• Alternative Uses for the State Bar Directory

    My Arizona State Bar Membership Directory - aka Massive Dust Collector
    My Arizona State Bar Membership Directory – aka Massive Dust Collector

    I just paid $475 for the privilege of being a licensed Arizona attorney for the next year. One of the most frustrating things about having to pay for a mandatory state bar membership is watching the people in power spend it on things we don’t need or want – like a paper membership directory. It’s the phone book of lawyers. Every licensed attorney in the state gets one – and our dues pay to have it printed, shipped, and mailed to us every year.

    Some people like having a paper directory. I’m sure this is the same minority that still uses the regular phone book while the rest of us use the internet to look up whatever information we need. I wish there was a way to opt out of getting this, or at least limit it to one directory per law firm. I recently joined a law firm that has 7 other attorneys. We don’t need 8 directories!

    This situation made me think, “What would be a better use of our directories than letting them collect dust on the shelf for the year or automatically recycling them upon arrival?” I did some research and here are some of my favorite ideas.

    Make spit balls or paper airplanes to throw during boring CLEs

    Paper mache project


    Door stop (I’ve actually done this with my bar directory.)

    Booster seat for kids

    Cut a hole in the middle and hide stuff in it

    Garden mulch

    Wrapping paper (The minimalist in me loves this idea!)

    Kill bugs with it

    Alternative for packing peanuts


    I recently got a new desk and I’m pretty sure my bar directory is going to become my new foot rest. I can’t help my state bar membership directory fulfill its destiny as a phone book but I can give it a new purpose.

    What did you do with your state bar directory?