State Bar of California
Primary geographic focus: California Statewide
Organization Type: Court
Acronym or short name: Calbar
Created by the state legislature in 1927, the State Bar is a public corporation within the judicial branch of government, serving as an arm of the California Supreme Court. All State Bar members are officers of the court.
The State Bar’s commitment to expanding, supporting and improving the delivery of legal services to low- and moderate-income Californians is carried out by the Office of Legal Services (OLS). OLS has two components, the Center on Access to Justice and the Legal Services Trust Fund Program.
The Center on Access to Justice works to increase access to justice through:
- expanded pro bono efforts
- increased funding for legal services programs
- administration of the LRS certification program
- foreclosure resources
- staff support for three volunteer entities – the California Commission on Access to Justice, the Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services (SCDLS), and the California Pro Bono Coordinating Committee (PBCC).
The Legal Services Trust Fund Program is the grant-making arm of the Office of Legal Services. In accordance with legal requirements and the State Bar Rules, the Trust Fund Program administers revenue from the following sources that help fund civil legal services programs serving indigent Californians:
- Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA)
- Equal Access Fund
- Justice Gap Fund
Program staff works with the Legal Services Trust Fund Commission, comprised of 21 voting members and three nonvoting judges, who are responsible for determining applicant eligibility, monitoring recipient compliance and maximizing revenue. In addition to monitoring grantee compliance, the program is responsible for bank and attorney compliance with IOLTA requirements
In 2006, the State Bar board created a 25- member Council on Access and Fairness to provide leadership and guidance for the State Bar. Its charge is to ensure the legal profession reflects the rich diversity of the people of California in a way that is equally accessible and free of bias.
In 1990, the State Bar sponsored the creation of the California Bar Foundation, which advances the public’s understanding of the legal system and the role of attorneys in it. The foundation, which is supported by individual and corporate donations, also champions access to our system of justice by all people and works to foster confidence in the rule of law, the role of lawyers and the function of the judicial system.
This page last modified: Wed, September 23, 2015 -- 4:41 pm ET