Apply Yourself: Court to Select State Bar Board of Trustees Member

By Robyn Hagan Cain on April 25, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The California Supreme Court is taking applications for the court’s first appointment to the State Bar Board of Trustees.

If you’re a current or aspiring California lawyer, you’ll need to remember that name: The State Bar Board of Trustees is the newly spruced-up incarnation of the State Bar’s Board of Governors. These are the people that give you the good — or not-so-good — news about attorney licensing and discipline.

So why the changes? And what, exactly, are the changes?

It shouldn't come as a surprise that this all stated in the California Legislature. Last year, the Legislature approved SB 163, sponsored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Noreen Evans, which restructured the membership and name of the Board.

Before SB 163, the Board consisted of 23 members, including 15 attorney members, one attorney member elected by the board of directors of the California Young Lawyers Association, 6 public members, and the President of the State Bar.

Under the new structure, the Board will consist of 19 members, including 6 elected lawyers, (one from each of the state's appellate court districts), 5 attorneys appointed by the state Supreme Court, 6 non-lawyer members chosen by the Legislature and the Governor's Office; and 2 attorneys appointed by the Legislature and the Governor's Office.

(Sidebar: Why does the state need non-lawyers on a board that governs lawyers?)

California Supreme Court appointees will be chosen based on recommendations and ratings of applicants by the court's Committee on the Application and Evaluation of Nominees Committee (AENC).

The AENC currently reviews applicants for the State Bar Court, and is helping the court with the Board nominations due to time constraints. (The court is considering a new rule and appointment of a separate committee to review applicants for future appointments to the Board of Trustees.)

Applicants for the State Bar Board of Trustees must be active members of the California Bar and have their principal place of business in California. The term of the appointment is three years, and the appointment may be extended by the court for an additional three years.

Application forms and questionnaires are available on the California Courts website. For more information or to request an application packet by mail, call 415-538-2370 or write to AENC, care of the State Bar of California Appointments Office, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, California 94105-1639. The fax number is 415- 538-2305.

Applications are due June 1, 2012. Good luck. (And if you are selected, don't forget who told you about this gig.)

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