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Membership Frequently Asked Questions

Who Can Join the Grand Rapids Bar Association?

The GRBA welcomes all practicing lawyers, non-practicing lawyers, law and paralegal students, and legal assistants sponsored by a practicing lawyer. Note that non-practicing members and student members may not vote or hold office. Non-practicing members may not use the law library or hold section membership. Occasionally, the Board of Trustees and the Executive Committee extend non-lawyer privileges to a member of the community who is not a practicing or non-practicing lawyer. Usually, this community member is employed in a legal-related field.

How can I join the Grand Rapids Bar Association?

Potential members can join the GRBA by filling out an online application. There will be an option to apply as an individual or as an organization. If you are an individual, there will be an option to apply as a legal assistant, newly admitted member, non-practitioner, or student, regular or senior member.  


What benefits does the Grand Rapids Bar Association offer?

The GRBA has many benefits that cater to your legal needs. The Grand Rapids Lawyer, a bi-monthly publication provided to members only, offers attorneys an opportunity to write articles and voice their thoughts about various aspects of the law. The E-Brief, a bi-weekly electronic newsletter, provides members with news briefs, announcements, and reminders. In addition, there are 22 working committees, 14 practice sections, continuing education, classes for professional development through our Grand Valley State University (GVSU) partnership, financial savings through discounted purchases, directory listing, and leadership opportunities. As a member, you are invited to sign up for the Speakers Bureau and Mentoring Program. Volunteer opportunities are available not only to improve the professional image, but also as a way to give back to the community. We also offer conference room rental service, golf outings, annual meeting, Law Day luncheons, and American Inns of Court.

Joining a section or committee

How do I become a member of a practice section and/or service committee?

To become a member of a practice section, simply indicate the practice section(s) you wish to join on your membership application and include additional fees with your membership. You will be placed on that section(s) mailing list to receive meeting announcements, notices, and any other relevant information. Alternatively, you may also contact the GRBA office to request or modify your participation. Additional fees can be mailed.

To become a member of a service committee, submit a letter of interest or contact the GRBA office. The GRBA President appoints service committee members.

Determining your dues amount

What are the membership fees?

The GRBA determines a member's dues based on a membership classification. Prospective members may select from one of the following membership classifications:

  Life Members

honorary
  Senior Members (70+) $150.00
  Regular Members $215.00
  Newly Admitted First year waived
  Non-practitioner $75.00
  Student $25.00
  Legal Assistant $85.00

 

Membership in a bar association should not be financially crippling, and it won't be so in the GRBA. Contact Kimberly Coleman at (616) 454-5550 if you have extraordinary circumstances.

What is the GRBA membership year?

The membership year is from January through December of each year. However, memberships are accepted throughout the year. For more information, call 616-454-5550.

I am already a GRBA member. When are my GRBA dues actually DUE?

GRBA dues are due by December 31st for the upcoming year.

If I join the GRBA during the middle of the bar year, will my dues be prorated?

The GRBA does not prorate dues. Dues are expected in full whenever you join or renew your membership, unless special arrangements have been made.

Can I pay my dues with a credit card?

Absolutely. We accept Visa or MasterCard payments by phone, fax, and online. You may also sign up for monthly bank draft payments.


When I get my renewal notices there are always a lot of prices quoted on the page.
What are these, and which ones do I have to pay to be a member?

When members receive a renewal notice, it lists the dues that they owe for the upcoming year; the amount in addition to the regular dues they would have to pay in order to become a section(s) member; and a space for a contribution to the Justice Foundation and the Legal Assistance Center. The section fees and the contributions are optional.

Can I periodically check my membership status?

Sure. Anything you might need to know, from the date your membership began to your committee memberships, can be accessed and made available to you. For more information call 616-454-5550.

How do I access members-only forms, documents, and registrations?

To access members-only information, you log into the website using your username and password. Once your membership application is accepted, or if you are already an active GRBA member, you are assigned an initial username and password. The GRBA requires you to change this initial username and password to something more personal and private as soon as you first log in. The username and password you create become the username and password you use to access members-only information.

How do I notify the GRBA of my address change?

Once your membership application is accepted, a member profile is created for you with information such as your username, your password, your membership dues, and your address.

If you prefer to have our staff update your address, contact Debbie at debbie@grbar.org or call 616-454-5550 and give us the new contact information. We immediately update our records so that you experience as little inconvenience as possible with your publication mailings.

How do I obtain membership address labels?

It is GRBA policy not to promulgate the membership address list to outside persons, solicitors, or organizations. GRBA can make these available to members for $75.00 per complete list of address labels, for members who are running for political office, especially for a judgeship, or when they are moving their law offices.

Whom do I contact about changes in the Grand Rapids Bar Directory?

For address changes, or to order a copy of the Grand Rapids Bar Directory, contact Debbie at debbie@grbar.org or 616-454-5550.

How do you become a Section chair or a Committee chair?

Each Section's membership votes to elects the leadership for their respective Sections.The GRBA President appoints the chair for all Bar Committees.

Do all Grand Rapids Bar members have voting rights for the association's officers and trustees?

Only GRBA Regular, Senior, and Life members have voting rights. Click here for the ARTICLE I membership section of our bylaws.

How do you become a member of the Board of Trustees?

Only GRBA Regular, Senior, and Life members can be elected to the Board of Directors. Interested parties should submit a letter of interest to the nominating committee, which usually meets the 1st week of February. The nominating committee nominates two candidates for each officer and trustee to be elected for the ensuing term. The nominating committee then makes its report to the GRBA Secretary at least forty-five (45) days before the GRBA Annual Meeting. See our bylaws for more information on the nomination process.

Law Student FAQ's

Where do I get an application to take the Bar Exam?

Click here for more information from the State Bar of Michigan.

Where can I get help paying for law school?

Click here for more information on financing law school.



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FAQs:

Grand Rapids Bar Association
161 Ottawa Ave. NW Ste. 203-B
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Tel: (616) 454-5550
Fax: (616) 454-7707 



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