California Lawyer

California Lawyer was a monthly legal magazine based in San Francisco, California.[1][2] The magazine was sent to every member of the State Bar.[3]

California Lawyer
Cover, January 2015. Illustration by J.F. Podevin.jpg
January 2015, J.F. Podevin illustration for "Uncommon Carriers," by Michael Bobelian
PublisherState Bar of California, 1981-1987
Daily Journal Corporation, 1988-2015
Year founded1981
First issueSeptember 1981
Final issueOctober 2015
Based inSan Francisco

History and profileEdit

California Lawyer was launched in September 1981[4] by the State Bar of California as an updated version of the California State Bar Journal, published by the bar since 1926.[5]

Prior to its launch, a prospectus for the magazine compared it to Business Week or Fortune for the California legal community.[6] Edited by a staff of journalists and supported by advertising, California Lawyer offered legal news, as well as professional and general-interest articles.[7]

But critics asserted the new magazine "virtually extinguished" attorney participation in bar publications,[8] and despite its financial goals relied on mandatory annual membership dues for operating expenses.

In July 1987, the State Bar's board of governors, pressured by legislators to eliminate a budget deficit, voted to eliminate all funds for California Lawyer—effectively killing the magazine.[9]

In October 1987 the State Bar reached agreement with Charles T. Munger, chairman of the Daily Journal Corp. and publisher of the Los Angeles Daily Journal.[10] The no-money sale committed Munger to include 12 pages of the State Bar's news and notices, to be written and edited by the bar, in each issue of California Lawyer.[11] In April 1993 the bar's board of governors terminated the Daily Journal contract and voted to publish a tabloid newspaper for its members.[12]

Once wholly independent, California Lawyer sought a wider audience for legal journalism, selling copies in bookstores and newsstands statewide.[13] During this period, California Lawyer also produced two quarterly publications: House Counsel (1996-2002) and 8-K (2004-2006). In addition, beginning in 1996,[14] the magazine staff recognized outstanding work by lawyers in a broad range of practice areas with annual California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (CLAY) awards.[15]

Faced with declining revenue from display and classified advertising, the Daily Journal Corp. ceased publishing California Lawyer in September 2015.[citation needed] The website continues to publish articles online.


  1. ^ "California Lawyer of the Year 2002" Archived 2011-05-11 at the Wayback Machine Price and Associates. Retrieved February 23, 2011
  2. ^ Arnold, Kenneth James (1993). California courts and judges handbook. Law Book Service Co. p. 54. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
  3. ^ Margolick, David (9 October 1992). "At the Bar; When a California Legal Magazine Portrays Gay Lawyers, The Response Is X-Rated". The New York Times. p. 16. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
  4. ^ Diamond, Diana L., editor's letter, California Lawyer, September 1981
  5. ^ "California State Bar Journal | HeinOnline". Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  6. ^ Bangs, George, "Prospectus for a Monthly Magazine for California Lawyers," State Bar of California, August 4, 1980
  7. ^ Eaneman, Paulette, "California Lawyer: A Financial Progress Report," State Bar of California, July 13, 1982
  8. ^ Chilton, Jan T., "George Bangs' Memo on Membership Periodicals," Board of Governors, State Bar of California, August 21, 1980
  9. ^ Hanley, Robert, Los Angeles Daily Journal, July 7, 1987
  10. ^ Magazine Watch, April 1988
  11. ^ Carrizosa, Philip, Los Angeles Daily Journal, October 9, 1987
  12. ^ Hall, Michael, Los Angeles Daily Journal, April 20, 1993
  13. ^ Magazine Watch, March 15, 1993
  14. ^ "1996 Legal Eagles," California Lawyer December 1996
  15. ^ 2017 CLAY Awards

External linksEdit