In 2006, the state Legislature passed Assembly Bill 2301, a law that allows the State Bar to request voluntary donations each year from attorneys who hold licenses in California.
The result of that law was the creation of the Justice Gap Fund, one of three significant sources of funding for about 100 legal aid organizations across the state providing free civil legal services to low-income Californians. The other two sources are the Interest on Lawyers' Trust Accounts (IOLTA) and the state Equal Access Fund (EAF). The State Bar’s Office of Access & Inclusion administers all three programs.
The Justice Gap Fund helps the public in many ways, including:
In addition to individual attorney donations, the State Bar accepts cy pres awards as donations to the Justice Gap Fund when the fund is listed as the designated beneficiary. (Learn more about cy pres.)
Members of the public can support the Justice Gap Fund by making an online donation or sending a check to the State Bar of California. Contributions are tax-exempt to the fullest extent of the law.
Attorneys: You can make a voluntary donation to the Justice Gap Fund through your annual fee statement simply by adding the recommended or desired donation amount to the total, or at any other time online through the voluntary contribution page.
Cy pres: Checks from cy pres awards should be made payable to: The State Bar of California. Please write “Justice Gap Fund” in the memo line and include the case name for identification and reference purposes. If the court requires a declaration from the State Bar’s Justice Gap Fund as the intended beneficiary prior to distribution of the cy pres award, please contact Elizabeth Hom, Program Manager of the Office of Access & Inclusion, at Elizabeth.Hom@calbar.ca.gov.
Members of the public: Donations may be made online or by check payable to the State Bar of California. If paying by check, please write “Justice Gap Fund” in the memo line to ensure your payment is directed to the correct fund.
Online payments will receive email acknowledgment of receipt. If paying by check, the State Bar will send a letter confirming receipt once your contribution is processed. Please allow up to 30 days for acknowledgment of receipt when paying by check.
Mail checks to the following address:
Office of Access & Inclusion – Justice Gap Fund
The State Bar of California
180 Howard St.
San Francisco, CA 94105
If you have questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.CAforJustice.org