State Bar of Texas
Texas Law Center has the offices of the State Bar of Texas
The State Bar of Texas (the Texas Bar) is an agency of the judiciary under the administrative control of the Texas Supreme Court. The Texas Bar is responsible for assisting the Texas Supreme Court in overseeing all attorneys licensed to practice law in Texas. It is the fifth largest organization of lawyers in the United States. The State Bar is headquartered in the Texas Law Center at 1414 Colorado Street in Austin.
The Texas Bar is composed of those persons licensed to practice law in Texas and is an "integrated" or "mandatory" bar. The State Bar Act, adopted by the Legislature in 1939, mandates that all attorneys licensed to practice law in Texas be members of the State Bar. As of 2014, membership in the Texas Bar stands at 95,437.
The purposes of the State Bar of Texas are:
- to aid the courts in carrying on and improving the administration of justice;
- to advance the quality of legal services to the public and to foster the role of the legal profession in serving the public;
- to foster and maintain, on the part of those engaged in the practice of law, high ideals and integrity, learning, competence in public service, and high standards of conduct;
- to provide proper professional services to the members of the state bar;
- to encourage the formation of and activities of local bar associations;
- to provide forums for the discussion of subjects pertaining to the practice of law, the science of jurisprudence and law reform, and the relationship of the state bar to the public; and
- to publish information relating the practice of law, the science of jurisprudence and law reform, and the relationship of the state bar to the public.
The organization provides avenues for citizens to file grievances against attorneys and provides continuing legal education (CLE) courses for attorneys.
The mission of the State Bar of Texas is to support the administration of the legal system, assure all citizens equal access to justice, foster high standards of ethical conduct for lawyers, enable its members to better serve their clients and the public, educate the public about the rule of law and promote diversity in the administration of justice and the practice of law.
The Bar is run by an executive director, currently Michelle Hunter, and a board of directors made up of volunteers. The current president of the State Bar of Texas, Frank Stevenson, took office during June 2016.
Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct
The Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct are promulgated by the Texas State Bar through the authority of the Texas Supreme Court. These rules "set forth principles to which attorneys should aspire and rules to which they must conform".
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Although lawyers have had statewide organizations in Texas since the 19th century, the State Bar of Texas began its formal existence on April 19, 1939, when Governor W. Lee O'Daniel signed House Bill No. 74, titled the State Bar Act of 1939. From that point, membership in the State Bar of Texas became a prerequisite for the practice of law in Texas.
Sections of the State Bar of Texas
Administrative & Public Law; African-American Lawyers; Alternative Dispute Resolution; American Indian Law; Animal Law; Antitrust and Business Litigation; Appellate; Asian-Pacific Interest; Aviation Law; Bankruptcy Law; Business Law; Collaborative Law; Computer & Technology; Construction Law; Consumer and Commercial Law; Corporate Counsel; Criminal Justice; Entertainment and Sports Law; Environmental and Natural Resources; Family Law; General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm; Government Law; Health Law; Hispanic Issues; Immigration and Nationality Law; Individual Rights and Responsibilities; Insurance Law; Intellectual Property Law; International Law; James C. Watson Inn of Former Officers and Directors; Judicial; Justice of the Peace; Juvenile Law; Labor and Employment Law; Law Student Division; LGBT Law; Litigation; Litigation - Sustaining; Military Law; Municipal Judges; Oil, Gas, and Energy Resources Law; Paralegal Division; Poverty Law; Public Utility Law; Real Estate, Probate & Trust; School Law; Taxation; Women and the Law; Workers' Compensation
- State Bar of Texas Department of Research and Analysis, State Bar of Texas Membership: Attorney Statistical Profile (2012-13).
- "State Bar Act" (Texas Government Code § 81.011)
- "Contact Us."
- "State Bar Act" (Texas Government Code § 81.051)
- "State Bar Act" (Texas Government Code § 81.102)
- "State Bar Act" (Texas Government Code § 81.012)
- Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct.
- David J. Beck, Legal Malpractice in Texas (1991), p. 115: "The new Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct set forth principles to which attorneys should aspire and rules to which they must conform. An attorney must not violate these Rules, knowingly assist or induce another to do so, or do so through the acts of another, regardless of whether such violation occurred during an attorney-client relationship".