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BASF and Minority Bars Recognize Signers to 2010 Diversity Goals

San Francisco, May 9, 2006 -- The list of 78 signatories to the 2010 Goals and Timetables for the hiring and retention of minority attorneys were announced at a press conference held in May at The Bar Association of San Francisco. Representatives of numerous minority bar associations joined BASF President Joan Haratani, 2005 Diversity Report author, Bill Lann Lee and Gap V.P. and Associate General Counsel, Wilma Wallace, to underscore the importance of BASF's role as the leader in San Francisco, and the entire nation, in adopting goals and timetables.

According to Edwin Prather, co-chair of the Minority Bar Coalition, "We are extremely glad to see that The Bar Association of San Francisco has continued to play a leadership role in getting firms, corporate law departments and government agencies to create and maintain diverse work environments. As the 2010 goals make clear, this will be a challenge for the signers, but one that will yield huge benefits for these employers in the future."

The goals call for 37% minority associates/junior corporate counsel and 15% minority partners/senior corporate counsel by 2010. Subgoals of 9% for African American and Latino minority associates were also established. According to Jim Finberg, co-chair of BASF's Diversity Task Force, "We recognize that to meet these goals, firms will have to maintain sustained diversity programs that are geared toward both hiring and retention but we believe it can be done-and must be done if we are to try to reflect the population within California and fulfill our commitments to the larger community which we represent."

"Although San Francisco law firms with 24% minority associates are doing better than the national average, there is much work to be done," said Bill Lann Lee, Diversity Task Force co-chair.

A number of programs designed to increase the number of minority students in the pipeline are at the heart of the report including (1) increasing minority law student scholarships; (2) encouraging minority students to pursue law as a career; (3) supporting research into alternatives to the LSAT that measure the characteristics of good lawyers; and (4) participating in programs designed to help minority high school students with the college admission process.

The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) is a nonprofit voluntary membership organization of over 8,000 attorneys, law students and legal professionals in the Bay Area. Founded in 1872, BASF is one of the largest and most dynamic metropolitan bar associations in the U.S., with a long and distinguished record of community action, public service and service to the legal profession.

Questions about media relations, BASF issues currently in the news, San Francisco Attorney magazine, marketing and communications:

Ann Murphy, Director of Communications & Public Relations
(415) 782-9000 x8792

For general communications inquiries:

Sayre Happich, Assistant Director of Communications & Public Relations
(415) 782-9000 x8104