Public Trust Liaison

  • San Francisco, California
  • Jun 25, 2022
Full Time Other

Job Description

Job Description

Office of the Executive Director

Annual Salary: $145,172 - $193,564

Exempt | Executive

Per the State Bar's Remote Work Policy, the majority of the State Bar's workforce is expected to work in the office at least two days per week.


The State Bar is seeking to establish its first-ever Public Trust Liaison (PTL). The PTL is charged with ensuring that members of the public, applicants for admission, legal consumers, attorneys, and other constituents are heard; the PTL is responsible for addressing complaints about the State Bar's actions or inactions, as well as to follow up on recommendations for operational improvement. The PTL is responsible for filing an annual report with key stakeholders outlining the types of concerns raised and the organizational response, and for recommending policy and operational reforms to address identified systemic issues. The PTL also develops and leads the State Bar's public education strategy to empower both consumers and the general public with knowledge about their rights.

The PTL is a member of the Executive Team and reports directly to the Executive Director with a dotted line relationship to the Board of Trustees' Audit Committee.


The ideal candidate:
  • Has the motivation and experience to help develop and shape this brand-new position and function for the State Bar
  • Enjoys helping people solve problems
  • Is a good listener
  • Is organized and able to track multiple work streams at the same time
  • Has experience in complaint resolution and/or as an ombudsperson
  • Can identify key themes and generate recommendations for improvement
  • Is a strong writer
  • Is a clear oral communicator
  • Is able to maintain independence and implement an effective course of action in the face of conflicting viewpoints and priorities

Familiarity with the State Bar's admissions and disciplinary functions is preferred.


Created by the Legislature in 1927, the State Bar of California is a public corporation within the Judicial Branch of the state government, serving as an administrative arm of the California Supreme Court. The State Bar licenses attorneys and regulates the profession and practice of law in California by administering the California Bar Exam; enforcing Rules of Professional Conduct for attorneys; disciplining attorneys who violate rules and laws; advancing access to justice; and promoting diversity and inclusion in the legal system. The State Bar of California is the largest State Bar in the country and one of the largest in the world. The State Bar licenses more than 260,000 attorneys, investigates approximately 16,000 complaints of attorney misconduct annually, and distributes over $75 million in grants to legal aid organizations. The State Bar is led by a Board of Trustees and managed by staff. The Board of Trustees serves as the State Bar's governing body and develops the guiding policies and principles underpinning its regulatory mission. The State Bar is funded largely by annual attorney licensing fees and is not part of the traditional State budget process. However, the majority of the Bar's funding is dependent on a licensing fee bill that must be approved by the legislature and the Governor each year. The State Bar has a 2022 Adopted Budget that reflects $244.3 million in total revenue, $256.8 million in total expenses, and 646.5 full-time equivalent employees, the majority of whom are represented by Service Employees International Union.


The primary objective of the Public Trust Liaison (PTL) is to ensure that members of the public, applicants for admission, legal consumers, attorneys, and other constituents are able to meaningfully voice their complaints about State Bar action or inaction and receive assistance in having their concerns addressed. The PTL will also serve as a primary point of contact for any individual or agency seeking to provide feedback or suggestions to the State Bar. The PTL reports directly to the Executive Director and has a dotted line relationship to the Board of Trustees' Audit Committee. The PTL is responsible for the development of tools to assist consumers in filing complaints with the State Bar; responding to consumer complaints about the State Bar; assisting consumers in identifying resources to help them address problems they are experiencing; filing an annual report with key stakeholders outlining the types of concerns raised to the PTL and corresponding organizational response; and making recommendations for policy and operational reforms to address any systemic issues identified. In addition, the PTL will design the State Bar's public education efforts to empower both legal consumers and the general public with knowledge about their rights.

The PTL does not:
  • draft attorney discipline complaints;
  • act as an advocate or representative for any particular member of the public in any matter;
  • intervene or participate in any pending disciplinary matter or any formal process for the resolution of disciplinary complaints;
  • overturn, reverse, or modify a finding or decision regarding any disciplinary complaint or by any dispute resolution or appellate bodies; or
  • make binding decisions or mandate policies.

The PTL will focus primarily on the State Bar's admissions and disciplinary functions in its first two years of operations. Thereafter the scope of the role may expand to include other areas within the organization.

  • Address concerns about the actions or inaction of the State Bar, and inform complainants of relevant policies, procedures, regulations, and laws. This includes, but is not limited to, identifying options for resolution of concerns, both internal and external to the State Bar.
  • Develop templates and other tools to assist consumers in filing attorney discipline complaints and requests for review of complaint closures and ensuring that those resources are broadly accessible.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with colleagues within the State Bar while ensuring professional independence.
  • Identify key themes for follow up action by other offices, including the Mission Advancement and Accountability Division, as well as other areas of the State Bar.
  • Recommend closed cases for review by the Office of Chief Trial Counsel's external auditors.
  • Make recommendations for policy, rule, and statutory changes.
  • Develop a proactive consumer education and awareness campaign.
  • Work collaboratively with the Office of Communications and Stakeholder Engagement and other State Bar offices as appropriate to implement an ongoing consumer education campaign.
  • Develop, track, and report on metrics in relation to the performance of PTL functions.
  • Produce an annual report to be provided directly to the Board of Trustees.
  • Respond to inquiries from the Board of Trustees, other State Bar committees and commissions, and stakeholders in a timely manner.
  • Prepare and administer the budget and manage and direct resources and personnel in the areas assigned within? institutional parameters
  • Promote the mission, integrity, objectivity, and efficacy of the State Bar.
  • Facilitate the personal and professional growth of a team through active performance management and nurturing an inclusive team environment.
  • Other duties as required.


  • Five (5) years of professional experience in conflict resolution, customer service, mediation, consensus-building and facilitation, or related field.
  • Experience as an ombuds or consumer advocate preferred.
  • Experience working in the State Bar's discipline or admissions system preferred.

  • Bachelor's degree in a field that develops skills related to essential duties or equivalent academic achievement.

Applicants who meet the minimum qualifications will be required to successfully complete the State Bar's selection process for this classification.

License, Certificate, Registration Requirements:


Knowledge and Skills:
  • Expertise in issue identification and conflict resolution.
  • Experience with employee, customer and member feedback systems, including education, data collection and sourcing, action planning, and related outcome-focused activities.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work collaboratively.
  • Effective writing and verbal presentation, including public speaking.
  • Expertise in policy analysis and implementation.
  • Ability to be neutral and impartial.
  • Ability to perform all job functions in an inclusive and equity-informed manner.

Essential Elements / Ability to:
  • Handle confidential information appropriately.
  • Learn quickly on the job.
  • Work within shifting, sometimes ambiguous parameters while still driving toward practical solutions in support of the State Bar's mission.
  • Communicate effectively with officials in the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of California State government.
  • Exercise good judgment and integrity in handling crises.
  • Identify problems, analyze responses, and implement relevant solutions.
  • Communicate effectively within institutional parameters considering different constituencies.
  • Review and analyze complex written documents.
  • Obtain and present material in oral and/or written form.
  • Effectively interact with others in a collaborative environment.
  • Effectively apply conflict resolution techniques to de-escalate and resolve contentious issues.
  • Establish inclusive processes and practices.
  • Use performance management principles and techniques to manage and develop teams and individuals. Develop high-trust relationships with own team and extended organization.
  • Facilitate change by bringing different stakeholders together to find creative solutions to difficult problems.
  • Create a culture of service, rigorous analysis, impartiality, fairness, and confidentiality.

Physical Requirements:
  • Sit for extended periods of time.
  • Make fine visual distinctions upon proofreading written documents and viewing information on a computer screen.
  • Travel by air and automobile.
  • Possess visual capability and digital dexterity to operate a computer and other standard office equipment.
  • Retrieve, lift and carry files and documents weighing up to ten pounds with reasonable accommodation.
  • Frequent and ongoing use of a telephone and computer.

Condition of Employment

Employment with the State Bar of California requires full vaccination and proof of full vaccination for COVID-19 before starting work. Exemptions to the mandatory vaccination policy may be available for a medical condition, disability, or sincerely held religious belief and must be approved before starting work.

Remote-eligible (Remote work is a type of flexible working arrangement that allows an employee to work from remote location)


Job Address

San Francisco, California United States View Map