Make A Difference:
Apply for appointment to a State Bar committee


Leadership of the State Bar not only involves the Board of Governors but also lawyers throughout California who make significant contributions to the profession by volunteering to serve on one of the State Bar's committees.

The State Bar's committees presently consist of 15 standing committees, 11 special boards, commissions and committees, and 17 section executive committees.

The standing and special committees advise and serve the Board of Governors with regard to concerns that relate to the administration of justice and the practice of law, or that affect the profession at large.

The State Bar sections address the concerns and interests of a specific segment of the profession. Each section's executive committee assists the Board of Governors in matters relating to the section and supervises the section's activities such as its educational programs, membership communications, publications and substantive committees.

Appointment considerations

Each year, the Board of Governors appoints approximately 200 new members to these committees. The board strives to make appointments that will achieve diversity and broad representation of the California legal community. The participation of all State Bar members is encouraged by the board. From time to time, the board may appoint representatives of other professions and members of the public to select committees.

The State Bar does not discriminate against persons on the basis of sex, race, color, ancestry, religious creed, national origin, physical disability (including HIV and AIDS) or mental disability, medical condition (cancer), age (over 40), marital status, denial of family care leave, political affiliation, sexual orientation, disabled veteran or Vietnam era veteran status.


Applicants may apply for a maximum of three committees but can be appointed to only one. No more than one member of a law firm or office may be appointed to a particular entity. In no case shall the Board of Governors appoint a person who is subject to disciplinary probation. Applicants for appointment to a section executive committee must be members of that section.

Term of appointment and time commitment

Members are appointed to serve three-year terms, with the exception of the Committee of Bar Examiners and the CEB Governing Committee, whose members serve four-year terms. On occasion, the board may appoint a member to fill an unexpired vacancy (i.e., the appointee serves only the remaining portion of the term of the member who resigned).

The State Bar's committee year runs from annual meeting to annual meeting. The 1997-98 committee year starts Sept. 14, 1997, and ends Oct. 4, 1998. Terms for the 1997-98 appointments commence Sept. 14, 1997.

Committees differ in the number of meetings scheduled in a year, but a typical meeting requires two to four hours' preparation and lasts four to six hours. The meeting locations generally alternate between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Committee members take an oath of office and receive no compensation for services. Committee members may be reimbursed for approved travel expenses, in accordance with the State Bar's travel policy and the committee's approved budget.

Application filing

Deadline for receipt of applications is March 3. (The application form in the January issue cited an incorrect deadline.) Every applicant must submit a 1997-98 application.

Application review and board appointment

Committees review the appointment applications in the spring and forward their recommendations to the Board of Governors. The Committee on Ethnic Minority Relations, the Committee on Sexual Orientation Discrimination, the Committee on Women in the Law, and the California Young Lawyers Assoc-iation may elect to review applications and make recommendations to the Board of Governors. The designated board committee will consider the appointments at its May meeting, and the Board of Governors will make the appointments at its July 1997 meet-ing. The ultimate authority to make appointments rests with the board.


Applicants are notified of the board's appointments not later than the last day of the State Bar annual meeting (Sept. 14, 1997). Those appointed are notified as early as possible to allow their participation at the annual meeting. Applications of those not selected are kept on file to consider for any vacancies that may arise later in the committee year.

List of committees

The committees to which applicants may apply are listed below. For additional information on the areas of interest of the committee or section, eligibility requirements, special qualifications sought, participation of non-lawyers, number of meetings, etc., please contact the appointments office or the committee's staff administrator at 415/561-8855 or 213/765-1585.

Standing Committees


Administration of Justice
   Northern section 6
   Southern section 5
Appellate Courts 6-7
Bar Examiners 2
CEB Advisory Committee 9
Ethnic Minority Relations 6
Federal Courts 5
Group Insurance Programs 2
Legal Professionals with Disabilities 5
Mandatory Fee Arbitration 4
Minimum Continuing Legal Education 4
Professional Liability Insurance 5
Professional Responsibility & Conduct 6
Rules & Procedures of Court 5
Sexual Orientation Discrimination 5
Women in the Law 6

Special Committees, Boards and Commissions

Client Security Fund 3
Governing Committee, CEB 1
California Legal Specialization Board 5

Legal Specialization Advisory Commissions:

Appellate Law 3
Criminal Law 5
Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law 4
Family Law 4
Immigration and Nationality Law 4
Personal & Small Business Bankruptcy Law 3
Taxation 5
Workers' Compensation 2

Section Executive Committees*

Antitrust & Trade Regulation Law 7
Business Law 7
Criminal Law 7
Environmental Law 6
Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law 6
Family Law 5
Intellectual Property 6
International Law 5
Labor and Employment Law 6
Law Practice Management & Technology 4-5
Legal Services 6
Litigation 7
Public Law 5
Real Property Law 6
Taxation 5
Workers' Compensation Law 2

*Only members of the section may apply for positions on the section's executive committee. Section enrollment forms are available from the State Bar's Office of Section Education & Meeting Services, 415/561-8210.