In January, 1894, a group of prominent Utah Territory attorneys gathered in the Federal court building in Salt Lake City to develop the “organization, constitution and bylaws” to govern the practice of law in the Utah Territory. From these beginnings the Utah State Bar, formally established by the state legislature in 1931, has grown to an organization of more than 11,000 legal professionals focused on providing competent, ethical legal services.
The lawyers of the Utah State Bar serve the public and legal profession with excellence, civility, and integrity. We envision a just legal system that is understood, valued, and accessible to all.
Today’s Bar serves its members by providing quality, valuable tools to make working in the legal profession faster and easier. For the public, the Bar provides many low- and no-cost legal services and encourages attorneys to volunteer 50 hours a year to pro bono cases. To help lawyers give back through pro bono cases, the Bar provides lawyers with opportunities to connect with cases in their area of practice, no-cost meeting rooms at the Utah Law & Justice Center, and other helpful services.
The Utah State Bar is an organization of Utah’s 12,000 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 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 providing services to Bar members and to the public.
The Utah State Bar maintains offices at 645 South 200 East in Salt Lake City, Utah in the Utah Law and Justice Center. The Utah State Bar owns and operates the 33,000 square foot building known as the Utah Law & Justice Center. The Center provides low-cost meeting room space and, in pro bono cases, no-cost meeting room space. Services by the Center staff include organization of events, audio-visual rental, catering, low cost leases, tenant support, interior and exterior grounds maintenance, and security. The Utah Law & Justice Center meeting spaces are used for Bar committees, Bar section continuing legal education luncheons and Seminars, Mediations, Arbitrations, charitable and non-profit entities, educational sessions, public interest meetings, and association trainings