Whether you’re a law student, a CPA or court reporter, an attorney, a judge, perhaps even a realtor or fiduciary, or even a newly-admitted attorney, the San Mateo County Bar Association has a huge list of reasons to join today!

Student members receive free membership until you’ve passed the Bar exam. We understand school costs plenty, so join the SMCBA for free! Attorneys who are new to the SMCBA also get their first 12 months of membership free. What better way to experience what we have to offer!

There are many ways SMCBA helps the local community:

The Lawyer Referral Service helps connect people in need of legal assistance with qualified attorneys who are members of the Bar.

The Private Defender Program is a one-of-a-kind program in California that has been providing indigent criminal defense in San Mateo County for over 40 years!

The Fee Arbitration Program provides clients and attorneys with a neutral, informal, and low-cost way to settle fee  disputes that arise between the parties.

The Speakers Bureau encourages members who are part of the Bar to visit local groups, schools, and organizations to present on various legal topics.

Since 1985, the SMCBA has partnered with the San Mateo County Board of Education and Superior Courts to host the Mock Trial Program.  SMCBA provides attorney coaches and mentors for participating high school students who are interested in becoming attorneys. The  Women Lawyers’ Mentoring Program, created by the Women Lawyers’ Section, is open to all members seeking mentorship or who are willing to become mentors. Also, if you are an avid volunteer and want to participate in a myriad of volunteer opportunities, join the Legal Clinic or Community Affairs committees. The SMCBA has over 15 standing committees that members may join.

Members of the SMCBA also have numerous opportunities to accumulate Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) hours throughout the year. If you’re a member of a section, you receive specially discounted rates to that section’s events! The Bar has many sections that relate to particular fields of procedural or substantive law (e.g. Barristers, Estate Planning and Probate, Family Law, Real Estate, etc.) and each section offers MCLE opportunities.

Additionally, the SMCBA offers Funky Credit Day once a year as an opportunity for members of the Bar to attend MCLE events in some of the more specialized areas, and earn those hard-to-obtain credits! There is more information about MCLE, as well as our partnership with West – a Thomson Reuters business, on our Member Benefits page.

The San Mateo County Bar Association also publishes four different publications! The monthly Here-Say Newsletter provides members with information on upcoming events and news from SMCBA and its community partners.

The Docket, SMCBA’s annual magazine, contains an expanded view of the various events in San Mateo County along with articles written by and for members of the Bar, as well as personal stories of challenge and triumph.

The once-every-three-years Membership Directory and Lawyers’ Guide is an all-encompassing compendium of both Attorney and Associate members and serves as the best quick reference book for members of the San Mateo County Bar Association!

Law and Motion, SMCBA’s electronic newsletter provides members with up-to-the-minute information on events and news. All four of these publications come free to you if you’re a member of the San Mateo County Bar Association.

The San Mateo County Bar also offers a new, highly interactive website. Here members can now register for events, renew their memberships, update their contact information, and learn more about what SMCBA has to offer its members. The Bar also uses email listservs and periodic email campaigns to keep members up-to-date and informed about news, events, and offers from SMCBA. It’s a free and fantastic way to stay informed!

If you’ve heard enough and are ready to start your membership with the San Mateo County Bar Association today, just click here for the application!