2018-2020 Reporting Period Extension Notice:
The deadline for completion of the Bridge the Gap program was extended to 36 months for any attorney admitted between July 1, 2018 – December 31, 2020.
(a) Obligation. Newly admitted members are required to complete a mandatory
Bridge-the-Gap Program sponsored by the State Bar within twenty-four months after
admission to the West Virginia State Bar. The mandatory Bridge-the-Gap Program shall be
provided by the State Bar at least twice per year at locations within West Virginia. The
Bridge-the-Gap Program will be provided free of charge to newly admitted members.
Continuing legal education credit shall be available for completing the mandatory Bridge the-Gap Program.
(b) Suspension. Any lawyer subject to this requirement who fails to complete the
mandatory Bridge-the-Gap Program within six months after written notice of noncompliance
from the Commission shall have their license to practice law in the State of West Virginia
automatically suspended until such lawyer has complied with this requirement. Any member
of the West Virginia State Bar otherwise in good standing who is suspended for failure to
complete the mandatory Bridge-the-Gap Program shall be reinstated as a member of the
West Virginia State Bar upon completion of the mandatory course, payment of a
reinstatement fee of $200, and fulfillment of any other administrative requirements.
(c) Exemption. A member required to complete the Bridge-the-Gap Program may,
upon application to and approval by the Executive Director, be exempted from the
requirement if: (1) the member can certify having been admitted to practice in another
jurisdiction for a minimum of five years; or (2) the Commission can certify that the member
has completed a comparable mandatory new lawyer training program offered by the state bar
of another jurisdiction of at least seven credits, including two credits of legal ethics, office
management, attorney well-being, or elimination of bias in the legal profession. The request
for an exemption must be filed no later than twenty-four months after admission to the West
Virginia State Bar and no extensions of time are permitted.
(d) Extension of time. The time for completion of the Program may, upon application
to and approval by the Commission, be extended. Written applications for an extension must
be received by the Commission no later than thirty days after the deadline to complete the
Program or obtain an exemption. If the written application includes supporting
documentation that demonstrates hardship or other good cause for an extension, the member
will be permitted to complete the Program at the next regularly scheduled opportunity. If the
application for extension does not demonstrate hardship or good cause warranting an
extension, the member must pay a late fee of $200 and complete the Program at the next
regularly scheduled opportunity.