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You've passed the bar! Huzzahs all around, and with any luck you have a job waiting for you as well.
But as the sparkles and warm fuzzies of bar passage fade, you'll enter the cold, unfeeling world of being in active practice, and you will be assaulted with emails about your local bar associations.
So, to the clear and present question: Are these local bar associations worth joining?
What Are Local Bar Associations?
Well, unlike your resident state bar association, those guys you paid hundreds of dollars for the privilege of taking the bar exam, the local bar associations (LBAs) are made up of groups of lawyers in your city/region and who are in your practice area.
They most often find you by spamming your state bar profile, which in all states is required to have an updated mailing address, so even before your bar card arrives, you will be inundated with letters from orgs like the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA) or the Houston Bar Association (HBA).
What Do LBAs Offer?
Mostly they offer food for the many toothed monster that lives in all paper shredders, but spam aside, they provide attorneys with these four M's:
There might also be some fringe benefits such as coupons/discounts on car rentals, malpractice insurance, or Westlaw subscriptions.
How Much Do They Cost?
The price of annual admission to these LBAs depends on which one you plan on joining and how long you've been practicing.
Case in point, the LACBA offers memberships ranging from $125 for members admitted to the in 2011 or later, and up to $275 dollars for members admitted in 2002 or earlier.
It's up to you to decide how important it is for you to join based on the possible benefits and your budget. And as a new lawyer, you may not have money to burn on several annual membership fees.
You have student loans remember?