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About Us & Our Mission

Since 1872 we have been providing San Francisco legal professionals with networking and pro bono opportunities in order to better serve our community.

Timeline 1870 to 2006

1849 Tadich's Restaurant established

1852 First law firm in San Francisco? established

1855 University of San Francisco established

1864 Jack's Restaurant established

1865 San Francisco Chronicle/Examiner established

1870 City of New York Bar established

1872 State enacts first code of laws

1872 BASF founded

1878 UC Hastings College of the Law established

1878 American Bar Association established

1878 California Constitutional Convention

1879 California Constitution established

1879 Superior Courts established

1878 Clara Shortridge becomes the first woman attorney

1891 Stanford University established

1894 Boalt Hall School of Law established

1901 Golden Gate University established

1906 Great Earthquake destroys BASF headquarters

1906 Courthouse collapses in the earthquake

1910 BASF helps write written code of legal ethics

1916 BASF creates San Francisco Legal Aid Society

1920 Queen's Bench established

1927 The Barristers Club of BASF is established

1927 State Bar of California established

1934 BASF plays major roles in longshoremen strike

1937 San Francisco Bar published by BASF

1937 San Francisco Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild established

1945 BASF activates CLE

1946 Lawyers Club of San Francisco established

1947 BASF's Lawyer Referral & Information Service established

1947 BASF donates its law library to the City of San Francisco

1950 The Brief Case published by BASF

1955 National Bar Association established

1974 California Women Lawyers established

1977 BASF's Volunteer Legal Services Program (VLSP) established

1981 BASF's first woman president is Joanne M. Garvey

1983 San Francisco Women Lawyers Alliance established

1983 BASF establishes the Office of Citizen Complaints

1985 BASF Foundation established

1986 BASF's Early Settlement Program established

1988 Homeless Advocacy Project of VLSP established

1989 BASF established Goals and Timetables for Minority Hiring and Advancement

1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake

1990 BASF's first Asian-American president is Michael G.W. Lee

1993 BASF's first African-American president is Raymond C. Marshall

1996 Community Organization Representation Project of VLSP established

1997 BASF's Law Academy program established

1998 BASF's Bay Area Minority Law Student Scholarship Program established

1999 BASF's first openly gay president is Therese M. Stewart

2002 BASF's No Glass Ceiling Task Force established

2006 BASF's first Asian-American woman president is Joan Haratani


Did You Know?

In 1872 BASF holds it first formal meeting. It is the first bar association in California. Headquarters, including "two fine billiard tables," are established on the second floor of 634 Sacramento. The initiation fee is $50, annual dues are $60 (in 2007 dollars, that's $1667!), and admission requires a "recommendation of the committee on admissions and the ballot of members."

In 1878 Clara Shortridge Folz wins legislation to cause the words "white male" to be struck from the statute governing admission to legal practice and argues her own case successfully to the California Supreme Court for admission to Hastings College of Law. She becomes the first woman licensed to practice law in California. Later she founds the public defender movement.

In 1945 BASF activates a program of continuing legal education with a series of lectures on recent tax laws.