Open Records Requests
Requests for Records (Open Records Requests)
The State Bar of Texas is committed to upholding the Texas Public Information Act and ensuring public access to its records. All State Bar of Texas records are available to the public unless an exception to disclosure listed in the Public Information Act (Texas Government Code Chapter 552) or other law applies.
Submit Your Request Online Now
Use our Open Records Center to submit a public records request electronically and browse frequently asked questions. The Open Records Center is available for online requesters to submit, track, and access requests and responses. As of May 29, 2020, all new requests will be processed through the Open Records Center. Requests may be submitted through mail, fax, email, or in person as referenced below.
The State Bar posts reports and many other documents on its website to support open government (see “Access Records Online,” below). For example, statistics and analysis information regarding the composition of the bar membership is also available online at texasbar.com/research. The State Bar is not required to perform legal research, answer legal or other questions, or create new documents. For non-records requests for customer service, submit your inquiry here.
Tips on Making a PIA Request:
Be specific about the records you seek. Consider providing the following:
Whether you seek records regarding yourself or another.
The time frame of the records, e.g., records from this year, this most recent event, and/or provide a date range.
The department or people with whom you have coordinated that maintain the records, if known.
Whether you seek public information or also confidential information (typically excepted from disclosure under the Public Information Act).
A phone number and/or email so we can contact you for clarifications.
Review the records already online before sending your request.
To speak with someone about making a request to help refine the search, call (512) 427-1555.
What to Expect When You Submit a Request:
This document outlines the rights and responsibilities of requesters and governmental bodies under the Texas Public Information Act and provides additional information about the process. When you submit a request, you can expect a response as promptly as possible, but if a response will take more than 10 business days you will receive one or more of the following:
A response with the records requested, which may include redactions allowed by law.
A request for clarification or to narrow a voluminous request.
A request for proof of identification if seeking confidential records on yourself, or proof of representation if representing an individual.
A cost estimate for requests that will cost over $40 in staff or computer resources. You will be given an opportunity to accept the estimate and submit pre-payment before continued processing of your request (see costs below).
A request for an Attorney General Ruling regarding the applicability of exceptions under the Texas Public Information Act.
A certification that more time is needed to compile a response along with the estimated date and time the records are anticipated to be ready.
Frequently Requested Records
Most frequently requested items and links to this information online
|Frequently requested||Description, purpose, and relevance|
The State Bar posts statistical, performance, and related information online.
Archives is the official repository for the permanently valuable records of the State Bar.
The Board of Directors meets quarterly under the Texas Open Meetings Act, which includes an annual meeting each summer.
The Chief Disciplinary Counsel posts grievance history on lawyer’s online full profile and related documents.
Elections and election results are found here.
The State Bar presents information regarding budget and audits including quarterly reports.
The State Bar posts governance information online.
Post or apply for legal jobs in Texas.
Each attorney updates profile information on the State Bar website annually.
Learn about the board of directors, its meeting activities, and its agendas.
The official publication of the State Bar of Texas, the Texas Bar Journal contains notices of rules, disciplinary actions, governance information, and other items.
Access Records Online
The State Bar provides self-service access to these records:
Search the Find-a-Lawyer directory here
Verify an attorney is licensed and history of licensure in Texas here
View an attorney’s public grievance history here
Legal resources for the public and useful websites:
State Bar Website - For the Public here
Texas Law Help – Self-Help Information here
Texas Law Help – Useful Websites here
Texas Legal Answers here
Frequently requested online information:
Who passed the bar exam? The Texas Board of Law Examiners publishes online the names and dates of individuals who have passed the bar exam by exam date.
What are the qualification requirements to practice law? The Texas Board of Law Examiners publishes the Texas Rules Governing Admission to the Bar.
Who is licensed as an attorney to practice law in Texas? After passing the bar exam and/or otherwise meeting the above qualifications published by the Texas Board of Law Examiners, attorneys register online or by mailing a paper registration card to the State Bar. For more information, go here.
What contact and practice information must attorneys post online? Attorneys must create and annually update an online public profile on the State Bar website that contains their license date, primary practice location, law school of record, and out-of-state disciplinary information, if applicable. Learn more here.
What grievance information is available about attorneys? See “Grievance Complaints and Investigation Files” below.
Where can I find the Texas Bar Journal online? As the publication of record for the State Bar of Texas, the Texas Bar Journal publishes significant public information of historical value about State Bar activities, performance, policies, and finances, as well as rules issued or amended by the Supreme Court of Texas and the Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas affecting the practice of law in Texas. To read the Texas Bar Journal, go here. To search the online archive of the Texas Bar Journal from 1938 to the present, go here and click the red “Search the Archive” button. For help with archival searches of the online resources, email the State Bar archivist at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Access Records in Person
Requests for other State Bar of Texas records may be requested and picked up in person. Records may not be available the same day as requested. Appointments for pickup may be necessary.
State Bar of Texas
Austin, TX 78701
Attn: Public Information Coordinator
Access Information by Phone
For other State Bar departments that may provide records to you in the course of handling your question, complaint, or other service, contact us.
For the Public:
Barratry (Unauthorized Practice of Law) Hotline (to report cases) (866) 224-5999
Grievance Process Information Helpline (800) 932-1900
Grievance Status Update (866) 224-5999
Contact the Lawyer Referral & Information Service (800) 252-9690, (877) 9TEXBAR
Advertising Review (800) 566-4616
Ethics Helpline for Texas Attorneys (800) 532-3947
SBOT Job Openings (512) 427-1489
Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program for Attorney Mental Health and Substance Abuse Help (800) 343-8527 (TLAP)
For Media, Reporters, and Researchers:
Media and Reporter Inquiries texasbar.com/media; (512) 427-1706 or (800) 204-2222, ext. 1706
Research and Analysis of Demographics and Economic Trends (512) 427-1724
Historical Information (512) 427-1311
State Bar Main Phone (512) 427-1463
Toll-Free Phone (800) 204-2222
Access Records by Written Request
To obtain confidential records regarding yourself, please provide proof of identification such as a copy of your government-issued photo ID.
To obtain confidential records of someone you represent, please provide a signed authorization from the person or entity, proof of your legal representation, a court order authorizing the State Bar of Texas to release the records, or an explanation of your authority to obtain the confidential records.
For records regarding a person other than you, that information may be confidential by law and the State Bar may not be authorized by law to release such information without a signed authorization from that person.
How to Submit Your
Send the required information to make a request by mail, email attachment, or fax, or deliver in person during our business hours. If you submit the request electronically, be sure to encrypt any confidential data.
SBOT Public Information Act Requests
1414 Colorado St., Ste. 300
Austin, TX 78701
State Bar of Texas Public Information Act Requests
1414 Colorado St. (check in at front desk)
Austin, TX 78701
Cost of Copies
The State Bar uses the public information cost rules set by the OAG in determining the charges for providing copies of public information or for making public information available for inspection under the Public Information Act. Information may be requested in paper or electronic format. Postage charges may apply. Common charges for requests are:
Standard paper copy: $0.10 per one-sided page
Programming: $28.50 per hour
Manipulation of data: $15 per hour
Other Staff Labor: $15 per hour
Overhead charge: 20% of personnel time charge
If costs are estimated to exceed $40, the requestor will be provided with an itemized estimate of charges and required to accept the charges in writing before the request is completed. The State Bar of Texas requires payment before the information is provided. If actual costs differ from estimated costs, overpayments or amounts owed will be reimbursed or billed as appropriate.
About State Bar Records
For a listing of records by department or program type, or by state records series, see the State Bar Records Retention Schedule under “Bar of Texas, State.”
Some State Bar records are confidential by law and can be released only to specific people based on their role in a claim or file. Generally, you must have been directly involved in the claim or case and in some cases it must be closed to get a copy of a State Bar of Texas investigation record.
Examples of our confidential records include:
Personal Information on State Bar Members—Attorney home addresses, home telephone numbers, email addresses, Social Security numbers, and dates of birth are confidential provided the member chooses to restrict public access and notifies the State Bar of the choice. See Section 552.1176, Texas Gov’t Code.
Grievance Complaints and Investigation Files—The Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure contain confidentiality provisions that govern the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel’s ability to respond to media inquiries. See Rule 2.16 of the Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure. This rule outlines what information is confidential at various stages of the disciplinary process.
Generally, disciplinary proceedings of an evidentiary panel and the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel are confidential with the following exceptions. See Section 81.0752, Texas Gov’t Code.
When disciplinary records become public—If the evidentiary panel concludes and finds that professional misconduct has occurred and imposes a public sanction, the public sanction information is available.
The evidentiary panel's final judgment is a public record from the date the judgment is signed, even if the judgment is subject to appeal.
Once all appeals have been exhausted, the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel may provide, upon request, all statements, documents, and other information relating to the disciplinary proceeding that came to the attention of the evidentiary panel.
Public Court Documents—If a disciplinary action is before a district court, filed documents and information are public and available as in other civil trials. Copies of documents are publicly available in the district court files, many of which have online document retrieval systems.
For more about the sanctions process, go here.
Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program Communications—Generally, all communications with the Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program, or TLAP, are confidential. See Texas Health and Safety Code, Section 467. There are limited exceptions to this confidentiality, such as when an individual is a danger to himself or herself or others. You can reach TLAP at (800) 343-8527 (TLAP). For more information, go here.
The State Bar of Texas complies with all laws and rules on the release of confidential records, including who is and is not entitled to certain information and whether some information must be redacted (removed) from the record before it is released. If the record you are seeking exists and you are entitled to it, then the State Bar will review and redact it to ensure its release complies with applicable laws and rules. The review process may include removing specific personal and identifying information. However, members of law enforcement agencies and certain other entities including those with subpoena authority may get records without redaction for the administration or enforcement of a law.
Access Statistics for External Research or Studies
The State Bar of Texas encourages well-founded research regarding its statistics, which are located online at texasbar.com/research.
Contact the Research and Analysis Department:
By Email: email@example.com
By Phone: (512) 427-1724 or (800) 204-2222, ext. 1724
State Bar of Texas
Department of Research and Analysis
P.O. Box 12487
Austin, Texas 78711-2487
For additional information about rights of requesters, responsibilities of the governmental body, and the procedures for inspecting or obtaining a copy of public information under the PIA, go here.