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BASF Release Groundbreaking Report on LGBT Best Practices


November 28, 2007
-- The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) unveiled its groundbreaking report on best practices in the hiring, retention and promoting of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) employees on November 27, 2007 at a press conference at the BASF office.

The report - researched and written by members of BASF's LGBT Issues Committee, a subcommittee of its Equality Committee - focuses on best practices for legal employers to use in helping to create an LGBT-friendly working environment. The report, which can be used as a self-audit for firms, covers topics including leadership and culture; benefits; professional development; recruiting, hiring and training; marketing, philanthropy and pro bono activities; and transgender issues.

According to BASF President Nanci Clarence, Clarence & Dyer, "Our report guides firms on how to create a culture of inclusion and fairness that will ensure that they attract, retain and promote the 'best and brightest' in our profession. It also has concrete recommendations on 'dollars and cents' issues such as benefits and human resources that ensure fairness for LGBT lawyers."

Committee Co-Chairs Kelly Dermody, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein and L. Julius M. Turman, Morgan Lewis & Bockius, took the lead in writing the report, working with thirty committee members and six organizations.

"One of the things we were tasked with as we started our work in January of this year was answering the question, ' Why do we need this report? ' " noted Dermody. " In fact, much progress has been made, particularly in the Bay Area, for which employers should be applauded. But, recent studies of LGBT lawyers and law students in California and elsewhere have shown us that problems persist and that employers are not getting the feedback they need to understand and address those problems. T his report attempts to  bridge that information gap and provide employers with concrete information about the perceptions of LGBT lawyers today and how employers can create a truly fair and inclusive environment that will allow LGBT lawyers to achieve their potential in the workplace."

According to Turman, "The committee is particularly proud of the best practices geared toward the inclusion of transgender persons in law firm environments.  At a time of national debate over whether or not anti-discrimination protections for transgender persons should be included in proposed federal legislation, it was never a question for BASF.  Our report gives detailed and specific guidance on the means and methods to attract and retain talent and experience, especially from within the transgender community, and to ensure that transgender persons are given the dignity and respect that each of us deserves in the workplace."

The report can be viewed in its entirety at www.sfbar.org/lgbt.


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:

Contact:
Ann Murphy, Director of Communications & Public Relations
Email:
amurphy@sfbar.org
Phone:
(415) 782-9000 x8792

For general communications inquiries:

Contact:
Sayre Happich, Assistant Director of Communications & Public Relations
Email:
shappich@sfbar.org
Phone:
(415) 782-9000 x8104