State Bar of California

The State Bar of California is a public corporation to which all attorneys licensed to practice law in California must belong.

Candidates for admission to practice law are examined by the State Bar, which certifies to the Supreme Court those who meet admission requirements. Rules of professional conduct, binding upon lawyers following approval by the Supreme Court, are formulated and enforced by the State Bar.

In the late 1980s, the California lawyer discipline system went through its first major reform. That reform established the nation's first full-time professional State Bar Court. The California State Bar Court acts as the administrative arm of the California Supreme Court in the adjudication of disciplinary and regulatory matters involving California attorneys. The mission of the State Bar Court is to hear and decide cases fairly, correctly and efficiently for the protection of the public, the courts and the legal profession. It may impose private or public reprovals and recommend to the Supreme Court that an attorney be disciplined by either suspension or disbarment. Since 1989, the court has used full-time judges appointed by the California Supreme Court.

Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation: State law requires the State Bar's Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation to review the qualifications of persons being considered by the Governor for appointment to the courts.