Senate-approved plan would promote legal services for low-income Californians

Allyson Escobar
September 15, 2015


Lawmakers approved and sent to Governor Jerry Brown a plan to help low-income residents have greater access to legal services. The bill, known as Senate Bill 134, would allow the State Bar to collect unclaimed donations from members to fund a student loan repayment program for public interest attorneys.

“Every year, thousands of young lawyers graduate from law school with a desire to launch their careers performing public service,” said Sen. Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys), who helped author the bill. “Faced with skyrocketing education costs, however, more and more of our finest legal minds are opting instead to go straight into private practice.”

Supporters of the bill include the California Public Defenders Association, California State Conference of the NAACP, Equal Justice Works, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Legal Aid Association of California, Hastings and McGeorge law schools, Ventura County Public Defender’s Office, and Worksafe.

The proposal was unanimously approved in June by the state Senate. Gov. Brown has 30 days to sign, veto, or allow the bill to become law without his signature.

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Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Aid Association of California (LAAC), Worksafe