State Bar of Georgia
search
State Bar of Georgia
State Bar of Georgia Interior Page Banner

FAQ/All    [+] Show All Answers

  1. It is a transcript of CLE courses that is sent to all active, non-exempt members in January of each year showing all CLE hours taken for the previous year and indicating all fees owed.

  2. Will I be asked for money?

    SOLACE will not solicit cash contributions. The point of SOLACE is to tap into the legal community’s network of contacts. Often what is needed is in-kind donations or non-monetary assistance such as transportation, housing, or a medical referral. Any monetary donations that SOLACE receives will be returned to the donor.

  3. A woman came to my office for help with her divorce case, but there is another lawyer representing her now. May I speak with her?

    Yes, unless you currently represent someone whose interests are adverse to hers. Rule 4.2 does not prohibit a disinterested lawyer from providing a second opinion to someone who is currently represented by counsel.

  4. How am I notified if my hours are deficient?

    In January or early February of each year, an Annual Report of CLE hours for the previous calendar year is sent to all active members of the State Bar of Georgia unless an exemption has already been entered. If the attorney has completed all the required CLE hours for the previous year and does not owe any course fees, then the attorney does not need to do anything further. However, if the attorney either needs more hours for the previous year or owes a course fee that is listed on the Annual Report, then he or she has until March 31 to satisfy the deficiency.

  5. How do I opt out of SOLACE emails?

    If you do not wish to receive SOLACE emails, reply to any SOLACE email you receive and request to be removed from the mailing or follow the "unsubscribe" link at the bottom of any SOLACE email.

  6. How is a mock trial selected for my tour?

    We generally select a mock trial for your students to perform based on the law lesson topic you select. Once you select a lesson, you will receive an email with a brief description of your trial and a list of speaking roles. We ask that you assign your speaking roles before you arrive at the Bar and that you select your best readers, as it makes the trial go more smoothly. Students not assigned roles will serve as jurors.

  7. How long should I keep closed client files?

    The ethics rules don't require a lawyer to keep closed files for any particular length of time. The exception is trust account records. Rule 1.15(I) does require that a lawyer keep trust account records for at least six years after the case is over. There is a four year statute of limitations for disciplinary investigations; Rule 4-222 provides that the statute may be tolled up to two years in certain situations. You should also take into account potential malpractice claims and other law when making a decision to destroy a file.

  8. How long should I keep closed client files?

    The Museum of Law contains walls on the civil rights movement, the need for an independent judiciary, the death penalty, and famous Georgia and U.S. cases. You may select one of these walls as the focus of your museum visit, or you may choose to have the LRE staff select the museum content to be covered. The list of available focus areas can be found HERE. Time permitting, the museum tour begins with a 12-minute film called "Reel Justice," a compilation of 75 clips from Hollywood movies dealing with the law and lawyers.

  9. How many SOLACE emails will I receive?

    Each SOLACE request generates only one email. You can expect to receive one or two emails per month. If you are able to assist, the email will contain information regarding how to contact the person in need or that person’s representative. If you are not able to assist, there will be no further contacts regarding the request.

  10. How many times can my school attend Journey Through Justice during a single school year?

    There is no limit on the number of days a particular school may attend Journey Through Justice during the school year. For instance, if you want to bring more than our maximum of 70 students, you can schedule multiple dates in order to accommodate your entire group.

  11. How much does a Journey Through Justice cost?

    It's free!

  12. I'd like to offer my paralegal a bonus based on the legal fees I've taken in each month. Is that ethical?

    Rule 5.4 discusses a lawyer splitting a legal fee with a nonlawyer. Formal Advisory Opinion 05-4 provides that it is ethically proper for a lawyer to compensate nonlawyer employees based upon a plan that is based in whole or in part on a profit-sharing arrangement.

  13. I'm leaving my law firm. May I tell the clients whose files I have worked on that I am opening my own practice?

    Formal Advisory Opinion 97-3 holds that a lawyer who is leaving a firm may ethically notify those clients he or she has actively represented. The communication may be oral or written. The lawyer may advise the client of the lawyer's departure, provide a new address, and notify the client of the lawyer's willingness to provide legal services to the client.

  14. I've been fired but the client still owes part of my fee. May I keep her file until she pays?

    If keeping the file will be detrimental to the client's interests, you may not hold the file to guarantee payment of your fee. Rule 1.16(d) and Formal Advisory Opinion 87-5 provide further guidance on this issue.

  15. If I have a need and make a request through SOLACE, will my confidentiality be maintained?

    Confidentiality is of paramount concern. If you have a need, a SOLACE coordinator will work with you to write an email that explains the need and maintains your confidentiality. You will need to provide contact information for potential donors, but you are encouraged to use an anonymous email address for this purpose if you are concerned about confidentiality. Depending on the nature of the request, you may also wish to designate a family member to receive the SOLACE responses.

  16. May I take a new case if it will require me to sue a former client?

    Maybe. Rule 1.9 allows a lawyer to represent a new client whose interests are adverse to a former client only if the matters are not substantially related, or if the former client consents. Rule 1.6 regarding confidences and secrets also might have some impact on the lawyer's ability to undertake representation adverse to a former client. The rules require a lawyer to make very specific disclosures before obtaining client consent to this type of representation, so please call the Ethics Helpline to talk about your situation with us.

  17. Should my students be prepared to take notes?

    Yes.

  18. What grades can attend Journey Through Justice?

    We welcome students in grades 4-12.

  19. What is the Annual Report?

    It is a transcript of CLE courses that is sent to all active, non-exempt members in January of each year showing all CLE hours taken for the previous year and indicating all fees owed.

  20. What is the maximum number of students I can bring?

    The maximum number of students we can accommodate on a single day is 70, although the ideal group size is 25-40 students.

  21. What is the yearly CLE requirement?

    12 CLE hours including 1 ethics hour, 1 professionalism hour, 3 trial hours (only required for trial attorneys)

  22. What should my students wear to Journey Through Justice?

    There is no official dress code, but our experience has been that students who "dress for court" generally seem to pay more attention and behave more appropriately.

  23. Where do we park if we're traveling by car?

    If you will be traveling by private cars instead of a bus, you should park in our parking deck, which is adjacent to our building and is located at the corner of Ted Turner Drive and Marietta Street; we will validate your parking, so please bring your parking ticket in with you. We can only validate parking for our garage, not for other parking garages in the area. Once you park, you should come to the sixth floor of the parking deck to the door marked "Entrance to Conference Center," which will put you on the third floor of the building. Please present your parking ticket for validation to the security guard at the desk immediately to your right when you enter the building.

  24. Which members of the State Bar of Georgia are required to complete MCLE?

    All active, non-exempt members who are not part of the Transition into Law Practice Program.

  25. Which members of the State Bar of Georgia are required to complete MCLE?

    All active, non-exempt members who are not part of the Transition into Law Practice Program.

  26. Who receives SOLACE emails?

    Initially, attorneys who are members of the State Bar of Georgia will receive SOLACE emails. Anyone within the legal community can be added at their request.

  27. A list of frequently used forms may be found below. Please refer to specific individual FAQs for more information.

    Disability Petition
    Name Change Form
    Resignation Petition
    Letter of Good Standing Request Form

  28. Are Journey Through Justice souvenirs available?

    Yes

  29. At a minimum, the Mentoring Plan must include the following key elements:

    1. Regular contact and meetings between the Mentor and Beginning Lawyer.
    2. Continuing discussions between the Mentor and Beginning Lawyer on at least the following topics:
    1. Ethics and professionalism.
    2. Relationships with clients, other lawyers (both in and outside the firm), the judiciary and the public, including unrepresented parties.
    3. Professional work habits, organizational skills and practice management.
    4. Economics of practicing law in the relevant practice setting.
    5. Responsibility and opportunities for pro bono work, bar activities, and community service.
    1. Introduction to the local legal community.
    2. Specific planning for professional development and continuing legal education in and outside the firm, company or organization..
    3. Emotional Intelligence – financial awareness, managing stress, and wellness tools.
    4. Periodic evaluation of the Mentor-Beginning Lawyer relationship.

  30. Can CLE hours be carried forward?

    Yes.

    • Regular CLE hours - 12 hours can be carried to the next year
    • Ethics hours - 2 hours can be carried to the next year
    • Professionalism hours - 2 hours can be carried to the next year
    • Trial hours - 3 hours can be carried to the next year

  31. Can CLE hours be carried forward?

    Yes.

    • Regular CLE hours - 12 hours can be carried to the next year
    • Ethics hours - 2 hours can be carried to the next year
    • Professionalism hours - 2 hours can be carried to the next year
    • Trial hours - 3 hours can be carried to the next year

  32. Can any CLE hours be taken by online or other distance learning format?

    Distance Learning CLE. In addition to traditional approved continuing legal education activities attended live and in-person by groups of attorneys, distance learning delivery formats are acceptable provided they are designed specifically as organized programs of learning and meet the other accreditation standards set out in these Rules and Regulations. Examples of qualifying distance learning formats include: live CLE activities presented via video or audio replays of live CLE activities; computer-based CLE activities, on demand CLE programs, teleconference CLE programs and live CLE webcasts/webinars. Attorneys can earn all or any portion of their CLE requirement through Distance Learning CLE programs.

  33. Can any CLE hours be taken by online or other distance learning format?

    Distance Learning CLE. In addition to traditional approved continuing legal education activities attended live and in-person by groups of attorneys, distance learning delivery formats are acceptable provided they are designed specifically as organized programs of learning and meet the other accreditation standards set out in these Rules and Regulations. Examples of qualifying distance learning formats include: live CLE activities presented via video or audio replays of live CLE activities; computer-based CLE activities, on demand CLE programs, teleconference CLE programs and live CLE webcasts/webinars. Attorneys can earn all or any portion of their CLE requirement through Distance Learning CLE programs.

  34. Do I have to stay with my homeschooled child(ren) during Journey Through Justice?

    Yes, unless you have arranged, in advance of your arrival at the Bar, for another parent to take full responsibility for your child(ren) and have completed and returned your Parent Drop Off Form HERE.

  35. Does TILPP apply to a Beginning Lawyer employed by a government agency, in a public interest law setting, or as in-house counsel?

    Yes. A lawyer who enters the practice of law as federal, state, local, or other governmental employee or in-house counsel may satisfy the requirements of TILPP by participating for twelve months in a TILPP approved new lawyer mentoring program specially designed for the office or agency under policies and procedures established by the Standards of the Profession Committee and the Commission on Continuing Lawyer Competency. If the office or agency does not have a TILPP approved specially designed program, the Beginning Lawyer will complete TILPP in  Inside Mentoring using the Model Mentoring Plan.

  36. During the 12-month mentoring period, does the Mentor initiate contacts with the Beginning Lawyer or should the Beginning Lawyer initiate contacts?

    This is a matter to be addressed and established between the Mentor and the Beginning Lawyer at the outset of the mentoring relationship.

  37. How are CLE exemptions taken by attorneys?

    Age 70 exemptions are automatic

    Inactive exemptions are automatic for members electing that membership status for a full calendar year.

    All other exemptions must be taken by the member annually. Exemption forms can be found here.

  38. How are CLE exemptions taken by attorneys?

    Age 70 exemptions are automatic

    Inactive exemptions are automatic for members electing that membership status for a full calendar year.

    All other exemptions must be taken by the member annually. Exemption forms can be found here.

  39. How can I best comply with my MCLE requirements?

    Take all the required hours before the December 31 deadline.

    If your hours are incomplete on December 31, make them up during the grace period, which expires on March 31. This saves the $100 late CLE fee.

    If you miss the March 31 deadline, pay the $100 late fee which extends the deadline to September 30. After September 30 an additional $150 in fees are due for a total of $250 for late completion of your CLE requirement.

    Monitor your record during the year by logging into your account by clicking here. Some sponsors take several weeks to report your attendance, so check back if a seminar is not listed in your record. If it does not appear, contact the CLE department staff at cle@gabar.org or 404-527-8710.

  40. How can I determine the number of CLE hours offered by an ICLE program?

    The CLE credit hours offered by each program are listed on the registration page. The hours are listed in the order below:

    Total CLE Hours/Legal Ethics Hours/ Professionalism Hours/ Trial Practice Hours

    Total CLE Hours –The total CLE credit hours that a program provides. The other 3 designations represent specialty credits and are not added to the Total CLE Hours.
    Legal Ethics Hours – The number of legal ethics hours the program provides.
    Professionalism Hours – The number of professionalism hours the program provides.
    Trial Practice Hours – The number of trial practice hours the program provides.

  41. How can I view my CLE record?

    You can check your CLE by logging into your account by clicking here.

  42. How can I view my CLE record?

    You can check your CLE by logging into your account by clicking here.

  43. How do I comply with the mentoring component if I am in Group Mentoring?

    Participate in 2 Group Mentoring seminars. Generally, each individual Group Mentoring activity lasts three (3) to four (4) hours, but program agendas are subject to change.  Additionally, you are required to complete and submit the Mandatory Advocacy Experiences form.

  44. How do I register for an ICLE program?

    First, log into your State Bar of Georgia account at www.gabar.org. If you do not remember your Username or Password, please contact the State Bar of Georgia’s Membership Department at:

    If you are not a member of the State Bar of Georgia and you would like to register for an ICLE program, please contact ICLE at:

    Once you are logged in, select ICLE Programs from the CLE dropdown menu located near the top of the webpage. All ICLE programs are listed here. Choose which program suits your educational needs and click the program tile. 

    You will then transition to the program landing page, which contains a “Register Now” button at the bottom. Click the “Register Now” button to transition to the program details page. Select the desired ticket option, and click “Register Now” at the bottom of the program details page. 

    You will then transition to a page that requests your registration details and payment. Once payment is complete, a receipt will be automatically sent to the email address you have on file with the State Bar of Georgia’s Membership Department. If you choose a webcast program, the webcast link will be included in the emailed receipt. 

    If you have logged into your State Bar of Georgia account and still have issues registering, please email ICLE at icle@gabar.org. You can also complete the registration portion of the brochure located on the program landing page. Mail the form along with full payment to:

    ICLE
    P.O. Box 117210
    Atlanta, GA 30368-7210

    ICLE cannot accept payment via email or fax.

    Please note the following for mail-in registrations:

    Mail-in registrations MUST be postmarked 7 business days prior to the program date in order to receive the advance registration rate and to ensure ICLE receives your registration prior to the program. If your payment is postmarked after that time, please ensure that you include the onsite registration fee. Should your payment not reach ICLE prior to the program, you will not be allowed entry into the program without payment of the onsite registration fee. Should your payment arrive after the program, ICLE will return or refund your mailed payment. Please note, ICLE must receive the correct registration fee in order to report CLE credit. Any registrations received without the proper registration fee cannot be fully processed. Please note, mail-in registrations are not guaranteed admittance.
     

  45. How does a Beginning Lawyer certify to the TILPP Director that they have completed TILPP satisfactorily?

    TILPP consists of two (2) components: (1) Mentoring; and (2) CLE. Beginning Lawyers receive written confirmation from the TILPP Director upon successful completion of both components.

    To Complete CLE: Complete twelve (12) CLE hours, inclusive of the mandatory Beginning Lawyers Program. Attendance is automatically reported to TILPP if you attend CLE seminars sponsored by TILPP and/or facilitated by ICLE. For CLE events facilitated by other CLE providers, Beginning Lawyers must ensure that the CLE provider forwards proof of attendance to the State Bar of Georgia CLE department.

    Remember, all attorneys can check their CLE status online by logging onto the State Bar of Georgia website.

    To Complete Inside or Outside Mentoring: Submit the Completed Mentoring Plan and Mentoring Completion Certificate (signed by your Mentor upon completion of your mentoring plan. The proposed Mentoring Plan, Mentor Volunteer Form, Compliance Checklist and Continuing Legal Education Agreement (if Outside Mentoring) should be submitted within 90 days of admission to practice.

    To Complete Group Mentoring: Submit the completed MAE form (within 90 days of admission) and attend 2 Group Mentoring seminars.

  46. How does a Beginning Lawyer enroll?

    Beginning Lawyers enroll in TILPP upon admission to practice in Georgia. COMPLIANCE WITH TILPP IS MANDATORY.  Once admitted to practice, the TILPP Enrollment form must be submitted with the membership application when registering with the State Bar of Georgia. When the TILPP Enrollment form is received and processed, Beginning Lawyers are given additional TILPP compliance information.  However, prior to that time, information on the program can be found on the tilpp page of the website. 

  47. How is CLE credit reported, and what is the reporting timeline?

    Please allow 15 business days post-program completion for ICLE to report Georgia CLE credits. Reported credits will reflect the program date or on-demand purchase date as applicable. Due to the nature of the reporting process, we are unable to expedite this timeline.    

    Please contact ICLE if more than 15 business days have elapsed since you completed an ICLE program and the program is not reflected in your CLE Summary.

  48. How is SOLACE funded and administered?

    SOLACE is a program of the State Bar of Georgia. The State Bar of Georgia staff liaison coordinates requests and responses with the committee chairpersons via the SOLACE email, SOLACE@gabar.org. Otherwise, requests are kept confidential unless the person requesting assistance authorizes disclosure.

  49. How is TILPP administered?

    TILPP is operated under the auspices of the Commission on Continuing Lawyer Competency (“CCLC”) pursuant to its general supervisory authority to administer the continuing legal education rules.

    The Standards of the Profession Committee is a committee of the CCLC with responsibilities for devising and recommending policy to the CCLC as to the operation of TILPP.

  50. How is an Outside Mentor nominated?

    A Beginning Lawyer is asked to nominate his or her own Outside Mentor. The Beginning Lawyer may direct a potential Outside Mentor to the 1-Page Executive Summary for Inside & Outside Mentor Volunteers.

    The nomination must be approved by the TILPP Director (“Director”).

    A Beginning Lawyer who, for whatever reason, is unable to identify an Outside Mentor notifies the Director within ninety (90) days of admission by submitting answers to the Solo Practice Email Questionnaire received after enrollment. The Director, working with the Standards of the Profession Committee (“Committee”), will draw upon their knowledge of potential Mentors in proximity to the Beginning Lawyer as well as seek assistance from local judges, voluntary bar associations, and the State Bar of Georgia Board of Governors.

    In the event no Mentor can be found for a Beginning Lawyer to act on a one-on-one basis, then the Beginning Lawyer will complete TILPP in Group Mentoring (see below).

  51. How is the Mentoring Plan monitored?

    The Mentor and the Beginning Lawyer both have responsibility for evaluating the mentoring relationship, but the Mentor has sole responsibility for assessing whether the Beginning Lawyer has fully completed TILPP.

  52. How long did it take to develop the “Transition Into Law Practice Program?”

    10 years. See 10 Years In The Making.

  53. How long does a Beginning Lawyer have to complete TILPP?

    A beginning lawyer enrolls in TILPP upon admission to practice and has the remaining time in the year of admission and the following year to complete the program. State Bar Rule 8-104.

  54. How many CLE hours do I receive for Group Mentoring activities?

    You do not receive CLE hours for Group Mentoring activities, because your attendance at Group Mentoring seminars satisfy TILPP’s Mentoring component. You receive mentoring credit for your attendance. 

  55. How many other States have mandatory programs for newly admitted attorneys like Georgia’s Transition Into Law Practice Program?

    As of 2019, there are 8 mandatory first year legal mentoring programs throughout the United States.

  56. How much is the registration fee for Group Mentoring activities?

    Fee information is provided in the brochure forwarded to you by ICLE of Georgia. This information can also be found on the registration page of the seminar on the State Bar of Georgia website.

  57. How much time is a Mentor expected to spend with the Beginning Lawyer?

    The Mentor and Beginning Lawyer are expected to spend a sufficient amount of time to fully carry out the Mentoring Plan mutually agreed upon. While regular meetings are suggested, TILPP does not specify the number or length of meetings.

  58. How will TILPP deal with problems that arise in the mentoring relationship?

    For concerns about Program requirements or procedures in general, a Mentor or Beginning Lawyer should convey such concerns to the TILPP Director, who will seek the assistance of the Standards Committee, if necessary, to resolve the issue.

    Appeals from decisions of the Standards Committee will be made to the Commission on Continuing Lawyer Competency.

  59. I am having technical problems with this site.

    For technical questions about the site, please contact the Webmaster by email at webmaster@gabar.org. Please keep in mind that the Webmaster is a technology professional, not a legal professional, and cannot answer any legal questions.

  60. I am in Group Mentoring, but I have located an attorney willing to serve as an individual Mentor for me (either through an employment change or on my own). What do I do next?

    Complete and submit the Migration Form, Compliance Checklist and Mentor Volunteer Form to the TILPP Director and provide your potential Mentor with information for Mentors located under TILPP Documents on the TILPP page of the State Bar of Georgia website.

  61. I am not currently practicing law or only practice part-time – why am I required to participate in Group Mentoring activities of TILPP?

    Because you have elected “ACTIVE” status with the State Bar of Georgia instead of “INACTIVE” status. Your compliance with TILPP is based upon your “ACTIVE” status, regardless of how much time, or how little time, you actually devote to the practice of law. (State Bar Rule 8-104(B)(1)).

    TILPP is designed for Beginning Lawyers who are actually practicing law. If you are not currently practicing law, you should consider taking “INACTIVE” status. 

    Group Mentoring is geared toward those who are:  1) employed in a non-legal setting; 2) employed as a contractor; 3) working in a part-time legal position; 4) not paired with a mentor; 5) in solo practice; or 6) seeking employment.

  62. I need a copy of my application to the Bar, how do I obtain a copy?

    Typically, an attorney when applying for admission to another jurisdiction raises this question. The other jurisdiction normally is interested in a copy of the Bar Admission application, not the data enrollment form for the State Bar of Georgia. A copy of the Bar Admission's application can be obtained by calling 404-656-3490.

  63. I want a Mentor assigned one-on-one to assist me. How does a Beginning Lawyer get assigned one-on-one to a Mentor?

    There are three ways to transfer or migrate out of Group Mentoring and have an individual Mentor:

    1. Open your own law practice (TILPP Director will assign an Outside Mentor to assist a sole practitioner who has opened their own law office which serves as their sole means of livelihood, when requested within 90 days after admission to practice);
    2. Work in association with a legal organization or law firm which agrees to assign an Inside Mentor to assist one-on-one; or
    3. Locate an Outside Mentor or Inside Mentor on your own.

    NOTE: The Program Director only assists Beginning Lawyers who are sole practitioners in locating Outside Mentors and only within 90 days after admission to practice.

  64. I've graduated from law school, taken the Bar Exam and am working in a law office. Can I call myself a lawyer?

    No! Even if you have passed the Bar, you must be sworn in by a court and registered with the State Bar of Georgia before you are licensed to practice law in the state. Until then you may not give legal advice to anyone. You may not appear in court or sign your name on a document to be presented to a court (other than for your own personal matters). If a judge allows you to sit with counsel during a hearing, or if you attend a deposition with a licensed attorney, you may not question witnesses or make objections. You are also obligated to clarify your status to anyone who mistakenly believes that you are a lawyer. Be sure that the firm letterhead, website and other publications do not refer to you as a lawyer before you are fully credentialed. There are many tasks that you may perform in a law office while awaiting Bar results and licensing. You may draft briefs or pleadings for a lawyer's review and signature. You may interview clients and witnesses, and pass along legal advice as directed by a lawyer (making it clear that the advice is from a licensed attorney). Formal Advisory Opinions 19, 21 and 00-2 further describe what tasks may appropriately be delegated to a nonlawyer in a law office.

  65. I've graduated from law school, taken the Bar Exam and am working in a law office. Can I call myself a lawyer?

    No! Even if you have passed the Bar, you must be sworn in by a court and registered with the State Bar of Georgia before you are licensed to practice law in the state. Until then you may not give legal advice to anyone. You may not appear in court or sign your name on a document to be presented to a court (other than for your own personal matters). If a judge allows you to sit with counsel during a hearing, or if you attend a deposition with a licensed attorney, you may not question witnesses or make objections. You are also obligated to clarify your status to anyone who mistakenly believes that you are a lawyer. Be sure that the firm letterhead, website and other publications do not refer to you as a lawyer before you are fully credentialed. There are many tasks that you may perform in a law office while awaiting Bar results and licensing. You may draft briefs or pleadings for a lawyer's review and signature. You may interview clients and witnesses, and pass along legal advice as directed by a lawyer (making it clear that the advice is from a licensed attorney). Formal Advisory Opinions 19, 21 and 00-2 further describe what tasks may appropriately be delegated to a nonlawyer in a law office.

  66. ICLE Speakers and Members of Other Jurisdictions/Entities: How do I obtain Georgia CLE credit for an ICLE presentation and how is Georgia CLE credit reported to other jurisdictions/entities?

    ICLE speakers must submit a completed Certificate of Attendance (COA) within 3 business days of the program to receive Georgia CLE credit. Once ICLE receives the completed form, the earned CLE credit will be reported to the State Bar of Georgia CLE Regulation Department. 

    ICLE only reports CLE credits to the State Bar of Georgia CLE Regulation Department, and certain other entities as published on the program brochure. 

    To self-report to another entity, submit a completed COA along with a copy of the program brochure to the entity from which you request CLE credit. Other entities reserve the right to approve or deny the request. As such, ICLE cannot guarantee that CLE credit will be granted for any entity other than the State Bar of Georgia. If you do not have the COA, you may request one from icle@gabar.org.

  67. Is there a lunch break during the tour?

    Yes. Students and teachers should bring a sack lunch; we provide soft drinks. There will not be an opportunity to leave the tour to purchase lunch. Do not order lunch as we cannot accommodate deliveries. Additionally, we do not have a refrigerator, microwave or vending machine.

  68. What are sponsor fees and attorney fees?

    All courses entered into our CLE database are charged a $4 per hour per attorney fee. Sponsors of the seminars are required to pay this fee for courses held in Georgia and for online/distance-learning courses. Attorneys are required to pay this fee if the CLE provider does not pay this fee. An attorney can pay the $4 per hour fee to the State Bar of Georgia when attendance is reported, or can be billed on the CLE transcript. Attorney fees can be paid online throughout the year.

  69. What are the Beginning Lawyer’s responsibilities?

    1. To satisfactorily complete TILPP’s Mentoring Component by:
    • devoting the time required for this mandatory Program;
    • making themselves available to the Mentor’s guidance;
    • working with the Mentor to complete the Model Mentoring Plan or devising jointly with the Mentor a Mentoring Plan comparable to the Model Mentoring Plan (any changes must be approved by Director within 90 days of admission to practice; and,
    • satisfactorily completing the Mentoring Plan in its entirety.
    1. To complete TILPP’s CLE component satisfactorily, by attending the mandatory six (6) hour credit Beginning Lawyer Program CLE and six (6) additional CLEs of the Beginning Lawyers choice.

  70. What are the Mentor’s responsibilities?

    The Mentor’s responsibilities include:

    1. Devoting the time required for meaningful mentoring;
    2. Guiding and teaching the Beginning Lawyer practical skills, seasoned judgments, and sensitivity to ethical and professionalism values;
    3. Devising, jointly with the Beginning Lawyer, a Mentoring Plan;
    4. Working with the Beginning Lawyer to complete the Model Mentoring Plan or devise jointly with the Beginning Lawyer a Mentoring Plan comparable to the Model Mentoring Plan (any changes must be approved by Director within 90 days of admission to practice); and,
    5. Monitoring the Beginning Lawyer’s Plan progress; and,
    6. Certifying, at the end of 12 months, that the Plan was completed satisfactorily in its entirety.

  71. What are the law lesson topics?

    We offer a variety of law lessons correlated to the Georgia Standards of Excellence; among the topics we can cover are torts, contracts, juvenile delinquency and unruliness, and business crimes. When you book a tour, you'll receive the full list of law lesson selections to choose from. The list of available law lessons can also be found on the State Bar of Georgia website HERE.

  72. What are the minimum qualifications to serve as a Mentor?

    Minimum Qualifications for Mentors are set out in  State Bar Rule 8-104(B), Regulation (6). The qualifications of prospective Mentors are screened by the TILPP Director.

  73. What can I expect during a Journey Through Justice?

    The students will first have a law lesson taught by an experienced attorney or teacher. At the end of the law lesson, the students are given a "bar exam," which may be either oral or written; of course, everyone passes and receives an Honorary Attorney for the Day certificate, personalized with their name.

    The students break for lunch. During lunch, the students selected for speaking roles in the mock trial are given their scripts to review.

    After lunch, the students go to our fully functioning courtroom, where they put on a scripted mock trial. Students who do not have speaking roles serve as jurors.

    The students then tour our Museum of Law and watch a 12-minute film called "Reel Justice."

    If your group cannot stay for the entire four-hour program, the Law-Related Education staff will decide which portion(s) of the tour to shorten or eliminate.

  74. What does "self-study" mean?

    Self-study is the term used for programs viewed online. Currently our livestream and on-demand programs earn self-study credit. 

  75. What happens if the Beginning Lawyer does not complete TILPP in the required time period?

    The same deadlines, late fees and penalties for general CLE applies. See Rule 8-107.

  76. What happens if the Beginning Lawyer needs to change to a different Mentor?

    Administratively, TILPP refers to a change from one Mentor to another Mentor as a “Migration”. The Migration request is made in writing using the Migration Form.

    Neither the Beginning Lawyer nor the Mentor is required to report the reason for a Migration request.

  77. What happens if the Mentor becomes unavailable to serve?

    The Mentor shall inform the TILPP Director as soon as practicable. In the event the Mentor is unable to do so, the Beginning Lawyer is required to immediately notify the TILPP Director of the situation.

    In all situations, completion of a full year of mentoring is required. Decisions regarding how and whether to reconstitute a mentorship because of the inability of a Mentor to continue will be made by the TILPP Director. The decision will be made on a case-by-case basis taking into consideration individual circumstances and what has or has not been achieved during the original mentorship.

    The Standards of the Profession Committee has the ultimate authority and responsibility for policies and procedures for situations where a mentorship ends prematurely.

  78. What happens in the event an attorney fails to comply with the Mandatory CLE program?

    If an attorney remains in noncompliance, the Supreme Court of Georgia will be notified so that it may enter any order it deems appropriate including suspension from the practice of law until, as a minimum, the deficiency is corrected, all penalty fees are paid, and a reinstatement fee is paid.

  79. What if I don't belong to a homeschool group, I can't come on the date my homeschool group has selected, or my group does not have the minimum 20 students?

    We offer Homeschool Week during the first week of January. The dates for the 2024 Homeschool Week will be January 3 and 4, 2024. Homeschool Week registrations will be based on your child’s grade level: We will hold 4th and 5th grades on Wednesday, and middle school will be held on Thursday, with a maximum of 50 students per day. If your children cross these grade divisions, you may register older children on a younger day to avoid making multiple trips to the Bar; younger children may not register for older days. High school students are welcome to attend on January 3 or 4; however, the law lessons and mock trials will be at elementary and middle school levels. As in past years, families must register individually for Homeschool Week; group registrations from homeschool community leaders are not accepted. To register for Homeschool Week, download the Homeschool Week Registration Form HERE. Email your completed registration form to us at lre@gabar.org. Registration for Homeschool Week opens Aug. 7, 2023.

  80. What if I have a date conflict with the Group Mentoring activities?

    It is wise to file a conflict letter for TILPP seminars, so as to lessen the possibility of conflicts.  However, if you find yourself with an unavoidable conflict attend a Group Mentoring event on an alternate date. Group Mentoring events are typically offered in March, May and August. 

  81. What if I need to cancel my Journey Through Justice?

    If you are unable to keep your reserved date, you must notify us by reply email or phone within three business days of the date on which your "Looking Forward to Seeing You at Journey Through Justice!" email was sent, so that a school on the waiting list will have sufficient time to reserve their bus and complete any other field trip paperwork requirements. If you cancel after this three-business-day window, you will not be allowed to take a Journey Through Justice during the following school year. If you subsequently decide that you still want to come to Journey Through Justice in the current school year, and your previously reserved date (or an alternate date) is available, you may do so; however, this will not affect your placement on the following year's exclusion list.

    We realize that sometimes you must cancel a Journey Through Justice with less than six weeks' notice due to circumstances beyond your control. Should that happen, we will be happy to discuss the situation with you before placing you on the exclusion list for the following year. Please note, however, that the following are among the circumstances which will not be considered beyond your control: failure to obtain or schedule transportation; failure to obtain necessary approval from your school or district administration; testing dates; other school activities; poor behavior by your students; and lack of interest among your students.

  82. What is Fee Arbitration?

    The State Bar of Georgia, on behalf of the Supreme Court of Georgia, administers the Fee Arbitration Program as a service to both the public and Georgia attorneys. The actual arbitration is a hearing conducted by one or more persons not involved in the dispute. In most cases, two experienced attorneys and one non-attorney public member serve as the arbitrators. Like judges, they review the evidence and hear the arguments on both sides and decide the outcome of the dispute. Arbitration is impartial and usually less expensive than going to court. The purpose of the Program is to provide a convenient mechanism for the resolution of disputes between attorneys and clients over fees. The Fee Arbitration Program also arbitrates certain fee disputes between attorneys and law firms.

  83. What is included in the mentor orientation CLE program?

    The mentor orientation program presents an overview and background of TILPP.  Additionally, the program provides information to aid mentors in developing an effective mentoring relationship with the Beginning Lawyer.

  84. What is the Model Plan of Mentoring Activities and Experiences?

    The intent of TILPP is to create a synergy between the CLE and mentoring component. To assist Mentors and to help insure some structure and uniformity, a Model Plan of Mentoring Activities and Experiences is provided.

    This Model Plan features a list of experiences and topical questions that the Mentor and Beginning Lawyer can use as presented or customize with comparable substitutions that fit their particular needs and circumstances.

    Should any substitutions be made to the Model Plan, the plan shall be submitted to TILPP’s Director for approval.

    Although great flexibility in designing each particular plan is warranted, the plan should foster discussion and implementation of professional skills and values.

  85. What is the goal of the Transition Into Law Practice Program (“TILPP”)?

    The goal of TILPP is to provide professional guidance and counsel to assist Beginning Lawyers who are newly admitted to the State Bar of Georgia in acquiring the practical skills, judgment and professional values necessary to practice law in a highly competent manner.

  86. What is the minimum number of students for a Journey Through Justice?

    The minimum number of students required for a Journey Through Justice is 20. Groups which arrive with fewer than 20 students will be asked to leave and reschedule. You should not leave school with fewer than 20 students unless you have spoken to a member of the Law-Related Eudcation staff and have received permission for a smaller group.

  87. What time does the tour begin and what time does it end?

    Journey Through Justice is four hours long. We ask that students arrive by 9:30 a.m. and stay until approximately 2 p.m. (to allow for bathroom breaks and time spent moving from one room to the next). If you cannot stay for the full four hours, please let us know in advance of your tour date so that we may plan accordingly. Please keep in mind, however, that parts of the tour will have to be shortened or eliminated if you cannot stay for the full four hours. Groups which arrive after 10 a.m. without prior arrangement will be asked to leave and reschedule. For groups arriving by bus, the door will open at 9:15 a.m. Groups traveling by other means may enter the building before 9:15 a.m. but should not expect the Law-Related Education staff to be available before that time. Groups which arrive more than 30 minutes after their scheduled arrival time as stated in the “Are You Ready?” email (see FAQ #25 (6)) will be asked to leave and reschedule. We realize that traffic, accidents or other unanticipated delays may arise after your group is already en route; in that case, you must contact us by phone no later than your scheduled arrival time to request an exception to this policy. 

  88. When are the Group Mentoring activities?

    Group Mentoring events generally occur in March, May and August, but future schedules are subject to change. Advance notices of Group Mentoring activities can be found on the TILPP and/or ICLE pages of the State Bar of Georgia website.  Additional, reminders are forwarded to Beginning Lawyers by the ICLE department. You will receive reminders via email and/or first class mail to  the address you have on file with the State Bar of Georgia. [You are required to keep current address information on file with the State Bar of Georgia (State Bar Rule 1-207)].

  89. Where can Beginning Lawyers determine dates, times and locations of the required CLE programs?

    Prosecutors, Solicitors: Contact your supervisor or the Prosecuting Attorneys Council of Georgia at 770.282.6300.

    Public Defenders: Contact your supervisor or the Public Defender Standards Council at 404.795.2440.

    All Other Beginning Lawyers: Please check the TILPP page or the ICLE seminars page on the State Bar of Georgia website. 

  90. Where can I file a complaint against my attorney or report a problem with my attorney?

    The Client Assistance Program (CAP) of the State Bar of Georgia handles problems between attorneys and clients. CAP has many ways to help solve your problems. For general and statistical information about CAP, please see the CAP webpage. If you wish to speak to a CAP Administrator, please call 1-800-334-6865 and ask for the CAP line, or dial direct to 404-527-8759. CAP cannot receive inquiries by email.

  91. Where can I find information about the Bar Exam?

    The Office of Bar Admissions administers the Bar exam. Their website, which contains helpful links and contact information, can be accessed by clicking here: Office of Bar Admissions

  92. Where can I get an attorney referral?

    The State Bar of Georgia is a mandatory membership organization and cannot refer an attorney since we have an obligation to represent each of our members equally. Please see our list of Local/Voluntary Bars for full contact information of the Bar Associations near you. Many Local or Voluntary Bars offer Attorney Referral Services.

  93. Where should I direct questions regarding my CLE Summary or general inquiries regarding yearly CLE requirements and compliance status?

    ICLE automatically reports Georgia CLE credit for ICLE sponsored programs to the State Bar of Georgia CLE Regulation Department. Any questions regarding CLE credit earned from attending an ICLE program should be directed to: icle@gabar.org.   

    CLE requirements and compliance inquiries should be directed to the State Bar of Georgia CLE Regulation Department at:

  94. Who is exempt from MCLE?

    a. Members who are inactive (on their dues status with the Membership Department) for the entire calendar year
    b. Out-of-state members who neither practice in Georgia nor represent Georgia clients
    c. Out-of-state members who comply with the CLE requirements of their resident state ($60 fee required with this exemption.)
    d. Members over age 70
    e. Judges who are prohibited from practicing law
    f. Designated statewide elected officials
    g. Attorneys who establish special circumstances constituting undue hardship

  95. Who is exempt from MCLE?

    a. Members who are inactive (on their dues status with the Membership Department) for the entire calendar year
    b. Out-of-state members who neither practice in Georgia nor represent Georgia clients
    c. Out-of-state members who comply with the CLE requirements of their resident state ($60 fee required with this exemption.)
    d. Members over age 70
    e. Judges who are prohibited from practicing law
    f. Designated statewide elected officials
    g. Attorneys who establish special circumstances constituting undue hardship

  96. Who should I contact with questions regarding ICLE programs and registration?

    Any questions regarding ICLE programming or registration should be directed to icle@gabar.org.

  97. Why do I have to pay for Group Mentoring Activities?

    Group Mentoring is a part of TILPP. Both the mentoring and CLE components of TILPP satisfy the CLE requirement for Georgia’s Beginning Lawyers. All Lawyers subject to CLE requirements pay applicable fees for the production and logistical costs associated with programs. Further, Beginning Lawyers not in Group Mentoring still pay for their respective mentoring activities just as you do in Group Mentoring. Beginning Lawyers in Outside Mentoring and Inside Mentoring environments engage in mentoring activities during time periods when they would otherwise be generating income and/or billable hours.

  98. Yes

    We do have alternatives available; please contact us at LRE@gabar.org or 404-527-8797 for details.

    In addition, teachers, students and members of the public can access our Virtual Museum of Law at www.thelawmuseum.org. Visitors to the Virtual Museum will find informational animated videos about famous Georgia and U.S. trials, such as the Leo Frank case, as well as significant cases addressing civil rights, the importance of an independent judiciary, and cruel and unusual punishment. Students can take online quizzes to assess their understanding of individual cases, and teachers can access LiveBinders containing lesson plans, links to current events and other classroom resources. Instructions on how to view the LiveBinders can be found on each case's page.

  99. How are legal fees determined?

    The value of the professional services of the attorney are not easily measured since legal matters differ widely and no two factual situations are exactly alike. Therefore, in most instances, the fee will depend upon the factors involved in the specific case at hand and cannot be determined by any pre-established general fee schedule. The elements most often considered include:

    • the time and labor required, the novelty and difficulty of the question involved, and the skill needed to perform the legal service properly;
    • the likelihood that the acceptance of the particular employment will preclude other employment by the attorney;
    • the fee customarily charged in the locality by attorneys with comparable experience for similar legal services;
    • the amount involved and the results obtained;
    • the time limitations requested by the client or by the circumstances;
    • the nature and length of the professional relationship with the client;
    • the experience, reputation and ability of the attorney or attorneys, performing the services;
    • whether the fee is fixed or contingent.

  100. How do I obtain a temporary Bar Card?

    A temporary Bar Card can be printed by logging into your account and selecting Edit Personal Preferences from the menu options. You may also order a permanent Bar Card in this same area on the website.

     

  101. Bar License Fee Notices normally are mailed in the Spring. When are they due?

    The notices are always mailed in April or May and are due on July 1. A late fee of $75 is assessed on all payments after Aug. 1.

  102. How are the awards collected?

    In most cases, the losing party satisfies the award within 90 days. If this does not occur, the award may be filed with the Superior Court of the county of the losing party and it becomes the equivalent of a judgment of that court. It may be enforced by the parties just as any other Superior Court judgment. The State Bar of Georgia may be able to assist in the collection process, but its participation in the arbitration process normally ends with the filing of the award.

  103. How can I get more information about Fee Arbitration?

    Contact a member of the Fee Arbitration Program, or call the State Bar of Georgia at 404-527-8750, or 1-800-334-6865 extension 8750.

  104. How can I be sworn in to practice in the higher courts?

    You can contact the clerk of the court that you wish to practice in and they will arrange for you to be sworn in. You must first be admitted in Superior Court before you can be sworn in to the higher courts. Some of the telephone numbers for the higher courts are listed below:

    Supreme Court - 404-656-3470
    Court of Appeals - 404-656-3450
    U.S Court of Appeals - 404-335-6100
    U.S. Northern District - 404-215-1660
    U.S. Middle District - 478-752-3497
    U.S. Southern District - 912-650-4020

    In order to be notified of any mass swearing in ceremonies for the higher courts, email the Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar of Georgia by clicking here.

  105. How do I request Fee Arbitration?

    You complete a form known as a petition. This may be obtained by writing or calling the State Bar of Georgia's Fee Arbitration Program.

  106. How long does arbitration take?

    Many cases settle before an arbitration hearing takes place. Some do so within a few weeks, while others take much longer. If the arbitration process goes to conclusion without settlement, a case takes an average of 11 months to complete. Of course, some cases take less than this while more difficult ones may take longer.

  107. How do I change my status to active?

    If you have not paid your license fee for the year, simply mark your license fee notice and pay the active fee amount. If you have already paid the inactive fee for the year, mail a check for the difference between inactive and active fees along with a note and your Bar Number to: State Bar of Georgia, PO Box 102054, Atlanta, GA 30368-2054. If you are unsure of the amount to send, email membership@gabar.org and someone will be happy to assist you. If you would like to pay to activate your membership over the phone, please call us at 404-527-8777.

  108. How much will I pay for Fee Arbitration?

    Nothing in client/attorney disputes. The Fee Arbitration Program is a free public service of the State Bar of Georgia offered to attorneys and their former clients; however, if appeals, subsequent litigation or collection actions are required after an arbitration is concluded and an award is issued, the parties bear their own expense for such additional litigation.

    Attorneys who file a joint petition for Fee Arbitration for Attorneys or Law Firms are offered up to eight hours of arbitration free for the specific dispute. A modest hourly fee, divided equally between the attorney/law firm parties, is assessed after eight hours of arbitration.

  109. How do I change my status to inactive?

    If you have already paid active fees, you may send an email to membership@gabar.org and request that your status be changed. Be sure to include your Bar Number and the effective date. If you have not paid your license fee, the change can be indicated on the license fee notice and you may pay the inactive fee amount shown on the notice. You can also call us at 404-527-8777 and request that we update your billing to reflect inactive fees so that you can pay online.

  110. Is the Fee Arbitration award binding?

    Yes, both parties must agree to be bound. We cannot proceed with arbitration if one party does not agree to be bound.

  111. How do I login to the website?

    State Bar members, if you have created a username and password, please use the one you created. Proceed by clicking here.

    If you have not created an account, your default username is your Bar number, and your default password is your last name plus your birth year all lowercase, i.e., name1950. If creating a new password, it must contain 7 characters including letters and numbers. Upon logging in, you may change both under "Update Password/Username." If you need help logging in to the website, please contact the Membership Department at membership@gabar.org or 404-527-8777.

  112. What if my complaint is for faulty legal advice (malpractice) or negligence, an unsuccessful trial strategy or ineffective assistance of counsel (tactics), or unethical conduct?

    • The State Bar has no program to handle cases or complaints for faulty legal advice (malpractice) or negligence, an unsuccessful trial strategy or ineffective assistance of counsel (tactics). You may wish to get legal advice about other possible remedies.
    • Complaints alleging the unethical conduct of attorneys may be addressed with the Client Assistance Program (CAP) of the Office of the General Counsel of the State Bar of Georgia. Please call CAP at 404-527-8759 or write them at the State Bar of Georgia’s headquarters address in Atlanta for more information.
    • The Fee Arbitration Program is designed to handle disputes that are primarily fee oriented. If your case is really founded on faulty legal advice (malpractice) or negligence, an unsuccessful trial strategy or ineffective assistance of counsel (tactics), or unethical conduct, the Committee has the discretion to terminate or suspend any fee arbitration, and except in unusual cases, that is what will occur.

  113. How do I obtain a disciplinary history?

    Please Note for Complete Disciplinary History Requests: Pursuant to Bar Rule 4-224 of the State Bar of Georgia, all grievances which do not result in discipline against the respondent are expunged from our records after a period of either one or two years.  

    A disciplinary history is provided as a letter from the Office of the General Counsel for $15 per letter. Requests will be processed and mailed within 10 business days. 

    To order and pay for your disciplinary history online, please login by clicking here and proceed to the Store. 

    To pay by check, log in to the member portal and download the form. Send the completed form and payment to the Office of the General Counsel, State Bar of Georgia, 104 Marietta St. NW, Suite 100, Atlanta, GA 30303, Attn: Karen Cooper. The check should be made payable to State Bar of Georgia.

    If you are no longer a member of the State Bar of Georgia and you need a copy of your disciplinary history, contact Karen Cooper at 404-526-8634 or karenc@gabar.org for assistance.

    Questions? Contact Karen Cooper, 404-526-8634 or karenc@gabar.org.

  114. What can clients do to avoid fee disputes in the future?

    Always ask your attorney for a written fee agreement. Although written fee agreements are not required for most fee types, having a written fee agreement helps clarify what the attorney will charge. Ask the attorney questions if you do not understand the agreement. This is critical because a clear initial agreement tends to prevent subsequent disputes. If you were renting a house, you would likely ask if the costs of electricity, water and garbage pickup were included in the rental price. You should ask questions about the agreement and which services the attorney will provide under it. Arbitrators, in most cases, cannot render an award that is contrary to the terms of an executed written fee contract.

    Ask your attorney specific questions. For example, will you be charged each time you call or email the attorney? Does the fee include providing updates to you on a regular basis? What does "regular basis" mean to the attorney? Will the fee increase if the case takes longer than either of you expect? Even though itemized bills are not required, ask the attorney for an itemized bill if the attorney charges by the hour so that you will know how much the case is costing as it progresses.

    Some attorneys will take your case on a "contingency" basis when you pursue a case against someone for money. This means you will not be charged attorney’s fees if you lose the case. If you win, you pay the attorney a percentage of the settlement or judgment. Before you agree to a contingency fee, make sure you understand how it will work in your case. What will the attorney's percentage be? Will it be taken from the total amount awarded or after expenses are subtracted? Ask the attorney to explain the difference between the attorney’s fee and the expenses related to your case. Will the attorney’s fee increase if the case is filed in court? Will the fee be more if you lose in the trial court, but appeal the decision to a higher court and win?

    Most attorneys charge retainers. Get a clear understanding as to whether the retainer is refundable or nonrefundable in the event the case or your attorney/client relationship concludes prior to its expected time.

  115. What does my disciplinary history letter include?

    A disciplinary history letter includes all grievances that have not been expunged, all confidential discipline, public discipline and membership status.

  116. What is expected of you at the arbitration hearing?

    Arbitration hearings are informal. You may be required to swear to tell the truth, but that is the only part of the arbitration that resembles a court trial. Either party may elect to be represented by an attorney, but representation by an attorney is not required at the hearing. The Fee Arbitration Program was designed so that the clients can present their side of the dispute without incurring the expense of employing a second attorney to reduce the fee requested by the first attorney. However, hiring an attorney for the fee arbitration process is your decision. If you feel that the amount in issue or other reasons warrant you having your own attorney present, you may be represented by the attorney of your choice. If you do elect to have an attorney present, the fee for the attorney is your responsibility.

  117. How do I obtain information about Admission on Motion (Reciprocity)?

    Under some circumstances, Georgia offers admission on motion without examination to lawyers who are licensed in another jurisdiction. Out-of-state lawyers who wish to apply for admission on motion without examination to the State Bar of Georgia should visit the website of Georgia's Office of Bar Admissions: www.gabaradmissions.org. Each jurisdiction may have different eligibility requirements. Please contact the Office of Bar Admissions at 404-656-3490 for more detailed information.

  118. What should the client do if his or her lawyer's bill seems too high?

    The petitioner is required to make a good faith effort to resolve the dispute prior to filing a petition for fee arbitration. Review your written fee agreement and itemized bills, if applicable. If you had no agreement whatsoever, the law provides that the attorney is entitled to a reasonable fee taking into consideration all factors including those previously listed. If the bill still appears to be higher than your agreement, or seems unreasonable, speak with your attorney about the fees in question. Frequently, disputes can be prevented by you and your attorney discussing your concerns. Ask your attorney to explain why the bill is higher than you expected. You may find out the case was more complicated and took more time than you realized. On the other hand, the attorney may agree that there is a billing mistake. If, after discussing the situation with your attorney, you have not come to a satisfactory solution, you may wish to file a fee arbitration petition.

  119. When is a grievance expunged?

    If you receive a grievance and that grievance is dismissed by the Office of the General Counsel, the grievance will be expunged from our database and records after one year from the date of dismissal. If the Grievance is assigned to the State Disciplinary Board and is subsequently dismissed, that grievance will be expunged from our database and records two years after the date of dismissal.

  120. What if I need my disciplinary history letter sooner than 10 business days?

    Suppose you need your disciplinary letter in less than 10 business days. In that case, you may email us a Federal Express shipping label, and your letter can be sent to you by overnight or second-day delivery. Contact Karen Cooper at 404-526-8634 or karenc@gabar.org to arrange a FedEx shipment of your disciplinary history letter.

  121. Who are the arbitrators?

    There are normally three arbitrators. Two of the arbitrators are attorneys who must have a minimum of five years' experience practicing law. The third arbitrator is a non-lawyer public member. In cases in which the disputed amount is $2,500 or less, one lawyer arbitrator may decide the case. All arbitrators serve voluntarily and without payment. These arbitrators decide your case, not the State Bar of Georgia. The role of the State Bar is to facilitate the fee arbitration process by coordination and administration of the program.

  122. Does my disciplinary history letter include a certificate of good standing?

    Does my disciplinary history letter include a certificate of good standing?

  123. Does my disciplinary history letter include a certificate of good standing?

    No. You must order a letter of good standing from the membership department. You can order the letter in the Store on our website.

  124. What cases may be arbitrated?

    In general, all disputes between clients and their attorneys over fees may be arbitrated. There are a few exceptions as follows:

    • Cases involving fees charged by an attorney who is, or was, not licensed to practice law in the state of Georgia at the time the services were performed.
    • Cases involving services performed outside of Georgia or from an office located outside of Georgia.
    • Cases in which there was no express or implied attorney/client relationship between the parties at the time the legal services in question were performed.
    • Cases in which the disputed fee is $1,000 or less.
    • Cases in which fees are governed by law or statute.
    • Cases in which the full amount or all terms have already been fixed or approved by order of a court.
    • Cases filed more than two years after the date on which the controversy first arose.
    • Cases in which the petition fails to include the following information:
    1. date;
    2. signature of petitioner;
    3. the identities of both the client and the attorney and the contact information for both;
    4. a statement of the nature of the dispute and the particulars of the petitioner's position, including relevant dates;
    5. a statement indicating the petitioner has made a good faith effort to resolve the dispute and the details of that effort;
    6. the agreement of the petitioner to be bound by the result of the arbitration.
    • Cases in which the petitioner's claim does not appear to have merit.

    If your case is determined to be covered by one or more of the foregoing exceptions, you will be notified that jurisdiction is declined. While this means that no arbitration hearing will be conducted, it does not affect other rights that you may have under Georgia or federal law.

  125. I am a member of the State Bar of Georgia and my information in the online directory is incorrect. Who must I contact to fix it?

    The Online Directory is a direct reflection of the State Bar of Georgia's membership database. To change this information, you can change your address online by clicking here, or email membership@gabar.org.

  126. I am not employed yet, should I wait to be sworn in?

    You have one year from the date you received your certificate of eligibility from Bar Admissions to be sworn in. If you do get sworn in, you have 60 days from the date you were sworn in to apply for admission to the State Bar of Georgia. The fiscal year for the State Bar of Georgia is July 1 through June 30. Membership license fees are prorated by month for the first year you are a member.

  127. I have a hardship right now and cannot pay my license fee. Is there a hardship exemption I can apply for or can I make payments?

    Dues must be paid in full by the 9/1 date or you will be ineligible to practice. If you are not practicing, you can pay the inactive fee and later in the year convert to active.

  128. I have just been notified that I passed the Bar Exam. What do I do now in order to practice?

    All of the materials necessary to enroll with the State Bar of Georgia are available on the website and can be accessed by clicking here.

  129. I have to appear in court but my license fee is unpaid, can I still appear in court?

    After 9/1 of each Bar year, unpaid members members are ineligible to practice law until their license fees are paid.

  130. I wish to check my membership status, or check the membership status of an attorney. Who should I speak to?

    The State Bar of Georgia's Membership Department maintains and updates each bar member's status. For information about your membership status, or to make sure an attorney is in good standing, please check our online membership directory which is updated daily. If you still have questions call the Membership Department at 404-527-8777 or e-mail membership@gabar.org.

  131. If I am inactive and wish to take CLE hours anyway, are there any restrictions?

    Up to two years of CLE hours (24 credit hours) taken while inactive can be carried over and applied when you reactivate.

  132. If I go inactive, how difficult is it for me to become active again?

    Please contace us at 404-527-8777 to make a payment over the phone or send a check for the difference in active and inactive fees for that year. Be sure to include your Bar Number and a note that you would like to become active. The check should be sent to:
    State Bar of Georgia
    P.O. Box 102054
    Atlanta, GA 30368-2054

  133. If I have already paid the active license fee for the year, would a portion of my fee be refunded if I become inactive?

    Due to the complexities and time involved with refunds for status changes, we do not refund any portion of the active license fee.

  134. If I have decided I do not want to keep my membership, how do I resign? If I decide to reinstate after I have resigned, can I do that?

    Bar Rule 1-208 states that members who would like to resign their membership need to petition the Executive Committee for leave to resign from the State Bar of Georgia. Members who desire to resign their membership need to fill out the Official Petition for Resignation and and email the form to membership@gabar.org. Members may resign while in good standing with the State Bar. Members may also resign while delinquent or suspended for failure to pay license fees, or for failure to comply with CLE requirements. The process to be reinstated after resignation is similar to the process for non-payment of license fees. After the five-year period, you will be required to retake the Bar Exam to be readmitted. Click here for Official Petition for Resignation. Click here for full text of Rule 1-208.

  135. If I live out of state and do not practice in Georgia, am I required to go inactive?

    You are not required to change to inactive status. In order to eliminate the CLE requirement if you are not practicing in Georgia and live out of state, you may file an out of state exemption. Please contact CLE at 404-527-8710 for additional information about CLE.

  136. Now that I have passed the Bar, where can I get sworn in?

    Any Superior Court Judge in the State can swear you in. You can make an appointment by contacting the clerk of the court in the county that you choose. A directory of Superior Court Clerks can be found at www.gsccca.org/clerks. If you reside out of state and wish to be sworn in by proxy, contact the Fulton County Superior Court Clerk’s office at 404-613-4217 or email nicholas.cotten@fultoncountyga.gov for additional information. They will require a copy of your original certificate of eligibility and a copy of a state issued ID.

  137. What are the benefits of being inactive?

    As an inactive member, you are not required to complete CLE hours and your license fee is lower. However, inactive status requires that you do not practice law in Georgia. A possible disadvantage is the fact that if you plan to use your Georgia license to be admitted by reciprocity to another jurisdiction, the other jurisdiction often requires that you have been active 5 of the last 7 years.

  138. What happens if I do not pay my Bar License Fee

    A late fee of $75 is assessed after 8/1 and you are ineligible to practice after 9/1. Another late fee of $100 is assessed after 1/1 (Total Late Fee $175). After the second year of unpaid status, your membership status is changed to administratively suspended. Your membership will remain as administratively suspended for a five year period starting after the first year that you did not pay your annual license fee. During this five year period, you may reinstate by being recertified thru the Fitness process with Bar Admissions, completing several administrative requirements and paying additional penalty fees, license fees and late fees. After the five-year period, you will be required to retake the Bar Exam to be readmitted.

  139. Where can I find information about admission to the State Bar of Georgia?

    The Office of Bar Admissions is the administrative arm of the Supreme Court of Georgia responsible for the admission of attorneys to the practice of law in Georgia. This office has a website separate from the State Bar of Georgia's which can be accessed by clicking here: Office of Bar Admissions

  140. While on inactive status, would I have to take CLE hours? Are there other requirements to maintain inactive status besides paying inactive dues?

    You are not required to take CLE hours while you are inactive. There are no other requirements to maintain your inactive status. You may remain inactive for an unlimited amount of time. While you are inactive it is very important to keep your address updated with the Bar and pay your license fee. You may change your address by clicking here.

  141. Would I have to take CLE hours to regain my active status from inactive?

    You will owe CLE for the year you activate in as well as any hours that you owed CLE from prior years when you deactivated. These hours would need to be completed by March of the following year.

    NOTE:
    You will owe CLE for the current year even if you are only active for one day, week, etc. during the year. Be sure to consider this when you are activating at the end of a year.

  142. Can I electronically submit the application and fee(s)?

    You can upload the pro hac vice application and pay the required fee(s) online via credit card.

    If you do not wish to submit the application and fee(s) electronically, you can send them via mail. The check or money order should be made payable to the State Bar of Georgia and submitted directly to the State Bar of Georgia with a copy of the application.

    You can pay the renewal annual fee (and late fee, if applicable) online via credit card. Every December, the applicant and sponsor will receive the necessary information regarding how to pay the renewal annual fee (and late fee, if applicable) online via credit card.

  143. When will I be admitted into the case?

    You are admitted into the case when the court enters an order granting your admission.

  144. Which rule should I follow for pro hac vice admission?

    If you are seeking pro hac vice admission in a State or Superior Court of Georgia, please review Uniform Superior Court Rule 4.4.

    If you are seeking pro hac vice admission in a Magistrate Court of Georgia, please review Uniform Magistrate Court Rule 7.5.

    If you are seeking pro hac vice admission in the Georgia State Board of Workers' Compensation, please review State Board of Workers' Compensation Rule 102 (A)(3) and Uniform Superior Court Rule 4.4 here.

    If you are seeking pro hac vice admission in the Georgia Statewide Business Court, please review Rule 4-4 of the Georgia Statewide Business Court.

    If you are seeking admission pro hac admission in the Supreme Court of Georgia, please review Rule 4(8) of the Supreme Court of Georgia.

    Please note: The State Bar of Georgia only reviews pro hac vice admissions for Magistrate, State, Superior Courts, Georgia Statewide Business Court and the Georgia Board of Workers’ Compensation.

    If you are seeking pro hac vice admission in a Probate Court of Georgia, please review Uniform Probate Court Rule 3.3.3.

    If you are seeking pro hac vice admission in the Court of Appeals of Georgia, please review Rule 9(c) of the Court of Appeals of Georgia.

    If you are seeking pro hac vice admission in the Supreme Court of Georgia, please review Rule 4 (h) of the Supreme Court of Georgia.

  145. Does pro hac vice admission transfer from court to court?

    No, your admission does not transfer from one court to the next court. You must file a separate pro hac vice application in each court. 

  146. Does the State Bar of Georgia have a sample pro hac vice application?

    Yes, but you can only use the sample application for these courts: Magistrate, State, Superior Courts, Georgia Statewide Business Court and the Georgia Board of Workers’ Compensation.

  147. Does the State Bar of Georgia keep a list of potential sponsors?

    No, the State Bar of Georgia does not keep a list of potential sponsors for pro hac vice applicants. 

  148. Does the State Bar of Georgia provide pro hac vice applicants with a bar number?

    No, pro hac vice applicants do not receive a bar number. 

  149. I am having difficulty finding a sponsor; can the State Bar of Georgia waive the sponsorship requirement?

    No, the State Bar of Georgia cannot waive the sponsorship requirement.

  150. I was granted admission in December and the case continued into the following year, will I have to pay the $200 annual fee in January?

    Yes, you will have to pay the renewal annual fee.

  151. Is a certificate of good standing required?

    Uniform Superior Court Rule 4.4 does not require a certificate of good standing. Supreme Court of Georgia Rule 4(8) does require a certificate of good standing.

  152. Should I notify the State Bar of Georgia that the case is closed?

    Yes. Please send an email to phvannualfee@gabar.org and provide the full name of the applicant, the applicant’s email address, case number(s), caption of the case(s) and status of the case(s).

  153. Should I notify the State Bar of Georgia if there are any changes to the applicant or sponsor’s contact information?

    Yes. You can email Nariah Dancy at nariahd@gabar.org.

  154. Should I wait for an order granting admission before I serve the State Bar of Georgia with a copy of the application?

    No, do not wait to serve the State Bar of Georgia with a copy of the application.

  155. The Complaint has not been filed yet. Can I serve the State Bar of Georgia with a copy of the application?

    No, there needs to be a case number in order for the State Bar of Georgia to process the application. 

  156. What is the fee for pro hac vice?

    There is an annual fee of $200 and an application fee of $75.

    For the first pro hac vice filed in a calendar year, submit a total of $275 (annual and application fees), unless you already paid the annual fee for a previous application. For any additional pro hac vice filed in the same calendar year, submit $75 (application fee). You can upload the pro hac vice application and pay the required fee(s) online via credit card.

    If you do not wish to submit the application and fee(s) electronically, you can send it via mail.  The check or money order should be made payable to the State Bar of Georgia and submitted directly to the State Bar of Georgia with a copy of the application.

    Further, for every subsequent year that you remain admitted in any case in Georgia you must submit the annual fee of $200 by Jan. 15. Failure to pay the annual fee by Jan. 15 will result in a late fee of $100. The annual fee and late fee must be paid no later than March 1 of that year.

    Every December, the applicant and sponsor will receive the necessary information regarding how to pay the renewal annual fee (and late fee, if applicable) via credit card online.

    If you do not wish to submit the renewal annual fee electronically, you can send it via mail. The check or money order should be made payable to the State Bar of Georgia and submitted directly to the State Bar of Georgia. Include the applicant’s name, case caption(s), case number(s) and status of the case(s) in the cover letter.

    Failure to pay the annual fee and late fee may result in disciplinary action and the attorney may be subject to prosecution under the unauthorized practice of law statutes of this state. Please review Rule 5.5 (l) of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct.

  157. What is the pro hac vice process (for the following courts: Magistrate, State, Superior, Georgia Statewide Business Court and the Georgia Board of Workers’ Compensation)?

    Applicants are required to file the notarized original pro hac vice application with the court in which they seek to appear, and send a copy of the application along with the fee(s) (either online or via mail) to the Office of the General Counsel of the State Bar of Georgia. Where possible, applicants should include the name of the judge assigned to hear the case and inform the Office of the General Counsel of any upcoming hearing or trial date in the body of the cover letter submitted with the copy of the verified application and fee.

    Once the State Bar of Georgia reviews the copy of the pro hac vice application, a letter will go to the court informing it whether the application complies with the Rule. The applicant and sponsor will receive a copy of the letter. Only the court has the authority to grant or deny your admission.

  158. What information should I include when submitting the renewal annual fee?

    For every subsequent year that you remain admitted in any case in Georgia you must submit the annual fee of $200 by Jan. 15. Failure to pay the annual fee by Jan. 15 will result in a late fee of $100. The annual fee and late fee must be paid no later than March 1 of that year.

    Every December, the applicant and sponsor will receive the necessary information regarding how to pay the renewal annual fee (and late fee, if applicable) via credit card online.

    If you do not wish to submit your renewal annual fee (and late fee, if applicable) via credit card, you can pay by check or money order (payable to the State Bar of Georgia). Please provide the full name of the applicant, case number(s), caption of the case(s) and status of the case(s). Please note the renewal annual fee is per attorney not per case.