Public Law Section

News from the Section

Join Our Receptions for New Lawyers & Students Pursuing Public Service Careers

The Public Law Section's Executive Committee is hosting receptions in San Francisco, San Diego, and Davis for new lawyers and students which will include a complimentary lunch. The panel will be discussing their careers dedicated to public service and the qualities they look for when hiring. Click on the links for flyers of the event, including info on our featured panelists.

Monday, October 17, 2016, 12 noon - 1:30 p.m.
U.C. Hastings College of the Law
Alumni Reception Center
200 McAllister St., San Francisco
More Info

Thursday, October 20, 2016, 12 noon - 1 p.m.
University of San Diego School of Law
Warren Hall - Grace Courtroom
5998 Alcala Park, San Diego
More Info

Thursday, October 20, 2016, 12 noon - 1:30 p.m.
U.C. Davis School of Law, King Hall
400 Mrak Hall Dr., Classroom 1001, Davis
More Info

Don't miss this opportunity to meet influential public officials and private attorneys specializing in public law. Attendees who qualify will also receive:

  • Free membership to the Public Law Section
  • 10% discount on CEB programs co-sponsored by the Public Law Section, as well as discounts on select CEB publications
  • Free subscription to the quarterly Public Law Journal, with free MCLE credit available in each issue
  • Access to the Public Law Section’s Members Only pages of the State Bar website, including an archive of past issues of the Public Law Journal
  • E-news Public Law Section updates
  • MCLE programs offered at the State Bar Annual Meeting
  • Webinars and a self-study online catalog offering MCLE credits throughout the year
  • Discounted admission to the annual California Public Records & Open Meetings Conference

Silvia Torres-Guillén, Special Counsel to Governor Brown, Named the 2016 Ronald M. George Public Lawyer of the Year

Sylvia Torres-Guillén, Special Counsel to the Office of the Governor, has been named the 2016 Ronald M. George Public Lawyer of the Year by the California State Bar’s Public Law Section.

Torres-Guillén was honored at a reception in September during the State Bar’s Annual Meeting in San Diego. The Public Lawyer of the Year Award recognizes Torres-Guillén as an exceptional attorney who has dedicated a significant portion of her career to public service.

“Sylvia Torres-Guillén is an exemplary public lawyer and wholly deserving of this award,” said Elizabeth G. Pianca, chair of the Public Law Section.  “Throughout her career, Ms. Torres-Guillén has served the public, both as a lawyer and educator, mentoring young lawyers for careers in public service.  From her early days of coaching criminal defense attorneys in trial techniques to her dedication to the protection of farm worker rights, Ms. Torres-Guillén embodies the mission of the Public Law section of the State Bar.  The Executive Committee is proud to honor her with the 2016 Public Lawyer of the Year Award.”

For a full biography of Torres-Guillén, see the press release about the award. For past recipients, see Public Lawyer of the Year.

Public Law Section Student Writing Competition

2016 Public Law Section Student Writing Competition Winner Announced

Congratulations to Michaela Goldstein of Loyola Law School! She is the winner of the 2016 Public Law Section’s Student Writing Competition. Ms. Goldstein’s article, The Anomalous Result: California Higher Education Student-on-Student Violence, will appear in a future edition of the Public Law Journal. Ms. Goldstein will be recognized at the Public Lawyer of the Year Awards Reception at The State Bar Annual Meeting in San Diego on September 30, 2016.

2017 Public Law Section Student Writing Competition

Win a $2,000 cash prize, get published in the Public Law Journal, and win a trip to the 2017 State Bar Annual Meeting! Deadline: Spring 2017 (date to be determined)

The California State Bar Public Law Section will seek entries for its annual Student Writing Competition. The competition is open to students at all California-accredited law schools, and the winner receives a $2,000 cash prize; transportation and hotel expenses for two nights at the State Bar Annual Meeting in Anaheim in the fall of 2017 where the winner will be recognized at an awards reception; and publication in the Public Law Journal. Check back soon for a link to the 2017 Public Law Section Student Writing Competition. For more information, click here!

Check out the Summer 2016 Public Law Journal

Public Law JournalThe Summer 2016 Public Law Journal, Volume 39, Number 3, is available online in the Members Only Area. Section members should have received the Journal via email.

Look for the following features:

Gary SchonsElizabeth PiancaClaire GibsonDavid KingEugene ParkJohn Appelbaum

MCLE Self-Study Article: 
Government Corruption: A Global Threat and Domestic Fear and the Supreme Court's Curb on Public Integrity Prosecution

By Gary W. Schons

Message from the Chair
By Elizabeth G. Pianca

Bid Problems Do Not Have to Be Big Problems. Part One: Avoiding Bid Protests
By Clare M. Gibson

Squirtles and Pidgeys and Eevees, Oh My!: Pokémon Go, Augmented Reality Games and Public Property
By David H. King

Litigation & Case Law Update 
By Eugene Park

Public Law Section Hosts Three Law School Panel Receptions in October
By John M. Appelbaum

Public Law Section and California Young Lawyers Association (CYLA) Mentoring Program is Recruiting

The Public Law Section and CYLA have implemented a new Mentoring Program.  If you are interested in volunteering as a mentor to a young lawyer, please contact Public Law Section Executive Committee Chair Scott Dickey at or Section Administrator Kristina Robledo at

Thank You for Being a Section Member - Here's 6 Hours MCLE in Legal Ethics!

We're very grateful for your membership in the Section. As a token of that, we're offering six hours of self-study MCLE credit in the area of Legal Ethics. The programs are posted in our Member's Only Area.

Simply watch the programs and read the accompanying materials, and keep track of having done so. You can report this to the State Bar when it's time to demonstrate your compliance with the MCLE requirements.

Join Us on Facebook and Twitter

Stay up-to-date on our latest news and events by joining us on Facebook at and following us on Twitter at

Online CLE & Podcasts Available for Public Law Section Programs

A growing catalog of courses from the Public Law Section is available for purchase online. The programs offer participatory CLE credits. To view current offerings, see the Public Law Online Catalog.

CEB Offers Discounts for Young Lawyers

CEB Discount Program for Section MembersGetting started in your career is exciting and challenging. CEB can help! You are eligible for all these offers if you were admitted to the State Bar of California within the last five years: (1) OnLAW® online library FREE for one year; (2) Discounts on practice books and forms; (3) Discounts on CLE programs and passports; and, (4) How-to-Guides FREE. To take advantage of these exciting offers, go to:


The State Bar of California and the Public Law Section are approved State Bar of California MCLE providers.

Contact Us

The Public Law Section
The State Bar of California
180 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94105-1639
FAX 415-538-2368

CLE Calendar
Join a Section
Sections Bookstore
My State Bar Profile
Online CLE
Self Study CLE Online
Sections Home Page
My State Bar Profile

Member Number


My State Bar Profile

Member Number