State Bar President Issues Statement on Supreme Court’s Ruling in Sander

Contact: Laura Ernde 


SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 19 – The State Bar of California released a statement today following the California Supreme Court’s ruling in Sander v. State Bar of California:

“The Supreme Court has identified the issues. Therefore, the State Bar will go back to the trial court to resolve the issues as identified in the opinion,” said State Bar President Luis J. Rodriguez.

The Sander case originated from a request for access to information from the State Bar’s admissions database, including applicants’ bar exam scores, law school attended, grade point averages and race or ethnicity. The bar opposed the release of the data, asserting it would violate promises it made to law students regarding privacy limited use of the records.

The Supreme Court ruled that “under the common law right of public access, there is a sufficient public interest in the information contained in the admissions database such that the State Bar is required to provide access to it if the information can be provided in a form that protects the privacy of applicants and if no countervailing interest outweighs the public’s interest in disclosure.”


The State Bar of California is an administrative arm of the California Supreme Court, serving the public and seeking to improve the justice system for more than 80 years. All lawyers practicing law in California must be members of the State Bar. By December 2013, membership reached 247,000.