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Legal services awards nominations available

The guidelines and nomination forms for the State Bar’s legal services awards will be available in mid-January. The awards are:

  • The Loren Miller Legal Services Award , given annually to a lawyer who has demonstrated long-term commitment to legal services and who has personally done significant work in extending legal services to the poor.
  • The President’s Pro Bono Service Awards recognize California attorneys who have provided or enabled the direct provision of legal services to poor persons or to organizations whose primary purpose is to provide legal services to the poor, free of charge, without expectation of compensation from the client.
  • The Jack Berman Individual Award of Achievement for Distinguished Service to the Profession and the Public recognizes the substantial achievements of a young lawyer.
  • The Diversity Awards recognize outstanding efforts made by a bar association and an individual attorney in promoting diversity in the legal profession, in particular, to recognize efforts ensuring the full and equal opportunity of all persons for entry and advancement in California’s legal profession.

Nomination forms will be available on the State Bar Web site,, by calling 415-538-2328 or by e-mailing programdevelopment The deadline to submit postmarked nominations is March 15. The awards will be presented at the bar’s annual meeting in September.

Openings on the Judicial Council, ABA delegation

The State Bar is seeking applicants for one position on the Judicial Council and five appointments to the ABA House of Delegates.

The Judicial Council appointment begins Sept. 15, 2007, and expires Sept. 14, 2010. Meetings are held six to seven times a year; the annual time commitment is about 300 hours for meetings and assignments. Members are reimbursed for approved travel by the Judicial Council. In making the appointments, the board of governors will consider the applicants’ demonstrated leadership skills and ability to effectively represent the lawyer perspective on the council.

In 2007, the terms of five State Bar delegates, including the Young Lawyer delegate, to the ABA House of Delegates expire. Delegates each serve a two-year term from August 2007 to August 2009. Each State Bar delegate must be an ABA member in good standing throughout his or her tenure as a delegate and is required to pay his/her own travel expenses. State Bar Delegates may serve up to three consecutive terms. Delegates are expected to attend the ABA midyear and annual meetings as well as participate in conference calls. All are encouraged to participate broadly in ABA activities in order to fully represent the interests of California attorneys.

The State Bar seeks applicants who are knowledgeable about the ABA Board of Governors, who possess leadership and other skills to be successful delegation members, and/or who have substantial bar experience, especially with the ABA. Eligible incumbents may apply for reappointment.

Deadline for applications is Feb. 1.

Applications must be submitted to the State Bar’s Appointments Office, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105-1639, or by fax (415-538-2255). Further information is available at the bar’s Web site, — select the bottom left-menu link, under Olio, to Appointments Application. Applicants also may contact the Appointments Office at 415-538-2299.

Volunteers sought for State Bar committees

The State Bar is recruiting applicants for approximately 175 positions on more than three dozen committees, boards and commissions. Groups with open positions include committees dealing with reviewing and commenting on proposed changes in civil procedure and court rules; section executive committees focused on particular areas of the law; a committee addressing questions of professional responsibility and conduct; and a newly created Council on Access & Fairness. (See story in Top Headlines for more information.)

Most of the appointments carry a three-year term, and the application deadline for most is Feb. 1. Applicants can apply to a maximum of three committees but can only be appointed to one. The State Bar Board of Governors will make the appointments next May and July and committee terms begin Sept. 30.

The application and information on the individual committees are available at the State Bar’s Web site at (select bottom left-menu link, under Olio, to Appointments Application). Or request an application from the bar’s appointments office by phone (415-538-2299) or fax (415-538-2255).

Bar wants public comment on nonprofit ruling

The State Bar recently launched a study of nonprofit legal practice in California, responding to the Supreme Court’s directive in Frye v. Tenderloin Housing Clinic Inc. Following the study, the bar is to report back as to whether regulation is warranted for nonprofit legal service providers such as legal aid societies, public interest organizations and membership organizations like unions.

Survey questionnaires are posted on the Public Comment page of the State Bar’s Web site, The surveys also will be distributed to interested parties and must be returned by Jan. 31.

In California, law corporations must register with the State Bar if they represent clients. In Frye, the Tenderloin Housing Clinic (THC), a nonprofit public interest organization representing San Francisco tenants, was found by the lower court to be representing clients without registering as a nonprofit law corporation.  The Supreme Court reversed and found that there was constitutional protection for nonprofit entities like THC to do what it was doing. The Supreme Court asked the State Bar, however, to study nonprofit legal practice in California and determine if greater regulation in this area was necessary to protect California legal consumers.

Comments may be provided to Robert A. Hawley, Deputy Executive Director, State Bar of California, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, CA  94105;; 415-538-2277; 415-538-2305 (fax).

Fee arb training scheduled

A refresher course for volunteer attorneys who serve local and State Bar mandatory fee arbitration programs , as well as instruction for new volunteers, will be offered at a Jan. 11 training session in Woodland Hills. The San Fernando Valley Bar Association is recruiting fee arbitrators to join its revived program.

The free training offers 2.75 hours of MCLE credit, including one hour of ethics and 1.75 hours of general credit. It will take place from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Building Auditorium of Pierce College, 6201 Winnetka Ave., Woodland Hills. To reserve a space, contact Liz Post at 818-227-0490 or

For additional information (not RSVP), contact Jill Sperber at 415-538-2023.

Legal services board has one open position

Attorneys interested in serving on the board of directors for Legal Services of Northern California are invited to submit an application to the State Bar. One three-year position in the Sacramento region is open.

The deadline for applications is Jan. 19.

LSNC is a non-profit Legal Services Corp.-funded program that provides legal assistance to low-income residents of 23 northern California counties. The 36-member board meets five times a year to make policy decisions governing the program’s operations.

Applicants should submit a letter of interest and a resume, including their bar number, to Chris Zupanovich, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105-1639. Questions may be directed to her at 415-538-2534 or

Create an online profile

California attorneys have the opportunity to handle membership matters with the State Bar electronically by creating a My State Bar Profile from the bar’s home page (go to Login).

Doing so will allow lawyers to pay their bar dues and submit MCLE compliance online, as well as access important forms such as change of address or change of status, obtain a duplicate bar card and keep abreast of the latest developments in professional responsibility.

To create a profile, you will need the eight-digit access code printed on the front of the 2007 annual fee statement. Just go to the bar’s home page,, and click on the link in the left-hand menu to register as a first-time user. If you have lost your access code, call the Member Services Center at 888-800-3400.

Council on Access & Fairness seeks members

The State Bar is seeking applicants for the newly created Council on Access & Fairness. Composed of 25 attorneys and public members, the council will be appointed by the board of governors. Membership will consist of individuals representing a wide range of constituencies engaged in programs and initiatives focused on increasing diversity in the legal profession.  

The council will advise the board on strategies to enhance diversity opportunities for entry into and advancement in the legal profession. The full pipeline continuum will be addressed, including a focus on the education pipeline initiative to educate students about the law and career opportunities in the law.

The new group also will screen candidates for the annual Diversity Awards.

The deadline for application is Feb. 1. Call 415-538-2240 or e-mail for further information.  

Like the State Bar’s diversity program, the council will be funded by voluntary contributions. No mandatory State Bar licensing fees are used to fund these activities.

Opt out of list sales

Attorneys who wish to remove their names from lists the State Bar provides to qualified outside entities may do so by going to Login (left menu) on the home page of the State Bar's Web site, After registering with My State Bar Profile, go to “Account Information” and select “Update my mailing preferences (opt out).” Members also may e-mail their opt out request to Include your bar number.

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