CBA membership frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Benefits of Membership in the Canadian Bar Association (CBA)

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Membership in the CBA helps you enhance your career and hone your skills. We also advocate on your behalf and are committed to giving you the resources you need to improve your practice.

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You can begin to enjoy the benefits of membership in the CBA as soon as your payment has been processed by our offices. When you join online and select either of the pre-authorized payment methods, you become active as soon as your payment is processed by the CBA National Member Services. If paying by credit card, this is within 24-48 hours. For those paying by bank debit, your membership becomes active once CBA National Member Services receives a copy of your VOID cheque by mail, fax or email.

Joining the CBA

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Membership is reserved for lawyers and judges (notaries in Quebec) or those currently pursuing a legal education to become lawyers. The CBA offers a number of membership categories, depending on where you are in your career cycle. You can join the CBA as a law school student, an articling student, a lawyer, a scholar, retiree, or if you have been called to a Bar or Law Society outside of Canada. Read about our various membership categories and rates

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You may join the CBA at anytime throughout the year. Join online now.

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The CBA’s membership year runs from September 1 to August 31 each year.

CBA Sections and Forums

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A section is a specialty group that focuses on a unique area of law or business, such as Immigration Law or Business Law. Sections allow for more in-depth examination of issues, regulations, national and global trends in that specific area.

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The CBA has ten Forums, which are groups that bring together members with common interests:

  • Canadian Corporate Counsel Association
  • Canadian Judges' Forum
  • French Speaking Common Law Members
  • Law Student Forum
  • Legal Profession Assistance Forum
  • Public Sector Lawyers Forum
  • Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Forum
  • Small, Solo and General Practice Forum
  • Women Lawyers Forum
  • Young Lawyers - Canadian Bar Association
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Joining one or more Sections or Forums can help you grow your legal skills, keep abreast of the latest developments in your area of practice, and gain a competitive edge. CBA Sections and Forums provide members the opportunity to network with peers, government and the judiciary, develop valuable skills, influence policy and legislation, grow their profile within the profession, and exchange ideas with colleagues and leaders from around the world.

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You must join a section through your provincial or territorial branch. When you enroll as an active member of a section at the CBA branch level, you are automatically enrolled in the corresponding national Section. Please contact your CBA branch for information on how to enroll in a Section. 

CBA Membership – Portfolio and Portfolio Options

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Portfolio and Portfolio Plus are upgrades that help you maximize the value of your CBA membership. By purchasing one of these pre-arranged bundles of CBA products and services, you save much more than if purchased separately.

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As a member, you may purchase Portfolio and Portfolio Plus options when joining or renewing online, by phone or email, or at any time throughout the membership year.

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Education credits are a pre-determined dollar amount applied toward the purchase of various products, services and activities offered by the CBA, branches and the CCCA. They are part of the Portfolio and Portfolio Plus options. Education credits included in each option are only activated once we have received your payment. They are not valid beyond August 31 of the membership year for which they are purchased, are not transferrable, may not be shared and are completely non-refundable.

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Education credits can be used to purchase in-person and online professional development, Sections activities and enrolment fees (where applicable), print and video material, legal directories, subscriptions (excluding National and Bar Review), Mid-Winter Meeting fees, Conference fees, etc., during the applicable membership year. Education credits are part of the Portfolio and Portfolio Plus options.

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The amount of the rebate reward is based on the total dollar amount you spent on qualifying purchases (excluding membership and option fees), between July 1 and June 30 of the previous year. We apply the reward to your membership renewal invoice the following year. Depending on which Portfolio or Portfolio Plus option you select, your savings is equivalent to 3% or 5%. The rebate reward is only available through the CBA’s Portfolio and Portfolio Plus options. You will receive the rebate as a reduction on next year’s CBA membership renewal invoice. Should you choose not to renew your membership, you forfeit any accumulated rebate.

CBA Membership Fees

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Membership fees differ by your membership category and the branch you select. Please consult the fee table for your branch for more information.

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We offer discounts to law students, articling lawyers, new lawyers, retired legal professionals, non-practicing and part-time lawyers (if recognized by your law society or insurer), scholars and lawyers outside of Canada (i.e. associate members). You may also be eligible for discounts  through the Birth/Adoption Benefit Program and the Waiver of Dues Program.

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CBA members typically pay their annual membership dues by credit card online or by cheque through the mail. We also offer pre-authorized monthly payments by bank debit or credit card

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Generally speaking, the Canada Revenue Agency does not allow Canadians to deduct membership fees for professional associations unless the membership is a mandatory requirement to retain your professional status recognized by the law. CBA membership fees may be claimed in jurisdictions where CBA membership is mandatory (universal) and included with the Law Society’s fees. At present, only the Law Society of New Brunswick still requires its members to be members of the CBA.

Renewing Your Membership

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You will receive your annual membership renewal notice for the next membership year (beginning September 1) in mid-July. We appreciate your prompt payment, which helps us contain our mail expenses. Payment must be received by August 31 in order to remain in good standing.

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Please contact CBA Member Services at 1-800-267-8860 or email memberservice@cba.org.

GENERAL

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To retrieve your membership number, contact CBA Member Services at 1-800-267-8860 or email memberservice@cba.org.

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First ensure you've entered your last name and membership number correctly. Be sure to enter your last name only with all accents. Login problems are usually due to unpaid or overdue membership fees so check your records to ensure your dues are up-to-date. Then, contact the CBA Membership Department at 1-800-267-8860 or memberservice@cba.org so we can confirm your status. Assuming your membership is up-to-date, we will put you in touch with one of our technical staff to help you troubleshoot your access problems.