The General Council met for the first time in 1934, resulting from a cooperative relationship forged between the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) and the Conference of County Bar Associations. The purpose of the General Council is set forth in the association’s bylaws:
- To serve as a forum for county and specialty bar associations, and sections and committees of the association,
- To bring to the attention of the NJSBA leadership matters of concern to the organized bar that have an impact on the practice of law and the role of lawyers in society,
- To foster more effective communication within the organized bar and enhance the association’s ability to take action on matters of common concern, and
- Annually elect a member of the NJSBA Nominating Committee, the body that recommends the leadership of the association.
Membership in the General Council is governed by Article VI of the association bylaws, and is limited to: NJSBA officers, current and past trustees, past presidents, committee chairs, section officers and designated delegates, county and specialty bar association officers and designated delegates, New Jersey State Bar Foundation officers, and American Bar Association delegates.
The General Council may recommend to the NJSBA Board of Trustees such action as deemed appropriate. This is usually done in the form of resolutions. The trustees may accept, reject or modify a General Council recommendation, and must advise the General Council of its determination within 90 days of the General Council meeting.