The West Virginia State Bar is an agency of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia. The West Virginia State Bar serves approximately 9,000 active and inactive, in-state and out-of-state West Virginia licensed attorney. The mandatory Bar was formed in 1947. It is governed by a 25 member Board of Governors elected from across the State. The organization receives no State funding. Its activities are funded through membership dues, service fees and other self-generated revenue.
“The objects of the West Virginia State Bar shall be to protect the interests of the public; to advance the administration of justice and the science of jurisprudence; to improve the relations between the public and the bench and the bar; to uphold and elevate the standards of honor, integrity, competency and courtesy in the legal profession; and to encourage cordial relations among its members.
It is the purpose of the West Virginia State Bar to give effect to the pertinent rules of the supreme court of appeals of West Virginia, and to perform the functions expressed in this constitution and by-laws.”
Statute Creating West Virginia State Bar
51-1-4a. Rules governing practice of law; creation of West Virginia State Bar; providing its powers, and fees for administration.
(d) Organizing and governing by and through all of the attorneys at law practicing in this state, an administrative agency of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, which shall be known as “The West Virginia State Bar.” The West Virginia State Bar shall be a part of the judicial department of the state government and is hereby created for the purpose of enforcing such rules as may be prescribed, adopted and promulgated by the court from time to time under this section. It is hereby authorized and empowered to perform the functions and purposes expressed in a Constitution, bylaws and amendments thereto as shall be approved by the Supreme Court of Appeals from time to time. All persons practicing law in this state shall be members of the West Virginia State Bar in good standing: Provided, however, That the West Virginia State Bar shall not become operative until its Constitution and bylaws shall first have been submitted to all attorneys at law practicing in this state, including those presently serving in the Armed Forces of the United States, for the purpose of securing the suggestions and recommendations of all such attorneys at law, for a period of at least sixty days prior to the entry of an order by such court approving said Constitution and bylaws.