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Sixteenth Judicial District Bar

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The Sixteenth Judicial District Bar conducts the following statute-mandated activities on behalf of Durham attorneys:

  1. Administers election of two Councilors to sit on the NC State Bar Council, the governing body for attorneys in North Carolina.

  2. Administers a judicial nomination process in the event of a vacancy, utilizing a process agreed-upon with the senior resident Superior Court judge and in compliance with state statute.

  3. Administers a public defender nomination process every four years and in the event of a vacancy, in conjunction with, and utilizing a process agreed-upon by, indigent defense services.

  4. Maintains a roster of attorneys assigned to the district and collecting $75 dues from each member, utilizes these funds to administer the district, as well as provides events and activities that advance the professionalism and collegiality of the bar, while advancing the cause of justice in the district.
In addition to these mandatory functions, the Sixteenth hosts the following events for its members throughout the year:
  1. The Raising the Bar 5K Run/Walk befitting a local charity, conducted in collaboration with the DCBA, Young Lawyers Division and our Bar Foundation, which is a 501(c)3.

  2. Fall picnic with families and children in October at Forest Hills Park

  3. Candidate forums for judicial election races as needed, typically in October

  4. A holiday social event in December

  5. An open house in the courthouse in March

  6. A spring social at Tobacco Road Sports Café on the patio overlooking a Durham Bulls game in April

  7. The Annual Meeting and luncheon in June, at which there are elections, awards, anniversary celebrations and a scholarship presentation.
Last but not least, the Sixteenth provides BarCARES services to its members. This important mental health benefit is explained in more detail on the BarCARES page.

The 16th is an active, vibrant, diverse organization and we welcome the participation of all attorneys in our events and programs!

Please click over to the Durham County Bar Association page to see the additional events in which members may participate if they choose to also join the voluntary bar here in Durham.

Mandatory Dues Questions and Answers

When must I pay dues?
Our fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30 of each year. The mandatory dues of $75.00, payable to the Sixteenth Judicial District Bar, must be paid within 90 days of the invoice. We encourage prompt payment so that time and energy can be focused on other matters. New attorneys do not owe for the first year. Dues are not prorated for those who transfer into the district mid-year. However, if you paid dues in your previous district prior to leaving, your Sixteenth dues can be waived, provided the fiscal years match up within a few months.

Are credit cards or cash accepted for payment?
Checks and postal money orders are accepted, as well as online payments. Cash is not typically accepted.

What if I just passed the Bar in the summer?
First year dues are waived, so your first dues payment will be owed in the year following that in which you were licensed.

What if I passed the Bar in February?
First year dues are waived, so your first dues payment will be owed in the year following that in which you were licensed.

If I move to the Sixteenth District in the middle of the fiscal year, must I pay dues?
Yes, unless you have documentation that you already paid dues to another District Bar for the same fiscal year. Please note that other district bars may not operate on a July 1 – June 30 fiscal year.

Is it my responsibility to advise the district Bar of any changes to my address or membership status?
Yes, you must first provide that new information to the NCSB, then you should also contact the district Bar. The State Bar does not routinely provide that information to the district bar, though we do request it and perform updates periodically.

What if I work in a business or teach, rather than practice law?
The requirement to pay district bar dues is not based on how or where you work. If you are on active status with the North Carolina State Bar, then you are required to pay dues to a district Bar.

What if I am not employed?
The requirement to pay district bar dues is not based on employment. If you are on active status with the North Carolina State Bar, then you are required to pay dues to a district Bar.

What if I move out of North Carolina?
If you move out of North Carolina and wish to retain your North Carolina license, you must pay dues to the North Carolina State Bar, and fulfill all other NCSB requirements. However, membership in a district bar is PROHIBITED for attorneys who do not reside in North Carolina. One must live and/or work in the district in order to be a district bar member.

What’s the connection to the DCBA?
The Durham County Bar Association (DCBA) is the voluntary organization for attorneys in Durham County. It is a separate, distinct organization from the mandatory Sixteenth Judicial District Bar. Any attorney may join the DCBA. Some attorneys belong to several voluntary bar associations in order to maintain connections with colleagues in other communities. Voluntary membership entitles you to attend the monthly luncheons, held on the second Wednesday from September though May, at no charge. Non-members and guests must pay a fee to attend a luncheon.

Membership in the voluntary Bar also allows you to attend without charge the CLE programs offered by the DCBA. The DCBA provides 12+ hours of CLE credit to its members during the year.

The DCBA operates on the same fiscal year as the Sixteenth Judicial District Bar. Invoices or a membership brochure are mailed to each attorney in the database of the Sixteenth . The payment of voluntary dues is requested prior to attendance at a luncheon meeting. However, you may join the voluntary at any time during the fiscal year.

We welcome your ideas and feedback on luncheon speakers, CLE programs, projects for the mandatory or the voluntary Bar and the ways we may better serve you.