(a) Two Classes of Membership
Members of the North Carolina State Bar shall be divided into two classes: active members and inactive members.
(b) Active Members
The active members shall be all persons who have obtained licenses entitling them to practice law in North Carolina, including persons serving as justices or judges of any state or federal court in this state, unless classified as inactive members by the council. All active members must pay the annual membership fee.
(c) Inactive Members
(1) The inactive members shall include:
(A) all persons who have been admitted to the practice of law in North Carolina but who the council has found are not engaged in the practice of law or holding themselves out as practicing attorneys and who do not occupy any public or private position in which they may be called upon to give legal advice or counsel or to examine the law or to pass upon the legal effect of any act, document, or law, and
(B) those persons granted emeritus pro bono status by the council and allowed to represent indigent clients on a pro bono basis under the supervision of active members working for nonprofit corporations organized pursuant to Chapter 55A of the General Statutes of North Carolina for the sole purpose of rendering legal services to indigents.
(2) Inactive members of the North Carolina State Bar may not practice law, except as provided in this rule for persons granted emeritus pro bono status, and are exempt from payment of membership dues during the period in which they are inactive members. For purposes of the State Bar's membership records, the category of inactive members shall be further divided into the following subcategories:
This subcategory includes those members who are not engaged in the practice of law or holding themselves out as practicing attorneys and who hold positions unrelated to the practice of law, or practice law in other jurisdictions.
This subcategory includes those members who are retired from the practice of law and who no longer hold themselves out as practicing attorneys. A retired member must hold himself or herself out as a "Retired Member of the North Carolina State Bar" or by some similar designation, provided such designation clearly indicates that the attorney is "retired."
(C) Disability inactive status
This subcategory includes members who suffer from a mental or physical condition which significantly impairs the professional judgment, performance, or competence of an attorney, as determined by the courts, the council, or the Disciplinary Hearing Commission.
(D) Disciplinary suspensions/disbarments
This subcategory includes those members who have been suspended from the practice of law or who have been disbarred by the courts, the council, or the Disciplinary Hearing Commission for one or more violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct.
(E) Administrative suspensions
This subcategory includes those members who have been suspended from the practice of law, pursuant to the procedure set forth in Rule .0903 of subchapter 1D, for failure to fulfill the obligations of membership.
(F) Emeritus pro bono status
This subcategory includes those members who are permitted by the council to represent indigent persons under the supervision of active members who are employed by nonprofit corporations duly authorized to provide legal services to such persons. This status may be withdrawn by the council for good cause shown pursuant to the procedure set forth in Rule .0903 of subchapter 1D.
History Note: Statutory Authority G.S. 84-16; G.S. 84-23
Readopted Effective December 8, 1994
Amended March 6, 2008; March 6, 2014