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Lawyers continue pattern of generous contributions

State Bar members continued in 2006 their pattern of making generous contributions to a variety of entities that assist in the bar’s mission of promoting access to justice and enlisting young people to pursue the path to become a lawyer.

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As of April 30, bar members statewide had donated a total of $2,318,000 in non-dues money via their 2006 fee statements to efforts that help craft and achieve legislation, provide scholarships to law students, educate the public about consumer rights and responsibilities, eliminate bias in the legal profession and preserve the history of our courts and system of justice.

Of the total contributions:

  • Nearly 10,000 lawyers chose to make donations totaling $480,000 to the Foundation of the State Bar, an increase from 9,150 lawyers donating $437,000 at the same point in 2005.

    The Foundation (fsbcal.org), which receives no State Bar funding, uses its proceeds to assist young people in developing an interest in the law and in going to law school on scholarships. It also sponsors a Legal Heritage Institute for high school students and helps support the State Bar’s three major public education guides: Kids & the Law: An A-to-Z Guide for Parents, When You Become 18: A Survival Guide for Teenagers and Seniors & the Law: A Guide for Maturing Californians.

  • Some 8,350 bar members donated more than $205,000 to the Confer-ence of Delegates of California Bar Associations, up from 7,460 members giving 183,250 at this time last year.

    The conference (cdcba.org), which also receives no bar funding, is an independent organization that separated from the State Bar four years ago. Each year, the conference meets in conjunction with the State Bar’s annual meeting and provides a forum for local and specialty bars to debate resolutions, many of which eventually become law.

  • Nearly 7,600 lawyers contributed $186,000 to the California Supreme Court Historical Society, up from 6,760 lawyers giving more than $164,700 at this point in 2005.

    The historical society (cschs.org) works to preserve California’s rich judicial and legal history through a variety of projects, from archiving the Justice Stanley Mosk collection at the California Judicial Center Library to expanding public tours at the Supreme Court building.

  • Some 146,000 members elected to make the donation of $5 each to the State Bar’s elimination of bias effort, for a total contribution of nearly $730,400 as of April 30. This compares to 141,850 lawyers giving $709,250 at the same time last year.

    These donations help fund efforts that receive no bar dues funding to maintain communications with voluntary bar associations or programs that address concerns of bias in the profession and justice system.

  • More than 143,000 lawyers elected to make the donation of $5 each to the bar’s lobbying activities, for a total contribution of $716,400. This compares to more than 138,300 lawyers contributing $691,700 as of April 30, 2005. This fund helps support the bar’s lobbying and legislative activities in Sacramento throughout the year.

Total donations through April 30 run about $131,400 more than at the same point last year, when lawyers had contributed $2,186,600.

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