The Tompkins County Bar Association was incorporated in 1912 when a group of lawyers met to promote “the science of jurisprudence, the administration of justice, and to maintain the integrity, honor, courtesy and dignity of the profession of law.
Democratic in concept and operation, our association operates under traditional parliamentary procedure, with officers and directors elected by a majority vote of the membership. Policy decisions are made by the Board of Directors. Special committees are set up within the organizational framework to conduct research into essential fields of activity and to study pending legislation. The committees include, but are not limited to, Mentoring, Social, Membership, Legislative, Professional practices, Grievances, Judiciary, Auditing, Memorial and Continuing Education. A constitution and by-laws are continually being reviewed by the members of the Association. Originally, the Bar Association had the power to deny membership and censor and punish lawyers who, after a full hearing, had been found to have conducted themselves in an unbecoming manner. The current authority to censor or punish lawyers is left to the New York State Office of Court Administration.
CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION
The Bar Association has a long tradition of improving the legal education of its members and educating the community about their services. For years, the Association has provided services to the community, including membership on many area boards, free legal advice, and “community schools” facilitated by local attorneys. The Association continues to strive to have a responsible membership with a community presence.
Through continuing legal education either arranged locally through Bar Association members or in conjunction with state and national groups, area attorneys are provided the opportunity to increase their knowledge in the practice of law. Although educational programs have been offered for many years a certain number of yearly credits are required by state authorities.
JOINING THE TOMPKINS COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION
Application for membership in the Bar Association can be done online by clicking here or by filling out this form. Any member of the legal profession in good standing and admitted to practice in a state or territory of the United States of America, or in the District of Columbia or in a foreign country, who is a resident in or has an office of the practice of law or a law-related profession in Tompkins County, may become a general member in the Association. Individuals retired from the legal profession while in good standing may be ex-officio members, and honorary members may include judges of the courts of record while they hold office and any other member of the legal profession as voted upon by the Association. The Association collects dues, has monthly meetings, conducts an annual meeting to determine the Board of Directors, and conducts further business as required. The Bar Association provides a monthly newsletter to its members and a copy of past issues can be viewed by clicking here.