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Bar Association of San Francisco Member Benefits: Publications

Change a Life in 2012: Donate Today


By Susan Cox, Director of Development


For more than thirty years, donations to The Bar Association of San Francisco’s Volunteer Legal Services Program (VLSP), and diversity pipeline programs, have been supporting attorney-based community programs which are role models for the nation. We are there when people need us, in good times and bad. Our pro bono and community programs work, and more than that, our famously generous and tolerant city would be a very different place without them.

We are sometimes asked if your BASF membership dollars are used for these programs, and the answer is that they are completely supported by voluntary contributions.

We raise $3 million each and every year through these voluntary contributions. It’s a heart-warming but highly challenging undertaking. We meet with potential donors, send you letters, write proposals to corporations, law firms and foundations, make telephone calls, write articles like this one – all in an
effort to let people like you know about the important services we provide and how much we need your help.

The needs of the poor and under-served in our city have increased, year after year, and we receive daily calls for additional help. In difficult financial times, more of the working poor face the loss of their homes; more women suffer from domestic violence; more families fall into crushing debt;
and more law students need scholarship assistance.

The nationally-recognized and award-winning VLSP is home to an array of programs whose names tell their story: the Homeless Advocacy Project, the Housing Negotiation Project, the Community Organization Representation Project, the Eviction Defense Project, the Family Law Project and the Legal Advice and Referral Clinic. We prevent homelessness, keep families together, advocate for and defend the helpless, and provide support to community-based, nonprofit organizations who reach half a million Californians each year.

Our education pipeline begins in pre-school with our Head Start Holiday Gift Program, all the way through high school and college, with School-To-College and Destination Law School, up to and including law school with the Bay Area Minority Law Student Scholarships. With your help we have guided hundreds of students into four-year colleges from our most challenged city high schools; provided a road map from college to law school for hundreds more; and awarded over $1 million in scholarships to deserving minority law school students.

If you can help, make a gift this month. We can’t do this without you.

Please make your gift at or send your check, made payable to VLSP, with the name of the program you wish to support in the “Notes” line to Director of Development, BASF, 301 Battery Street, Third Floor, San Francisco, CA 94111. VLSP is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

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