As part of our commitment to keeping San Diego attorneys informed about the issues that affect them, SDCBA has prepared this communication about the State Bar of California’s proposed increases to the Licensing Fee. We will continue to keep you up to date as further developments unfold.


SB-176 was introduced by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill, which passed the Senate at the end of May, provides for a $152 increase in licensing fees based on rationales presented by the State Auditor ($71 increase in general fund fee, $40 increase in Client Security Fund fee, $22 IT special assessment, $16 capital improvement fee, $3 for general fund reserve.) Existing law provides for the following ongoing fees: $25 for discipline, $40 Client Security Fee, $10 for Lawyer Assistance Program. The total fee for active licensees would be $535, far lower than the increase originally proposed by the State Bar. A revised method for scaling based on income is not yet in the bill and the State Bar is still determining whether to expand fee scaling.  

The bill will next be considered by the Assembly Judiciary Committee and then the full Assembly. Presumably, the Assembly will analyze the Legislative Analyst’s Office study (due July 1) and determine whether any amendments will be made.


The SDCBA Board of Directors will continue to monitor this issue and communicate with the legal community.   

The California Lawyers Association has prepared a fact sheet and will discuss this issue at their June 20 Board meeting.

If you would like to express your opinion to your legislator, click here to be routed to your Assembly member and State Senator.  

If you have any questions or comments for SDCBA, please contact Jill Epstein, SDCBA Executive Director at