California Lawyers Association

State Bar Studying Lawyer Regulation Changes

CLA is actively engaged with efforts underway at the State Bar of California that could result in regulatory changes for the legal profession. 

A committee appointed by the Board of Trustees, called the Closing the Justice Gap Working Group, held its first meeting in January. The group, which continues the work of the Task Force on Access Through Innovation of Legal Services, is tasked with exploring the development of a regulatory sandbox, considering amendments to rule 5.4 regarding fee sharing, considering a new rule 5.7 addressing the delivery of nonlegal services provided by lawyers and businesses owned or affiliated with lawyers, and considering amendments to the Certified Lawyer Referral Service statutes and rules. 

A separate committee is charged with developing recommendations for the creation of a paraprofessional licensure/certification program to increase access to legal services in California. The California Paraprofessional Program Working Group is expected to submit its final report to the Board of Trustees by September.

CLA has representatives on both working groups and will continue to serve as the voice of the legal profession, advocating for the value of an attorney’s education, training, law license, and binding ethical rules, as well as protection of the public. We also invite you to follow the discussions and make your individual voices heard. More information, and a link to subscribe to meeting agenda information, is available on the State Bar website

Meanwhile, CLA is embarking on our own efforts to ensure the profession evolves to become stronger and more effective. Read more about the Future of the Profession and Civility task forces from President Emilio Varanini and Chair of the Board of Representatives Betty Williams. 

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