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Lawyer Overview for California

Population:
39.5 million+
/
Number of active lawyers:
190,000+
/
California  Bar Association:
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Each detailed lawyer profile displays the lawyer’s location, area of law, office hours, and information about the lawyer

More about California

California is located in the Western United States. California borders Oregon to its north, Nevada, Arizona, and Arizona to its east, and the Mexican state Baja California to its south. It also has a coastline that runs along the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is home to more than 39.5 million people and covers an area of 163,696 sq. miles (423,970 km2); it is also the third-largest U.S. State by area. 

It is the 34th most populous subnational entity in North America. The nation's second and fifth-most populous urban areas are the Greater Los Angeles Area and San Francisco Bay Area. Both have more than 18.7 million residents, while the latter has 9.6 million. Sacramento, the capital of the state, is Los Angeles the most populous and second-most populous city. Los Angeles County is home to the nation's largest population. San Bernardino County, however, is the largest county in the country by area. San Francisco is both a major city and a country. It is also the fifth most populated county in America, after New York City.

About the California Legal System

California is a leader in medical marijuana laws in the United States. California was the first state to establish a program for medical marijuana in 1996. Individuals with chronic conditions are permitted to grow and use marijuana for medical purposes under the Compassionate Use Law. Californians approved Proposition 64, which legalized recreational marijuana use.

Contrary to California's lenient position on medical marijuana, California has one of the most severe habitual offenders laws in the country. Proposition 36 was passed by voters in 2012, which significantly changed two of the main provisions. To sentence a third striker to 25 years to life in prison, the offense must be a serious or violent crime. If they are not eligible for a third strike sentence of 25 to life imprisonment, those who are currently serving a sentence on a 3rd struck offense could petition the court for a reduction in their sentence.

California is known for its stringent requirements regarding future lawyers. They must pass both a moral character exam and the terrifying Bar Examination. The California Bar passes 43% of all candidates each year, which is lower than the national average of 76%. While the national average is 76.5%, California's bar pass rate is increasing. The California Bar exam is longer than most other exams and is graded harder. Another reason for California's pass rate discrepancy may be that California allows individuals to take it even if they have not been to accredited law schools. Individuals who do not attend law school can still take the California Bar Exam if their training has been in compliance with ABA rules for at least four years.

California Lawyers FAQs

How much does a lawyer cost in California?

While prices between lawyers may vary, the average price per hour for a lawyer is between $120 and $380 per hour. Since prices may vary, be sure to ask potential lawyers for their pricing information before moving forward with them.

How do I find a lawyer in California?

With Attorney At Law’s search widget, it’s easy to find lawyers near you. Just select the practice area you’re looking for and the location you need, and AAL will automatically gather all relevant results.

How many active attorneys are there in California?

There are approximately 190,000 active lawyers in the state of California. This number reflects all lawyers registered with The State Bar of California.

Who licenses attorneys in California?

The California State Bar licenses all attorneys in California. A lawyer that is not licensed with the state bar association cannot practice law in full capacity.

How can I get free advice?

If you’re looking for free advice, you can browse hundreds of articles on Attorney At Law’s blog, or reach out for free advice.

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