Campaign Tools

Justice Gap Fund Fact Sheet

What is the Justice Gap Fund?

  • The Justice Gap Fund was created by Assembly Bill 2301, signed by the Governor in August of 2006 [Business and Professions Code sec 6033].
  • This law authorizes the State Bar of California to facilitate contributions from its members and other donors to support legal assistance for low-income Californians.
  • The Justice Gap Fund helps close the gap between the legal needs of over seven million indigent Californians who have little or no access to critical legal help and the resources available to provide them with those services.

How Does the Justice Gap Fund Work?

Contributions:

  • Attorneys can donate in conjunction with their annual dues payment to the State Bar of California.
  • Contributions can also be made any time online through the Campaign for Justice website or by check payable to the State Bar of California (please include "Justice Gap Fund" on the check).
  • Contributors of $1,000 or more will receive special recognition as Benefactors.
  • All donations are tax-exempt to the full extent of the law.
  • Even small donations can be bundled into significant funds – over $7.7 million have been distributed to legal aid programs in the first seven years. This is a very meaningful step toward closing the justice gap.
  • Legal aid providers leverage Justice Gap Fund support to stimulate funding from foundations, the private sector, and government sources.

Administration:

Why Do We Need the Justice Gap Fund?

  • Legal aid is a critical component in improving trust and confidence in the justice system.
  • The Justice Gap Fund helps all qualified legal aid programs in California ensure the vulnerable and indigent have access to justice: domestic violence and elder abuse victims receive stability and safety, veterans receive safe, dry places to live, families avoid homelessness and establish guardianship, and children receive help accessing health care and special education services.
  • California is home to over seven million indigent people, representing nearly 20 percent of the total California population. Only one in five indigent people receive the help they need to resolve their legal problems.
  • In California, there are more than 6,800 eligible clients for each legal aid attorney. By comparison, there are only about 150 Californians for every attorney licensed to practice in the state.
  • Service providers are reporting up to six-fold increases in requests for service due to the current economic downturn.
  • Legal aid programs rely on the Justice Gap Fund for ongoing support so they can provide legal services to those that have nowhere else to turn.

For more information: