To our legal community:
Along with all of you, we have been working tirelessly to adjust to rapidly changing work environments and processes, while continuing the essential work on behalf of those we serve.
We are inspired by the creativity and generosity of those we work with in this time of crisis and thank all of our members, volunteers, partners, and supporters who make our work possible.
To support the important work of the Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) and our staff, please consider joining or renewing your membership. Your membership dollars support educational programs, section and committee activities, community programs and advocacy on your behalf.
And please consider making a gift to the Justice & Diversity Center(JDC) to support the work of our staff and volunteer attorneys who represent people facing eviction and homelessness, advocate for immigrants in detention, and protect domestic violence survivors.
How BASF and JDC are Continuing to Serve and Advocate During the COVID-19 Crisis
As our staff continues to work remotely, we want to share with you the ways in which we have been serving our members and community over the past few weeks:
Education and Resources
Recently we asked our members what they needed most from us during these uncertain times. The top answers included updates on court, county, and judicial council changes and online Continuing Legal Education. We’ve been stepping up our efforts on both of those fronts:
- We’ve launched a Court Updates page, with a compilation of court operational updates during the COVID-19 emergency. We strive to provide you with the latest information by updating this page daily.
- We’ve launched a COVID-19 Educational Resources for Lawyers page, making recent relevant educational programs and resources about business continuity available to everyone.
Service Continuity and Pro Bono Help for Frontline Medical Workers
- BASF and JDC are leading a group of Bay Area lawyers and organizations to provide legal help to frontline medical workers with emergency planning needs, including temporary powers of attorney, health care directives, and wills.
- JDC staff and volunteer attorneys continue to advise and represent people facing eviction and homelessness, advocate for immigrants in detention, and protect domestic violence survivors.
- BASF staff, including the San Francisco-Marin Lawyer Referral Service, Court Appointment Programs, Conflict Intervention Service and the many other programs serving the community continue to adapt and operate. Read the Business Continuity Statement for details.
Advocacy and Expertise Related to the COVID-19 Crisis
BASF and JDC leadership have been instrumental in offering expertise and guidance to local and state officials as they develop sweeping new orders and procedures to help us navigate this unprecedented situation. Here are some recent letters and statements:
- BASF sent a letter to Governor Newsom, urging him to consider the recommendations of health experts to release elderly and medically vulnerable people from prisons.
- JDC joined local legal services and community organizations in calling for a moratorium on evictions during the coronavirus pandemic.
- JDC joined 22 organizations in a letter to the Judicial Council asking for urgent action to protect survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.
- JDC joined 43 organizations in a letter urging the Executive Office for Immigration Review to close immigration courts to protect detainees, staff, and the public from COVID-19.
- BASF’s Estate Planning, Probate and Trusts Section sent a letter to Governor Newsom regarding notarization during the public health emergency.
- BASF and JDC issued a joint statement in response to racist and xenophobic actions and comments that are not only deplorable but also undermine collective efforts to fight the pandemic.
- BASF’s Ethics Committee issued a timely statement on Professional Conduct In Times of Crisis, calling for our profession to demonstrate an even higher level of civility in the legal profession without compromising obligations to clients.
- BASF sent a letter to the Chief Justice and Committee of Bar Examiners regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the July 2020 Bar Examination.
As an association and service organization, we are in the business of learning from and supporting each other. The coronavirus pandemic and shelter-in-place emergency are offering us many learning opportunities and together, we are developing solutions that make us stronger and more resilient.
Thank you for your membership and your support.
Together, we will get through this, stronger.