Bar Association of San Francisco

Bar Association of San Francisco

= Introduction =

The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) was established in 1872 as a nonprofit legal membership organization that provides San Francisco legal professionals with networking, educational and pro bono opportunities in order to better serve the community. [ [ Official Website of the Bar Association of San Francisco] ]

BASF is located in the financial district at 301 Battery Street, between Sacramento and Clay Streets, on the third floor of the Bently Reserve building. [ [ October 13, 2006 Article in San Francisco Business Times] ] Included in the National Register of Historic Places, the Bently Reserve, formerly the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, was built in 1924.

BASF's Stated Mission

The mission of BASF is as follows: [ [ Official Website of the Bar Association of San Francisco] ]

The Bar Association of San Francisco champions equal access to justice and promotes humanity, excellence, and diversity in the legal profession.

We provide legal services to disadvantaged and underserved individuals in San Francisco. We create opportunities for legal service in the community and encourage participation by our members.

We advance professional growth and education, and elevate the standards of integrity, honor, and respect in the practice of law.

We cultivate diversity and equality in the legal profession, provide a collective voice for public advocacy, and pioneer constructive change in society.


BASF is governed by an elected Board of Directors [ [ Board of Directors] ] . In addition, BASF currently has 27 sections and six committees, each dedicated to either a particular, substantive area of the law or to issues such as access to justice and the administration of justice.

BASF’s Barristers Club, the division serving attorneys with under ten years of experience, has its own board of directors. [ [ Barrister's Club Website] ]

Task Force Reports

BASF has produced a number of reports and publications on the legal workplace through various task forces. These include:

* [ 2007 Report LGBT Best Practices] [ [ November 29, 2007 Article in The Recorder] ]
* [ 2006 Work Life Balance Report] [ [ February 13, 2006 Article in The Recorder] ]
* [ 2005 Report on Goals and Timetables for Minority Hiring and Advancement]


BASF has established numerous diversity programs and initiatives within the organization. These include:

* [ Goals and Timetables for Minority Hiring and Advancement]
* [ No Glass Ceiling]
* [ LGBT Issues ]
* [ Disability Rights]

The Diversity Pipeline

BASF has also focused its efforts on diversity in the profession by pumping up the "diversity pipeline." The diversity pipeline is an effort to respond to the lack of racial and ethnic diversity among lawyers by introducing minority children, teens, and college students to the legal profession. [ [ April 2007 Article in Student Lawyer] ]

BASF's pipeline efforts include surveys, conferences, initiatives and programs that include:
* [ School-To-College]
* [ San Francisco Law Academy] [ [ August 12, 2008 Article in the Legal Recorder] ]
* [ Mock Trial]
* [ Scholarship Program]
* [ Summer Clerkship Program]
* [ Diversity Career Fair]

Marriage Fairness

In 2008 BASF organized a Marriage Fairness Task Force to respond to what it believes are the attempts being made to attack the Supreme Court and to rewrite the California constitution and deny Californians the marriage rights currently protected by the constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court. [ [ August 14, 2008 Article in The Recorder] ] [ [ James Brosnahan Letter to the Editor Opposing Proposition 8] ]

Community Programs

BASF founded the Volunteer Legal Services Program (VLSP) in 1977. It began as a small pro bono project, but is now one of the largest nonprofit providers of free legal and social services to low income individuals and families. [ [ Guidestar Report on the Volunteer Legal Service Program] ]

VLSP Projects include:
*Family Law Project
*Eviction Defense Project
*Housing Negotiation Project
*Community Organization Representation Project (CORP)
*Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP)
*Consumer Project
*Tort Defense Project
*Legal Advice and Referral Clinic (LARC)
*Interpreter Project
*Family Law Assisted Self-Help (FLASH) Project
*Social Services Project [ [ List of VLSP Programs] ]

In addition, to VLSP, the BASF Foundation serves as the charitable arm of BASF. Its stated mission: [ [ Official Website of the BASF Foundation] ]

To change lives by:
*Leveraging the legal aid resources of our community
*Supporting diversity in the legal profession
*Providing educational support to our Bay Area youth

The BASF Foundation serves as the main conduit for all of BASF's fundraising activities that help fund the public service, pro bono and community programs, described above, that BASF provides.

Finally, BASF also established the [ Lawyer Referral and Information Service] (LRIS) in 1947. LRIS offers legal assistance to clients from a panel of experienced lawyers.

External Links

* [ Official Website for the Bar Association of San Francisco]
* [ Official Website for the Volunteer Legal Service Program]


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