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Who Are We?

Welcome to the Web Page of the Sixteenth Judicial District Bar, the mandatory bar organization for attorneys who live or work in Durham County, North Carolina. This is also the Page for the Durham County Bar Association (DCBA), the voluntary organization for attorneys in Durham County, as well as the Durham Bar Foundation, Inc. our charitable, 501 (c) 3 organization.

What is the Sixteenth JDB? Who are the members?

The State of North Carolina is divided into Judicial Districts. A licensed attorney must belong to a district Bar in order to maintain good standing as an active attorney in North Carolina. You may belong to only one district Bar, either in the location of your residence or the location of your employment, but not both. You can obtain more details about the requirement to pay dues to a judicial district Bar by checking the North Carolina General Statutes (NCGS §84-18) and/or by checking with the North Carolina State Bar (NCSB) at

What do JDB’s do, other then collect dues?

The mandatory Bar has various responsibilities and functions derived from North Carolina statutes. The members of the Sixteenth Judicial District Bar elect two councilors to the NC State Bar Council. In addition the members of the Sixteenth, not the general public, elect the candidates from whom the Public Defender for the District is appointed. The members also submit nominations for judicial appointments when a new district court judgeship is created or a vacancy occurs. In addition, formal grievances that are not handled by the NCSB are referred to the Grievance Committee of the Sixteenth Judicial District Bar.

The Sixteenth provides coffee for jurors waiting in the Jury Pool Room in the Durham County Judicial Building, and works in a variety of other ways to both improve the administration of justice, the image of attorneys and the quality of life for attorneys in Durham County.

In addition, the Sixteenth hosts candidate forums for judicial races, a fall picnic, a charity 5K run called “Raising the Bar,” a holiday party, a spring open house, a patio luncheon overlooking the Durham Bulls Ballpark, and an annual meeting in June. All of these events are open to all members of the Sixteenth at no charge beyond mandatory dues payment.

Dues are $75 per year and are payable upon receipt of invoice for the Sixteenth Judicial District. Invoices are sent in July for the fiscal year running July 1 – June 30. While many members pay by check, electronic payments via this web site are also welcome, just be sure to know your NC State Bar ID number before you start to pay.

What is the DCBA?

The Durham County Bar Association was incorporated in 1982 and is the voluntary Bar for attorneys in the area. Any licensed attorney in good standing can join the DCBA, including those who are not assigned to the Sixteenth Judicial District Bar. There are a number of attorneys assigned to other districts elect to participate in Durham’s voluntary Bar.

They do so in part because the DCBA hosts events during the year which provide 100% of the statute-mandated CLE hours that every licensed attorney must obtain. In addition, the DCBA provides luncheons and social events that are only for its members.

Dues are $125 and are paid without regard to a member’s mandatory district assignment. Those who intend to pay Sixteenth JDB dues may do so on the same check or web payment because the Sixteenth JDB and DCBA share a common fiscal year and billing process. Members who do not pay at the beginning of the fiscal year should pay DCBA dues as soon as they decide to start attending events, which extend from September to May.

Other Ancillary Organizations

Durham has several excellent smaller organizations which may capture the attention of attorneys from a variety of backgrounds and with several different practice specialties. These include:
  • The Young Lawyers Division of the DCBA
  • The George H. White Bar
  • Durham Orange Women Attorneys
  • Criminal Law Bar
  • Family Law Bar
Other pages on this web site contain more information about these groups.

Thank you for visiting our site! Please check out our other pages to learn more about our activities.