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Missouri is home to over 24,000 lawyers. This large number means that the state of Missouri has one of the highest ratios of lawyers to residents in the entire country at over 40 lawyers for every 10,000 residents. Additionally, there are approximately another 4,000 attorneys that are licensed to practice law in Missouri but do not live in the state. Therefore, there are over 28,000 members belonging to the Missouri Bar, which is the state’s mandatory bar association. Since all lawyers are required to belong to the Missouri Bar as part of being licensed to practice in the state, the Missouri Bar works to help out all of the legal community of Missouri.
The Missouri Bar offers a range of services to attorneys, including practice resources, educational opportunities, and networking opportunities. Attorneys are encouraged to join legal practice committees in order to focus on a specific area of law in the local region. In addition to serving the state’s attorneys, the Missouri Bar is also committed to aiding all of Missouri’s residents through educational programs and free informational pamphlets.
Aside from the Missouri Bar, a number of smaller bar associations exist in Missouri that are committed to benefiting attorneys located throughout the state. These associations offer membership on a voluntary basis. Popular associations serving particularized areas of law include the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys, and the Missouri Society of Health Care Attorneys. Members benefit through these associations by receiving newsletters and other informational resources concerning important legislative, court, and community information that impact the specific practice area.
Given the diverse population located throughout the state of Missouri, a number of bar associations exist to support attorneys representing minority groups. Minory bar association currently operating in Missouri include the Missouri Asian American Bar Association, the Hispanic Bar Association of Greater Kansas City, the Mound City Bar Association, and the Women Lawyers Association of Greater St. Louis. In order to support a sense of unity among professionals serving minority groups, these bar associations frequently host social events and other opportunities for lawyers and community leaders to network. The minority bar associations also directly benefit communities by providing scholarships and by ensuring that minority groups are represented in the state legislature.