Records of attorney discipline, including disbarment, are tracked by each state's attorney discipline organization, which is usually part of the state bar association, notes FindLaw.com. Most of these organizations have websites that provide online attorney look-up options or information for the correct department to contact to research whether an attorney is licensed to practice law in the state.
The process for researching whether an attorney has been disciplined varies by state. The Washington State Bar Association, for example, provides a searchable lawyer directory and a discipline notice search on its website. The discipline notice search allows users to search by attorney name, bar number, discipline type or professional rule broken, according to the Washington State Bar Association. The bar association's Office of Disciplinary Counsel also provides attorney discipline information over the phone.
In Michigan, the Attorney Discipline Board provides an attorney database on its website that includes all notices of attorney discipline and reinstatement since 1978. Users can access the database based on the last name of an attorney. The state bar association also keeps an online directory of actively licensed attorneys in the state, notes the Attorney Discipline Board. The directory includes attorneys that were suspended from active practice for non-disciplinary reasons, such as failure to pay bar dues.