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As of March 17, the State Bar of California announced operational changes in keeping with the evolving preventative public health guidelines for the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. The Los Angeles and San Francisco offices are closed to the public, and with limited exceptions, staff are being required to telecommute.
At its March 12 meeting, the State Bar Board of Trustees engaged in a robust discussion on the final report of the Task Force on Access Through Innovation of Legal Services (ATILS). The Board approved several of the Task Force’s recommendations, including a recommendation to circulate for public comment changes to two Rules of Professional Conduct. The Board deferred until May action on proposals related to the establishment of a working group to explore a regulatory sandbox. The Board also approved other measures furthering the State Bar’s access goal.
As part of National Consumer Protection Week March 1–7, the State Bar of California has published an updated and expanded set of consumer pamphlets in multiple languages and updated the consumer protection section of its website.
This week, the State Bar of California announced the initial class of Leadership Banks.To join the ranks of Leadership Banks, a bank must agree to pay comparable interest rates on its attorney client trust accounts under California’s Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA) program, thereby helping to support access to justice for low-income Californians.
At its January meeting that concluded Friday, the State Bar Board of Trustees set direction on strategic priorities intended to expand access to justice and ensure that the attorney discipline system is fair and effective.
Leah T. Wilson has announced her decision to leave the role of Executive Director effective January 17, 2020, to pursue other career interests. Chief of Programs Donna Hershkowitz has been named Interim Executive Director. At the request of Board of Trustees leadership, Wilson has agreed to support the transition in a consulting capacity.
The State Bar of California this week launched its Leadership Bank program, recognizing financial institutions that help maximize funds to support meaningful access to justice for low-income Californians.
Today the State Bar of California released the results of the July 2019 California Bar Exam, and announced that 3,886 people (50.1 percent of applicants) passed the General Bar Exam, a rebound to the 2017 pass rate.
At its meeting today, the State Bar Board of Trustees heard a report on the first-ever study of racial disparities in California attorney discipline and what the State Bar is doing to continue monitoring and improving equity in its discipline system.