The State Bar of California

For more than 85 years, the State Bar of California has shaped the development of the law, regulated the professional conduct of the state’s lawyers and provided greater access to legal services.  Created by the state legislature in 1927, the State Bar is a public corporation within the judicial branch of government, serving as an arm of the California Supreme Court. All State Bar members are officers of the court. Over the years, the State Bar has responded to the demands of a changing society, educating and informing both its members and the public.

California was one of the first states to unify its bar in 1927. A unified, or integrated bar, means simply that membership is mandatory for all attorneys who are licensed to practice law in the state. More than half of the states in the country have unified bars.  With more than a quarter million members, the State Bar of California is by far the largest state bar in the country. More than 185,500 State Bar members actively practice law in California, while the rest retain their licenses as inactive members. To practice law in California, applicants must pass the California Bar Examination and pay their annual membership fees to the State Bar of California.