rules of Professional Conduct".