Created by the Legislature in 1927, the State Bar of California is a public corporation within the Judicial Branch of state government, serving as an administrative arm of the California Supreme Court. The State Bar licenses attorneys and regulates the profession and practice of law in California by administering the California Bar Exam; enforcing Rules of Professional Conduct for attorneys; disciplining attorneys who violate rules and laws; advancing access to justice; and promoting diversity and inclusion in the legal system.
The State Bar of California is the largest State Bar in the country and one of the largest in the world. The State Bar licenses more than 250,000 attorneys, investigates approximately 16,000 complaints of attorney misconduct annually, and has historically distributed over $50 million in grants each year to legal aid organizations (more than $80 million in 2020). It is headquartered in San Francisco and also has an office in Los Angeles.
“The State Bar of California’s mission is to protect the public and includes the primary functions of licensing, regulation and discipline of attorneys; the advancement of the ethical and competent practice of law; and the promotion of efforts for greater access to, and inclusion in, the legal system.”
THE OFFICE OF ACCESS & INCLUSION
The State Bar Office of Access & Inclusion encompasses the critical work of increasing access to legal services, through IOLTA and Equal Access Fund grant administration and policymaking as well as increasing inclusion and diversity of the legal profession, through data, policymaking, rule making and coordination and liaison efforts. The office builds the framework to ensure that innovations, policy developments, and grant making inform and guide one another.
One core function of this office is to oversee the State Bar's legal aid grants benefitting organizations providing direct legal services to low-income Californians, including immigrants, seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities. Through these grants, the State Bar seeks to close the justice gap and provide access to legal services and access to justice. The office also guides State Bar policy on access to justice and legal services and delivering on the access goals and objectives set forth in the State Bar’s strategic plan. The office is also responsible for leading the Bar on diversity and inclusion initiatives, including through support of the Council on Access and Fairness and Bar driven initiatives. These initiatives support the goal of increasing diversity in the legal profession with a goal that the legal profession reflect the diversity of California.
As a member of the Executive Management Team, the Director is responsible for planning, directing, and managing efforts to achieve the access to justice and diversity and inclusion missions of the State Bar.
The Office of Access & Inclusion has undergone an important restructuring over the past 2 years, creating a diverse portfolio of responsibility for all senior staff members designed to provide a broader more informed and more effective perspective on the work of the office. The office has also taken a much greater leadership role in efforts to diversify the profession. The State Bar stands ready for a new Director to implement and continue the organization’s urgent and necessary work. The Director will operationalize this commitment in the organization’s daily work and cultivate and maintain a workplace culture that values equity and diversity, is culturally competent, and in which all staff are supported, inspired, included, and open to change and growth. Additionally, the Director will manage a team of 14, including two staff located in the Los Angeles office, with the assistance of three subordinate supervisors.
Addressing the Justice Gap
Utilizing the learnings of an exciting statewide Justice Gap Study, the new Director will be expected to assess how the results of the study could or should guide the important policy and grantmaking activities of the office. The Director will also be charged with increasing resources for legal aid, developing new approaches to serve modest means Californians, exploring issues on the right to counsel, and improving the diversity in the legal profession.
Advocate on Behalf of Californians
The Director will serve as a liaison and spokesperson with the Judicial Council, legal services organizations, the Legislature, law schools, and other local, state, and national entities regarding access to justice and diversity and inclusion related issues and activities. And to act as in informed advocate, the Director will form and foster deep relationships with organizations addressing the justice gap and serving modest means Californians and build bridges to the entities that stand poised to help further their work.
Liaise with Appointed Commissions and Partners
The Director provides staff support to the Board of Trustees, Council on Access and Fairness, and the Legal Services Trust Fund Commission, and is responsible for strategizing, spearheading, and managing various access to justice, inclusion, and diversity initiatives relevant to these commissions.
For a full position description, please visit: https://nonprofitprofessionals.com/additional-searches/sbc-dai
More information about the State Bar of California may be found at: www.calbar.ca.gov
This search is being conducted by Tamar Datan and Chris Cannon of the national search firm NPAG. Nominations, inquiries, and/or applications, including a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications, and your resume should be submitted to: SBC-DAI@nonprofitprofessionals.com.
Cultivating a diverse and inclusive team of board members, staff members, and partners is an essential component of the State Bar of California’s work to advance equity. Candidates of all backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.