The unique contributions of memory B cells and plasma cells in kidney diseases remain unclear. In this review, we evaluate the clinical experience with treatments directed at B cells, such as rituximab, and at plasma cells, such as proteasome inhibition, to shed light on the role of these two B lineage compartments in glomerular diseases. Specifically, analysis of these targeted interventions in diseases such as ANCA-associated vasculitis, SLE, and antibody-mediated transplant rejection permits insight into the pathogenetic effect of these cells. Notwithstanding the limitations of preclinical models and clinical studies (heterogeneous populations, among others), the data suggest that memory B and plasma cells represent two engines of autoimmunity, with variable involvement in these diseases. Whereas memory B cells and plasma cells appear to be key in ANCA-associated vasculitis and antibody-mediated transplant rejection, respectively, SLE seems likely to be driven by both autoimmune compartments. These conclusions have implications for the future development of targeted therapeutics in immune-mediated renal disease.