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Bar Association of San Francisco Member Benefits: Publications

Profile of a Donor: Joan Haratani, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius


Joan Haratani is a former BASF President, a donor and an active volunteer for the Volunteer Legal Services Program. She has practiced in the Bay Area for 27 years, and is a partner with Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. Her litigation practice focuses on class action commercial and products liability.


Joan HarataniBASF: Why do you donate to the Volunteer Legal Services Program through the BASF Foundation?

Joan Haratani (JH): VLSP is the largest provider of free legal services in our community. We touch so many people. The feedback I get from clients is tremendously positive. I am proud to be a part of the BASF Foundation/VLSP family and believe that it is our moral duty to help those in need.

BASF: What program(s) are you most interested in supporting and why?

JH: I love Project Homeless Connect, assisting tenants who are on the verge of being evicted, and also School-To-College. PHC is a heartwarming experience — the gratitude of the clients is enough to keep me going. Same with assisting tenants in negotiating a deal so that they do not get evicted. STC is a pipeline program — and the best way out of poverty is through education. I was raised by parents who valued education above all else, and they instilled in me the importance of bettering oneself and being financially independent and secure.

BASF: Do you have a personal story to share about your own involvement with these programs?

JH: Helping a client (single mother) avoid eviction a few months ago had a huge effect on me. She would have been rendered homeless but for the program. Morgan Lewis associate Rebecca Licht and I helped renegotiate the terms of her lease — she was so grateful she cried. It was a positive experience with a positive outcome.

BASF: What would you be if you weren’t a lawyer?

JH: I can’t imagine not being a lawyer, it’s in my blood! If I had to do it over, I would have pursued a career in music. I used to play violin and I love to sing — music puts a smile on my face and is understood and appreciated among all cultures.

BASF: What is your proudest accomplishment (professionally or personally)?

JH: Serving as president for The Bar Association of San Francisco. While it was extremely challenging, I loved being such an integral part of the BASF family. My BASF Board of Directors and staff were supportive, hard working and visionary. It was an experience I will never forget. Personally, I’m probably proudest of finishing the Ironman triathlon race. That was one long day!

BASF: Do you have a favorite quotation?

JH: My favorite quote changes depending on the issue that is up for me at the time. Right now, I love the quote from the XIVth Dalai Lama. It reads in part, “…Never give up. No matter what is happening. No matter what is going on around you. Never give up.”


If you would like to join Joan Haratani in her support of the BASF Foundation’s Diversity Pipeline programs or VLSP, send your check to Director of Development Sue Cox at the BASF Foundation, 301 Battery Street, Third Floor, San Francisco, CA 94111. You can also use our redesigned donate page at Thank you!

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