From Southern Daily, summarized and translated by CDT:
In recent years, all levels of the Party organization in Guangdong Province have enhanced and focused on the work of Party building at law associations and law firms. Market demand has driven a rapid increase in the number of lawyers in Guangdong. By the end of 2006, Guangdong had the largest number of law firms (1,237) and lawyers (13,851) in China. More than 4000, or roughly 30 percent, of the lawyers are Party members.
To effectively solve the phenomenon, prevalent in the legal business, of “more interest in business, less interest in the Party,” Guangdong has integrated Party building work with business management. The Guangdong Provincial Party Committee and the Guangdong Provincial Justice Department set up a coordination mechanism, through questionnaire surveys, to analyze and identify feedback from lawyers and solve problems in a timely manner. Some local party committees have also explored a mechanism to evaluate the work of Party building. In the future, law firms will include the building of a Party branch part of their annual management goals, evaluating business synchronously with Party building.
Over the past three years, a total of 114 lawyers have been developed as new Party members. At present, there are seven lawyer Party committees, five lawyer general Party branches, and 323 lawyer Party branches. To inspire the enthusiasm of lawyer Party members, Guangdong has refunded Party membership fees to the local lawyer Party committees. The activities of Party branches in law firms will eventually be funded by the provincial financial budget. [Full Original Chinese Report]