Attorney Annual Enrollment Fees Frequently Asked Questions
- What does my annual enrollment fee support?
- What value do I receive in return for my annual enrollment fee?
- How does the total cost to practice in Missouri compare to other states?
- Can I pay my attorney annual enrollment fees online?
- How do I know how much I owe?
- I’ve misplaced my enrollment fee statement. How do I get another one?
- How do I get a receipt for payment/Why can't I print off my receipt?
- I’m on Active Duty. Do I still need to pay my annual enrollment fee?
- Who is exempt from paying the attorney annual enrollment fee?
- What are the Attorney Enrollment Fee Categories?
- Are there penalties for paying late?
- Can I be suspended for not paying my attorney annual enrollment fee on time?
- How often is the annual enrollment fee increased?
- What’s the process for increasing the annual enrollment fee?
- When do I receive my bar card?
- What if I choose to go inactive?
- How do I return to active status from inactive status?
- How do I surrender my license if I no longer wish to remain a member of The Missouri Bar?
- Why do the questions of gender and ethnicity now appear on the annual enrollment fee form?
- How do I complete the mandatory trust account certification portion on the annual enrollment form?
- How do I register an objection that an enrollment fees-supported activity is outside the proper scope of The Missouri Bar?
What does my annual enrollment fee support?
For every dollar a member pays in enrollment fees, 63 cents goes toward the operation of The Missouri Bar, 25 cents supports the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel and 12 cents is directed to Legal Services. Of the 12 cents of each dollar that goes to Legal Services, 40% (or the $20 that all members have been assessed since 2003 as part of the bar portion of the Enrollment Fee) is passed through The Missouri Bar and paid to Legal Services, and 60% (the “Low Income Legal Services Fee”) is collected by the Supreme Court and paid to the statutory basic civil legal services fund and then distributed to Legal Services.
What value do I receive in return for my annual enrollment fee?
The value of a Missouri Bar membership far exceeds the cost of the annual enrollment fee thanks to the dozens of membership services and resources provided at no additional cost, as well as discounts with law practice management providers. Missouri Bar members receive discounts from various member benefit providers which exceed the overall cost to practice in the state of $410. Of note, active members receive free access to legal research via Fastcase, a value of $695 per year. Learn more about all the benefits, services, and discounts available to you in the Missouri Bar’s Member Benefits and Services Guide.
How does the total cost to practice in Missouri compare to other states?
Based on data collected in 2021, The Missouri Bar has the ninth largest membership of 33 unified state bars, but ranks 17th in the total cost to practice in a state at the annual enrollment fee of $410 (based on data provided by the American Bar Association). Total cost to practice in a state can be up to $687.
Can I pay my attorney annual enrollment fees online?
Yes, you may pay your fees online by clicking here. Please note you may pay by eCheck which has a processing fee of 50 cents. If you pay by credit card, you will be charged a transaction fee by the online service provider contracted by the State of Missouri required for processing the payment. If payment is made online, it is not necessary to return the statement you received in the mail.
How do I know how much I owe?
All licensed Missouri lawyers will receive an annual fee statement and invoice from the Supreme Court of Missouri in the mail. These are traditionally delivered in the first part of December. However, Missouri Bar members in good standing may sign in anytime to access My Fees. My Fees provides the member with background information regarding the Annual Enrollment Fee process, including such items as Enrollment Fee Categories and the member’s fee balance, as well as access to the Pay Fees Online process. Find out your attorney fee balance by clicking here and signing in. Once your payment has been submitted and processed, you can obtain a receipt under My Fees.
I’ve misplaced my enrollment fee form and statement. How do I get another one?
Missouri Bar members in good standing may sign in to the My Fees portion of the website anytime to retrieve a replacement enrollment fee statement. Retrieve your replacement enrollment fee statement by clicking here and signing in.
How do I get a receipt for payment? Why can't I print off my receipt?
Once payment has submitted and processed, you may sign in to the Practice Portal portion of The Missouri Bar's website by clicking here and select My Fees on the left side of the screen. There will be an option for a receipt at the top. Members need to allow 10-15 days per the Supreme Court for their order to be processed. Once processed, members may go back in and print the receipt. You may also confirm your payment has been received by selecting the "What is my enrollment fee balance?" in My Fees. Once the Court has received and posted your enrollment fee payment, your balance will show $0.00. Please allow at least two weeks from the time you mail your payment for the Court to receive and post your payment. Payments made online will be posted within three to four days of payment.
I’m on Active Duty. Do I still need to pay my annual enrollment fee?
Section 41.950(4), RSMo, provides that a lawyer called to active duty whose enrollment fee comes due while performing such military service may renew within 60 days of completing such military service without penalty. Lawyers called to active duty should notify the Office of the Clerk of the Supreme Court of Missouri so that proper steps may be taken. Please notify the clerk’s office in writing at:
Office of the Clerk of the Supreme Court of Missouri
Attn: Attorney Enrollment
PO Box 150
Jefferson City, Missouri 65102
Who is exempt from paying the attorney annual enrollment fee?
A person who is in good standing as a member of The Missouri Bar and:
(1) Is a retired judge, or
(2) Is a retired commissioner of a Missouri court of record, or
(3) Has been licensed to practice in this state for 50 years or more, or
(4) Has reached the age of 75 years,
is excused from the payment of enrollment fees or inactive fees becoming due and payable thereafter.
Exemptions based on age and years of practice are automatic if you have provided the Office of the Clerk of the Supreme Court of Missouri with your date of birth. A retired judge, to qualify for the exemption, must be receiving retirement benefits from the State of Missouri or any other state and must request the exemption in writing. A retired commissioner must be receiving retirement benefits from the State of Missouri.
What are the Attorney Enrollment Fee Categories?
Category 1 - $410 – All persons licensed and not included in category (2) or (3);
Category 2 - $280 – Persons licensed less than three years, except those admitted to the bar without examination;
Category 3 - $325 – Persons licensed but who neither reside, nor practice, nor are employed in this state;
Inactive - $100 – Any lawyer currently not stricken who has ceased practicing law in Missouri.
You may notify the Court of a category change on your annual enrollment statement by making the change directly on the statement. If changing the fee category, be sure to update your address in Box 1, counties in Box 3 and amount due in Box 4. To learn more, please see the Supreme Court of Missouri’s rules outlining attorney enrollment fees.
Are there penalties for paying late?
Each person licensed to practice law in Missouri shall pay to the Clerk of the Supreme Court on or before Jan. 31 of each year an enrollment fee. The fee is due and shall be paid regardless of any assessment, notice, or demand by the clerk of the Court. Payment of the annual enrollment fee on or before Jan. 31 of each year under Rule 6.01 means either receipt thereof by the clerk on or before that date or placing the fee in the U.S. mail addressed to the clerk of the Court on or before Jan. 31.
A penalty of $50 shall be paid if a member is delinquent in payment of fees. In addition, a penalty of $5 per month shall be paid for each month or fraction thereof during which a member is delinquent in payment of fees beginning with the month of March.
Can I be suspended for not paying my attorney annual enrollment fee on time?
In default of timely paying the annual enrollment fee, the lawyer shall be subject to automatic suspension. Any lawyer thus suspended for such nonpayment shall be retroactively reinstated as a matter of course upon paying the enrollment fee prescribed for each calendar year of the suspension plus the accumulated penalty. If any lawyer remains delinquent for three consecutive years in the payment of any annual enrollment fee, the lawyer shall be required to apply to the Court under Rule 5.28 for reinstatement as a member in good standing.
How often is the annual enrollment fee increased?
The Missouri Bar does not request to increase enrollment fees for its operating costs on an annual basis. Rather fee increases have occurred years apart (in some cases more than a decade). This means following an increase in fees, the state bar builds its reserve fund to be used in future years to prolong the need for a fee increase of its members. The last fee increase was in 2014. It was the third time in 26 years the state bar requested the Supreme Court of Missouri for a fee increase to support bar operations.
What’s the process for increasing the annual enrollment fee?
A fee increase to fund the operations of The Missouri Bar must be recommended by the Board of Governors of The Missouri Bar. Once recommended by the board, members are notified of the proposed change via Missouri Bar publications and provided a period of time to offer input on the recommendation. Following the time frame for member feedback, the Board of Governors then votes on whether or not to proceed with the recommended increase. If approved, a notice of intent to change the fee is sent to the Court. The Supreme Court of Missouri may then determine whether or not to accept the change to the fee in whole or in part. If the Court approves the change, it also outlines when the new fee takes effect.
When do I receive my bar card?
Bar cards are issued by the clerk of the Court as a receipt for payment of the current year’s enrollment fee. Bar cards will be issued within 7 to 10 days for enrollment fees paid online with a credit card. Bar cards will be issued within 2 to 3 weeks for enrollment fees paid online by e-Check or by check sent to the Clerk of the Supreme Court’s Office.
What if I choose to go inactive?
An attorney in good standing may elect to become inactive pursuant to Rule 6.03. The annual inactive fee is $100. Rule 6.03 states that the inactive fee is for those who have ceased to practice law and do not desire to pay “annual enrollment fees." The Court adopted inactive status in 1988. In 2000, the inactive fee was set at $50. It was increased to $100 beginning in 2020. The $100 inactive fee is less than the national average of $150 of unified bar inactive fees. The fee is distributed evenly to support operations of the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel ($50) and The Missouri Bar ($50). Requests to be placed on inactive status should be made in writing to the Clerk of the Supreme Court and sent to the Clerk of the Supreme Court at PO Box 150, Jefferson City, Missouri 65102 or to email@example.com. Changing your status to inactive limits your access to some practice tools. Below is a list of what lawyers can and cannot do during a period of inactive status:
- You cannot practice law in Missouri (Missouri Supreme Court Rule 6.03)
- You must continue to pay an annual fee of $100
- You cannot access free legal research through Fastcase provided by the bar
- You cannot vote in Board of Governors elections
- You can vote in the elections for lawyer members of judicial commissions
- You cannot file cases through the Missouri eFiling system
- You can continue to receive the Journal of The Missouri Bar
- You can join committees, participate in committee meetings and collaborate with colleagues via connect.MOBAR
- You may be eligible for insurance products through The Missouri Bar Insurance Marketplace (eligibility is determined through the insurance exchange)
- You can utilize the services of the Missouri Lawyers' Assistance Program (MOLAP)
- You may be exempt from compliance with the Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) requirements, provided you gave notice of inactive status to the clerk prior to the conclusion of the July 1 - June 30 MCLE compliance year (Missouri Supreme Court Rule 15.05)
- You can register for MoBarCLE programs and purchase MoBarCLE publications
How do I return to active status from inactive status?
The return to active status is governed under Rule 6.06 and requires an application be submitted to the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel. To obtain the application form, contact the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel at 573-635-7400.
You will be required to provide the following with the application:
- Proof of payment of all annual fees required by Rule 6.03;
- A certificate of good standing from every jurisdiction other than Missouri in which you are licensed to practice law; and
- Certification from The Missouri Bar of completion of at least 15 hours of continuing legal education within 12 months prior to the date the application is submitted.
If you have questions about your annual fees, please contact the Office of Attorney Enrollment at the Supreme Court of Missouri at 573-751-4144 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I surrender my license if I no longer wish to remain a member of The Missouri Bar?
Supreme Court of Missouri rules do not provide for a resignation or withdrawal.
Why do the questions of gender, race, and ethnicity appear on the annual enrollment fee form?
The Supreme Court of Missouri added the optional question of gender to the annual enrollment fee form beginning with enrollment forms for 2016 and race and ethnicity beginning with enrollment forms for 2017. The recommendation concerning voluntary gender reporting stemmed from the Supreme Court of Missouri and Missouri Bar Joint Commission on Women in the Profession. The recommendation to add the optional question was endorsed by the state bar's Board of Governors before it was ultimately submitted to the Court and implemented. The recommendation concerning voluntary racial and ethnicity reporting stemmed from the Supreme Court of Missouri's Commission on Racial and Ethic Fairness.
How do I complete the mandatory trust account certification portion on the annual enrollment form?
Information and trust account rules are provided by the Missouri Interest on Lawyer Trust Account Program. You may view the information and rules online at moiolta.org. IOLTA questions should be directed to 573-634-8117.
How do I register an objection that an enrollment fees-supported activity is outside the proper scope of The Missouri Bar?
Written objections may be directed to the executive director of The Missouri Bar, stating what activity is challenged. The executive director shall refer the matter to the Board of Governors or its Executive Committee for consideration. Click here to view the complete policy and procedures adopted by the Board of Governors. Access the Attorney Enrollment Fee Protest Form here.