The California Lawyers Association (CLA) will officially launch January 1, 2018, shifting oversight of the 16 Sections and the California Young Lawyers Association (CYLA) from the State Bar of California to a new voluntary bar association—the largest state bar association in the country, and second in size of all bar associations only to the American Bar Association.
Sullivan Hill founding Shareholder Jim Hill, has been selected as one of the 17 inaugural board members of the CLA. Mr. Hill, as immediate past chair of the Business Law Section and incoming CLA board member commented, “The Business Law Section is looking forward to a new chapter in our more than 40-year history as a leading force for development of business law in California. Literally scores of our Section volunteers have worked incredibly hard this past year along with leaders and volunteers of the other Sections to emerge as an integral component of the CLA, soon to be known within and outside our state borders as ‘THE bar association for all California lawyers.’ The 15 substantive Standing Committees within the BLS are eager to step up as part of the new voluntary association to better serve our members–more directly, more efficiently and best of all, more quickly. We will continue to make excellence our standard, as the BLS leadership core instilled in us as part of the State Bar. We will become only stronger as part of the CLA.”
Mr. Hill also noted that the CLA, as an independent, nonprofit organization, will not face restrictions on communications, operations, and policies that are required of government entities. CLA’s mission is focused on providing educational and networking opportunities, including events and publications, for members of the Sections—whose topics cover various areas of law and types of practices, ranging from intellectual property law to solo and small firms.
State Bar staff and the Council of Sections—the leadership body through which all Sections interact—oversaw the transition to the nonprofit organization. Membership in the Sections is automatically transferred to CLA and will remain intact and renewable, as long as members pay license fees to the State Bar.