The State Bar of California The State Bar of California, 180 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94105
Friday, April 18, 2014

Voluntary Contributions

Attorneys are encouraged to support and contribute to bar-related entities that are not funded by State Bar annual fees. The list below summarizes the goals of those entities and provides a link for additional information. Contributions are tax deductible to the extent provided by law.

Justice Gap Fund

The Justice Gap Fund implements AB 2301 (2006), which authorizes the State Bar to solicit contributions from its members to support legal services for low-income Californians.

Legal services for the indigent are a critical component of the justice system, helping to improve trust and confidence in the court system and working to ensure justice for vulnerable individuals who cannot represent themselves.

The Justice Gap Fund is one of three sources of funding for the State Bar's Legal Services Trust Fund Program, which makes grants to nonprofit organizations that provide free civil legal services to low-income Californians.

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Bar Relations & Elimination of Bias Fund

The Elimination of Bias Fund maintains programs that address concerns of bias in the legal profession. In addition to funding various outreach and education activities, the Elimination of Bias Fund supports the work of the Council on Access & Fairness, which acts in an advisory capacity to the Board of Trustees to enhance diversity opportunities and advancement in the legal profession. Initiatives to educate students about the law and legal career opportunities are also a focus of the council.

The Office of Bar Relations Outreach provides program development and support services to more than 235 voluntary bar associations throughout the state).

Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent provided by law.

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Legislative Activities Fund


The State Bar's Office of Governmental Affairs (OGA) spearheads the Bar's legislative efforts to ensure the protection of the public in matters relating to the practice of law, increase access to and improve the delivery of legal services to the people of California and improve the administration of justice in the state.

The OGA engages in many projects and activities designed to help achieve these objectives. These include:

  • Tracking bills and advocating legislation sponsored or supported by the Board of Trustees and against legislation that is contrary to the goals and mission of the State Bar
  • Producing publications on legislative matters (including Sacramento Scene newsletter)
  • Providing members of the legislature with consumer education and protection materials developed by the State Bar
  • Coordinating efforts to offer the legal expertise of the Sections and Standing Committees as a resource to the legislature

Donations to the Legislative Activities Fund ensure that the interests of State Bar members are protected in Sacramento and are tax-deductible to the extent provided by law.

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California Bar Foundation

The California Bar Foundation assists young people in developing an interest in the law and in going to law school on scholarships. A donation will:

  • Provide scholarships for worthy law students committed to public interest careers
  • Print and distribute the popular consumer guides Kids & the Law, When You Become 18 and Seniors & the Law
  • Ensure that grants will continue to fund similar services in the future, especially for young citizens who take an interest in the law
  • Continue the expansion of many law-related programs that benefit a broad cross-section of children, students, adults and seniors throughout California

Donations of $250 or more receive special recognition in the Leadership Circle. In addition, contributions are tax-deductible to the extent provided by law. For more information, visit the Foundation's Web site.

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California Supreme Court Historical Society

The mission of the California Supreme Court Historical Society is twofold: preserving the rich legal history of our state and broadening public understanding of, and appreciation for, the contributions of courts and attorneys to California’s history.

The Society works to carry out its mission in several different ways. For example, during the past two years the Society:

  • Commissioned a University of California historian to prepare an oral history of recently-retired Chief Justice Ronald M. George
  • Partnered with the Northern District of California Historical Society to present "Chief Justice David Terry and Federalism," a program featuring seven judges from both state and federal courts in dramatic readings from the life of David Terry, a colorful and controversial man who served as Chief Justice of California in the turbulent 1850s
  • Co-sponsored a program on the history and future of the citizen initiative in California
  • Co-sponsored a program at the University of Southern California (USC) School of Law celebrating the contributions of African American appellate court justices in California
  • Conducted two writing competitions, open to students in law schools and graduate schools, and published the winning essays in California Legal History, the Society's highly regarded annual journal

The Society receives no financial support from the State Bar or government at any level. It relies for nearly all of its revenue on donations from individual lawyers and judges. These donations are tax-deductible to the extent provided by law.

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Conference of California Bar Associations

The independent Conference of California Bar Associations (CCBA) provides California attorneys with an effective way to make positive changes to California public policy and statutory law through the development, debate, sponsorship and lobbying of legislation.

Each year delegates from local and specialty bars throughout the state develop resolutions proposing changes in state statutes and the rules of court and debate those resolutions (often more than 100) at the CCBA’s annual conference. Many of those resolutions are then introduced in legislation in the California Legislature and lobbied towards enactment with the help and guidance of the CCBA’s legislative representative. In 2010, 13 CCBA-sponsored resolutions were signed into law.

The independent CCBA is not part of The State Bar of California and receives no bar funding. Contributions are not tax-deductible as charitable contributions, but the portion not allocated for legislative lobbying expenses may be deducted as an ordinary and necessary business expense.

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