The State Bar is closely monitoring and responding to the evolving COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation and its potential impact on our services to the public, licensees, and applicants, as well as the health and safety of our staff. The agency is following relevant guidance provided by local, state, and federal public health agencies.
Here are current measures in place:
As of March 17, the State Bar’s offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles are closed to the public, with all staff required to telecommute. We are taking this measure out of an abundance of caution, in an effort to protect staff and the community at large.
The closure is expected to continue until further notice. State Bar staff will continue to perform essential public protection functions, but there may be delays during this period, and we appreciate your patience.
This notice will be updated as needed.
California Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response
California Judicial Branch COVID-19 Updates
California Guidelines: Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers
California Lawyers Association Resources for Attorneys
Law Firms Affected By Natural Disaster or Catastrophic Event
American Bar Association Mental Health Resources for Attorneys
The ABA Coronavirus (COVID-19) Task Force
Telephone Resource Center and Intake Hotline
The Telephone Resource Center is now open, but on reduced staffing. Inquiries from the public, licensees, and admissions applicants can best be handled by email. Admissions applicants, please see below for any updates regarding the June and July exams.
Please check our Contact Us webpage for the best email for your inquiry. We are working on resolving as soon possible the technical issues to enable us to restore telephone service, so please check back for updates.
The State Bar’s online self-service tools, such as the Applicant Portal for admissions applicants, and My State Bar Profile for licensees, will also save time on routine transactions.
The impact that the ongoing COVID-19 crisis will have on both the June 2020 First-Year Law Students' and July 2020 California Bar Examinations is not certain at this time. We are in close contact with the National Conference of Bar Examiners and other jurisdictions as we all consider possible options for the July exam in the event that State Bar admission office closures or prohibitions against large gatherings remain in effect. We have also made several modifications to our processing of moral character applications during this time. We encourage you to visit our website continuously, as we are updating with information as often as necessary.
Board and commission meetings
Until further notice, State Bar board and committee meetings will be conducted via teleconference and/or videoconference. Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-25-20, which suspends certain provisions of the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act during this period, shall guide the operations of those meetings.
State Bar Court
The State Bar Court filing window and courtrooms are closed, effective March 17 and until further notice. The State Bar Court has issued the following orders detailing the impacts on Court operations:
Hearing Department: cases with scheduled court events between March 17 through May 11 are abated and all court events in those cases are vacated. Hearing Department General Order 20-23
GEN 20-04: Order re Electronic Service
GEN 20-03: Order re Electronic Signatures
GEN 20-02: Order re Electronic Submissions
GEN 20-01: Order re State Bar Court Business Related to State Bar Facilities Closure
The State Bar Court has also issued Frequently Asked Questions regarding the recently issued orders.
Service of Legal Process
Due to the temporary closure of the State Bar’s offices, personal service of legal process (subpoenas, summonses, etc.) cannot be accepted at this time. For information regarding alternative arrangements to effect service of process, please contact Assistant General Counsel James Chang at 415-538-2381.
Lawyer Assistance Program
The State Bar is making every effort to continue activities of the Lawyer Assistance Program under the COVID-19 guidelines. All LAP groups have transitioned to online “virtual” groups.
Ethics Hotline for Attorneys
Ethics research assistance is available from the Ethics Hotline. Attorneys can request a call by using the online contact form.
Classes and events
Due to social distancing guidelines and directives discouraging large-scale gatherings, we are looking into providing online alternatives for large-scale classes and events. Those that cannot be delivered online will be postponed or canceled. If you have questions about a particular class or event, please email the office through which you registered. Currently canceled: