Message from the Board Chair and Interim Executive Director

Sean SeLegue Board of Trustees Chair portrait

Sean SeLegue

Chair, Board of Trustees, 2020–2021

A headshot of Interim Executive Director, Donna Hershkowitz

Donna Hershkowitz

Interim Executive Director

Welcome to the State Bar’s second digital annual report. As this report describes, the sudden and massive impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and its myriad fallout effects shaped 2020 for the State Bar, as they did for everyone else.

The arrival of the pandemic required us to make significant adjustments to ensure that our critical work serving and protecting the public continued. We also continued to tackle head-on the important challenges the State Bar faces with candor and fresh thinking, advancing critical policy work undeterred and unabated.

Throughout this report, we spotlight examples of how the State Bar maintained forward momentum in an unprecedented year. Some of our efforts to respond to the urgent demands arising from the COVID-19 pandemic included the following:

  • Equipped our 550+ employee workforce with the technology and training needed to enable most of them to work remotely full-time.
  • Established a fully remote call center to maintain service to the public.
  • Shifted the July 2020 bar exam to the first-ever online administration in October as well as conducting two First-Year Law Students’ Exams online. California’s October 2020 bar exam cohort was a near-record 9,300 examinees.
  • Created an entirely new provisional licensing program for recent law graduates to begin work as a lawyer before passing a bar exam.