NEW TASK FORCE WILL EXPLORE SOLUTIONS TO THE JUSTICE GAP

Contact: Laura Ernde 

415-538-2283

laura.ernde@calbar.ca.gov

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 13, 2014 – Members of the public and the legal profession are invited to apply for service on a new State Bar Civil Justice Strategies Task Force. The application deadline is Feb. 3.

The task force, which was recently approved by the State Bar Board of Trustees, will analyze the reasons for and potential solutions to the “justice gap” – the gap between the need for civil legal assistance by low- and moderate-income Californians and the resources available to meet that need.

“Ensuring that all Californians have access to justice is critical to the bar's mission of public protection,” State Bar President Luis J. Rodriguez said.

At a series of public hearings this spring and summer, the task force will seek the input of groups that have long struggled to expand access to justice. The task force will analyze which efforts have succeeded, study creative solutions from other states and countries and develop a proposed action plan for the Board of Trustees that includes recommendations appropriate for the legal profession.

Members of the 20-person task force will be chosen from the following categories:

  • State Bar Board of Trustees, current and former members
  • Law Firms, including both large firms and solo or small firms
  • Public Sector, including legal services programs and self-help centers as well as the broader nonprofit/consumer community
  • Modest Means Legal Services Providers
  • Bar Associations/Lawyer Referral Services
  • Public Members
  • Academic Representation, including faculty, staff or board members

To apply, send a letter of interest to Sarah Chanrasmi, project coordinator, Office of Legal Services, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105, sarah.chanrasmi@calbar.ca.gov.

The letter should outline your interest in the task force and what makes you particularly well-suited for the work, along with a resume or brief biographical information and three letters of support. Please also indicate the category for which you wish to apply and your ability to commit to the time and travel involved.

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The State Bar of California is an administrative arm of the California Supreme Court, protecting 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. Membership now stands at about a quarter million.