The State Bar was legally established on July 29, 1927, when the State Bar Act went into effect.:xiii–xix The State Bar of California is the largest in the United States, with 253,306 living members as of February 2015, of whom 183,763 are on active status. It is headquartered in San Francisco, with branch offices in Los Angeles and Sacramento.
The task of deciding whom to admit to the bar is performed by the Committee of Bar Examiners and the Office of Admissions under procedures set out in the State Bar Act.
Prior to law schools in the U.S., the only way to become an attorney was to “read” for the law. Usually this was done by reading Blackstone‘s Commentaries on the Laws of England as a textbook, and by interning for a judge or a lawyer for a prescribed period. The Bar candidate would then be questioned by a panel of court justices and accepted or rejected as an officer of the court. If accepted, the candidate was sworn into the Bar.
The State Bar: Socal Lawyers
- Licenses attorneys and regulates the profession and practice of law in California
- Enforces Rules of Professional Conduct for attorneys
- Disciplines attorneys who violate rules and laws
- Administers the California Bar Exam
- Advances access to justice
- Promotes diversity and inclusion in the legal system
Created by the Legislature in 1927, the State Bar is an arm of the California Supreme Court, protecting the public by licensing and regulating attorneys.
The State Bar licenses more than 250,000 attorneys, investigates approximately 16,000 complaints of attorney misconduct annually and distributes over $30 million in grants to legal aid organizations.
We serve the people of California through careful oversight of the legal profession.