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Utah State Bar Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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Below are some of the most common question that the Utah State Bar receives. If you have a question of general interest that you could like to see answered here, please email to info@utahbar.org. We regret that specific legal questions cannot be addressed.

What is the Utah State Bar?
The Utah State Bar is an organization of Utah's 7,500 lawyers and judges. The history of the Utah State Bar began in the early 1900's with the association of several Utah lawyers hoping to improve communication within the legal community and to find ways of serving the general public. In 1931 the Utah Legislature recognized the need to foster those goals and designated the Utah State Bar by statute to manage and regulate the legal profession by licensing all persons who engage in the practice of law. In 1985, the Utah State Constitution was amended to clarify that regulation of the legal profession should be performed under the Judicial Branch of government through the Utah Supreme Court, and the Bar was "perpetuated, created and continued" to perform regulatory and public interest services under the direction and control of the Supreme Court.

Today's Bar envisions its role as leading society in the creation of a justice system that is understood, valued, respected and accessible to all. Within that vision, we have established a mission of representing lawyers in Utah and serving the public and the legal profession by promoting justice, professional excellence, civility, ethics, respect for and understanding of the law.

The membership of the Bar includes active and inactive lawyers, and lawyers who reside within and outside the State of Utah. In order to practice law in the State of Utah, it is necessary to be a member of the Utah State Bar. The Utah State Bar maintains offices at 645 South 200 East in Salt Lake City, Utah in the Utah Law and Justice Center. The Bar officers include a president and a president elect who are elected from a commission of 11 lawyers, 2 public members, and several ex-officio members. The Bar has an office staff with various responsibilities related to the administration of the practice of law and services to lawyers and services to the public.

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How do I become a lawyer?
Specific rules govern admission to the Utah State Bar. To practice law in Utah, it is necessary to graduate from an American Bar Association accredited law school and pass a review of the Character and Fitness Committee according to adopted rules, and complete the bar examination. The bar examination consists of essay and multiple choice questions. Applicants must also successfully pass the Multi-state Professional Responsibility Examination.

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How do I find a lawyer?

  • Find a Utah Lawyer Directory - Search for a Utah lawyer using simple forms, information on common practice areas, and frequently asked questions about attorneys and legal services. MORE>>>
  • The Utah State Bar has partnered with LegalMatch to help you find a pre-screened Utah lawyer. Describe your legal issue and interested lawyers will provide a personalized response. Compare lawyers by experience, ratings & more. Then choose the lawyer right for you. Post your case today! It's Free!

    For those individuals whose disability prevents access to the Internet, LegalMatch maintains a toll-free number: 866-678-5342. For all others wishing assistance through this call-in service, there will be a fee.

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What if I cannot afford a lawyer?
The need for legal services for the middle-class and poor in Utah far exceeds the resources available. However, Utah lawyers volunteer in several programs to provide legal services on a low cost or pro bono basis. The Tuesday Night Bar program offers an opportunity to meet with a lawyer and discuss whether the matter needs further legal attention. Referrals may be given to providers of legal services at low or no cost. There are several pro bono legal services organizations.

The Utah State Bar has a pro bono volunteer coordinator to ensure that those lawyers who desire to provide free services to the poor are coordinated with referral agencies. The pro bono service coordinator at the Bar is not a referral agency for individuals seeking legal assistance.

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How do I File a Complaint Against an Attorney?

If you are having problems working with an attorney you may contact the Consumer Assistance Program for help. They will require a written complaint to begin working with you and your attorney to help resolve problems.

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Will a lawyer or judge speak to my group?
The Utah State Bar has formed a speakers bureau which arranges presentations by lawyers or judges on topics of current interest. Presentation available through the speakers bureau have been made to church and civic groups, community organizations, business groups and many others.

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What is lawyer discipline?
The Utah State Supreme Court has delegated much of the responsibility of disciplining lawyers to the Utah State Bar. Lawyers who are found to have breached basic rules of ethics or legal constraints are subject to the Rules of Discipline. The lawyer discipline process begins by the filing of an informal complaint by an aggrieved party and if merit is found in the complaint, and resolution is not reached between the aggrieved party and the attorney, the matter is eventually filed in Utah District Court.

If a dispute with a lawyer revolves around fees, Fee Arbitration is available to lawyers and clients. For clients who have brought a claim against an attorney but have been unable to obtain satisfaction of the claim because of debt, bankruptcy or insolvency, the Client Security Fund may provide recovery in some instances.

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How do I get answers to a simple legal question?
There are many resources available for answer of simple legal questions. These include informational brochures available from the Bar, the opportunity to ask questions at the Tuesday Night Bar, or other legal clinics.

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What is the Utah Law and Justice Center?
The Utah Law and Justice Center is a building constructed through the generous donations of the community and attorneys. It not only serves as offices for the Utah State Bar, but serves as a location for several alternative dispute resolution providers and services. It has several meeting rooms which are used by organizations of all types. Services relating to the meeting rooms are also provided.

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The Utah State Bar presents this web site as a service to our members and to the public. Information presented in this site is NOT legal advice. Please review the Terms of Use for more policy, disclaimer & liability information - Utah State Bar email:webmaster@utahbar.org