Firm or Agency Compliance Instructions
Before submitting your firm or agency’s updated Excel file as shown below, please read the following instructions:
- Explanation of Overall Process: It is important that firm billing replicate the paper dues statement process as closely as possible. The paper dues statement includes dues, section fees, and a voluntary $150 ATJ contribution in the total State Bar payment to be made. The Supreme Court of Texas has also requested that attorneys affirmatively opt out if they do not wish to make the ATJ contribution. Therefore, the Excel spreadsheet used for firm billing includes both the bar dues and the $150 ATJ contribution for each attorney at your firm, and additionally requires you to confirm that each attorney has been contacted regarding the ATJ contribution. Once you return the completed spreadsheet, the Bar will add the section fees and send you a final bill for all items.
- Compliance with Instruction to Contact Attorneys Individually: How each firm chooses to contact attorneys about the ATJ contribution is up to that firm. Suggestions include:
- Sending a group email to all firm attorneys stating that the firm will be paying their bar dues (and section fees, as applicable) and asking the attorneys to let you know if they want to make the ATJ contribution.
- Sending an individual email, calling, or visiting, each attorney to ask if they want to make the ATJ contribution.
- ADDITIONAL INSTRUCTIONS on Completion of Excel Spreadsheet: It is anticipated that many attorneys will not respond when you ask if they want to make the ATJ contribution, so a “no response” option has been added. Please complete the spreadsheet as follows:
- For those that respond “Yes” to $150 amount:
- Leave the $150 in the $150 ATJ Contribution column.
- For those that respond “Yes” to another amount:
- Change the $150 in the $150 ATJ Contribution column to the amount the attorney wishes to pay.
- For those that respond “No” to affirmatively opt out of the ATJ Contribution:
- Put $0 in the $150 ATJ Contribution column, and
- Put an X in the opt out column.
- For those that do not respond:
- Put $0 in the $150 ATJ Contribution column, and
- Put “NR” (no response) in the opt out column.
(DO NOT EDIT THE FORMAT OF THIS FORM)
Supreme Court of Texas suggested $150 ATJ contribution or other amount
Put “X” in field below if attorney chooses to opt out of ATJ contribution. Put “NR” if attorney did not respond.
- Final Steps in Firm Billing Process
- Return the completed spreadsheet to the Bar.
- The Bar will create an invoice, including dues, section fees, and the ATJ contribution for attorneys who affirmatively stated they wished to make it, and email it to you.
- Review of invoice provided:
- Make any corrections to section fees, add new hires, etc., and send to Bar.
- The Bar will revise and resend a corrected final invoice.
- Firm pays the final invoice.
- Other Information
- Additional efforts will be made by the Bar, the Texas Access to Justice Commission, and law firm leaders to follow up with attorneys who do not respond regarding the ATJ contribution.
- Further Instruction for Completing Excel Spreadsheet:
- Do not include attorneys who are no longer with your firm or agency, or who will leave your firm prior to May 1, 2012.
- New hires included in your firm’s Excel file should make sure their new firm information, including address and phone number, is updated on the Bar’s database. Members can update their information online via the Bar’s website at www.texasbar.com. Select “My Bar Page” and login using their Bar number and PIN or password. Select “Update My Profile” to edit contact information.
- New hires recently licensed in Texas by the Board of Law Examiners who have not registered with the Bar cannot be included in the Excel file. They must join the Bar separately. New attorneys will receive a packet in the mail from the Board of Law Examiners. They will need to follow the instructions provided in the packet and remit the paperwork and fees due to register with the State Bar of Texas and obtain their bar number.
- Members who have recently changed their name must change it with the Supreme Court of Texas before the new name is updated in the Bar’s database. Do not use the new name in the Excel file if the new name is not yet registered with the Court. For information regarding a name change, go to http://www.courts.state.tx.us/.
- To avoid any delays in your processing, please submit both the participation form and the Excel file in the original format as attachments to your email to email@example.com by March 1, 2012.
- When we receive your correspondence, we will prepare an invoice(s) and email it to the firm coordinator. Once the final invoice(s) has been submitted, no changes can be made. Bar dues (including section memberships and the ATJ contribution) are payable to the Clerk of the Supreme Court. The Attorney Occupation Tax/Legal Services fee are payable to the Texas State Comptroller. Please mail a copy of the invoice(s) along with your payment to the State Bar of Texas, Membership Department, P. O. Box 12487, Austin, TX 78711.
- If your firm or agency does not pay optional fees, personal checks for section memberships or ATJ contributions can be returned with your firm or agency payment, but each check must include the attorney’s bar number and details of how the check should be applied.
- To avoid processing delays or late fees, please remit your payment no later than April 16, 2012.