Sander v. State Bar of CaliforniaAnnotate this Case
Sander and the First Amendment Coalition sought a writ of mandate to obtain information from the State Bar of California’s bar admissions database--individually unidentifiable records for all applicants to the California Bar Examination from 1972 to 2008 in the categories: race or ethnicity, law school, transfer status, year of law school graduation, law school and undergraduate GPA, LSAT scores, and performance on the bar examination. Making these records available to the public in a manner that protects the applicants’ privacy and anonymity, they believe, will allow researchers to study the potential relationship between preferential admissions programs in higher education and a gap in bar passage rates between racial and ethnic groups. The superior court upheld the State Bar’s denial of the request. The court of appeal affirmed. The court correctly found Petitioners’ request to be beyond the purview of the California Public Records Act (Gov. Code 6250) because it would compel the State Bar to recode its existing data and create new records.