back to Screen-Friendly page

Bar Association of San Francisco Member Benefits: Publications

Check Box 12 on Your State Bar Dues Bill
Help close the justice gap


By Mike Feuer and Jon Streeter


Why do we need a Justice Gap Fund? The answer is lining the hallways of every courthouse in the state: they are filled to bursting with the victims of our economic downturn. People seek justice to help them avoid foreclosures and illegal evictions, to stop cycles of domestic violence, and to protect family members threatened by exploitation or to bring at-risk kids into loving homes through adoption
or guardianship.

Organizations that serve indigent Californians with legal problems have had a partner in The State Bar of California since 1984, when the bar’s Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA) program began distributing funding to them. These funds come from aggregating small amounts of interest earned on small or short-term deposits held by attorneys for their clients.

The state legislature has recognized that IOLTA funding cannot, by itself and in the present economic climate, close the justice gap. This reality led to the enactment of a law—the Justice Gap Statute (Business and Professions Code section 6033)—to create a statewide mechanism for attorneys to contribute funds to legal aid programs quickly and without any administrative overhead.

Donations to the Justice Gap Fund are an easy and effective way to address our legal services crisis, but they’re hardly the only way. Direct gifts to local organizations that provide legal assistance, or contributions of time as a volunteer at a legal clinic, are also desperately needed and deeply appreciated.

Line 12 State Bar Dues Bill

Contributions to the Justice Gap Fund are easy to make—you can include them with your annual bar dues payment, or make a donation at Any gift will help, and contributions are all tax-deductible. It couldn’t be easier, or more important—especially now. Your gift to the Justice Gap Fund will help millions of people who are truly in need. Just check box 12 on your dues bill.


Mike Feuer is the majority policy leader of the California State Assembly and Chair of the Assembly Judiciary Committee. He represents the 42nd Assembly District. Jon Streeter is the 2011-2012 president of The State Bar of California and is a past president of The Bar Association of San Francisco. He is a partner at Keker & Van Nest.

Our partners at BASFAhern Insurance Brokerage