What is the California Lawyers Association?
The California Lawyers Association is the statewide, voluntary bar association for all California lawyers. Created by the Legislature in S.B. 36, the California Lawyers Association is a 501(c)(6) professional association that launched in January of 2018. Initially comprised of the California Young Lawyers Association and the 16 substantive law sections that were previously part of the State Bar of California, CLA offers its members unparalleled continuing legal education, the chance to develop an incredible statewide network of relationships, advocacy on matters critically important to the profession, and opportunities for statewide professional visibility and leadership. The Association’s mission is to promote excellence, diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and fairness in access to justice and the rule of law.
What do I get for my dues to the California Lawyers Association?
The California Lawyers Association provides its members with a variety of benefits—both tangible and intangible. Among the most valuable tangible benefits are free access to Fastcase; a comprehensive, nationwide law library, including case law, statutes, regulations, court rules, constitutions, and law review articles. It’s one of the largest online law libraries in the world! Fastcase alone is a $95 per month value and it’s included in the price of membership.
While our members are busy representing their clients, our advocacy team is busy representing the profession. We harness the voices of our members to create policy changes that improve the profession. Whether it’s advocating for changes in jury instructions to filing amicus briefs to meeting with relevant stakeholders on bread-and-butter issues such as the cost of licensing or the definition of the practice of law, CLA is fighting for attorneys in California.
Becoming active with a Section of the Association also provides members with the opportunity to write and speak via statewide and, on occasion, national and international outlets. And while tangible benefits easily justify the $95 cost of an annual membership, many members would argue that the intangible benefits—the networks built and relationships developed—outweigh the tangible benefits by far.
Why did the legislature separate the Sections from the State Bar?
The legislature separated the Sections from the State Bar to enable the State Bar to focus on its core regulatory and public protection functions of admissions, licensing and discipline.
I was a member of a Section before 2018, now what?
If you maintained your Section membership and paid your 2018 and 2019 dues, then you will continue on as a member of the California Lawyers Association with membership in the Section or Sections you have selected. If something happened and your membership was interrupted, you can either join as a new member directly or renew when you receive (or your firm receives) your fee statement from the State Bar in December.
How do I join the California Lawyers Association?
You can join as a new member directly or when you receive (or your firm receives) your fee statement from the State Bar in December.
How do I join an additional Section if I’m already in one?
You can either join a new section directly or when you receive (or your firm receives) your fee statement from the State Bar in December
Will my status as a member of a Section continue to be reflected on the State Bar’s website?
Yes. We transmit membership information to the State Bar and they have committed to updating the profiles of California licensees who are members of Sections.
What does the proposed fee increase for being licensed to practice in California mean for the cost of my Section membership?
Nothing! Membership in the California Lawyers Association continues to be a bargain. The normal annual rate is $95, plus $95 for each additional Section.
What publications, programs and events does the California Lawyers Association offer?
The California Lawyers Association continues to offer the same top-notch, high-quality legal publications, case updates and practice-area specific programs that the Sections offered when they were part of the State Bar. Now, however, we have the latitude to innovate, re-invent and experiment with various offerings. In addition to the subject-matter specific offerings, there are CLA-wide educational programs. In the near future we plan to offer wellness and more robust “soft” skills training to our repertoire. Is there something missing in the array of publications and educational programs out there? If so, let us know. We are eager to fill the gaps and test our members’ appetites for things that may not have been offered under the aegis of the State Bar. Let us know what you’d like to see us offer by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Who can I contact to answer additional questions?
The best way to communicate additional questions to us is to submit them via email to: email@example.com or to call 916-516-1760.