BASF Statement on SCOTUS Affirmative Action Rulings
June 30, 2023—The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) and Justice and Diversity Center believes diversity is a crucial element of a thriving legal community. For that reason, we have filed amicus briefs supporting affirmative action for decades and are proud of our history of advocacy.
Diverse viewpoints, backgrounds, and experiences lead to increased creativity, innovation, and problem-solving, challenge us to think critically, and act with more empathy. The Supreme Court’s decision this week in SFFA v. Harvard and SFFA v. UNC to end affirmative action perpetuates system inequalities and is a setback to promoting equity.
BASF and JDC is heartened by the unflinching commitment to diversity made by institutions of higher education across the country, including the statements already issued by San Francisco and Bay Area colleges and law schools. BASF and JDC similarly recommits itself to building the diversity pipeline that is necessary to ensure that society will continue to benefit from the greatest and most diverse legal minds who might not otherwise reach the highest levels of the profession without the support of institutions focused on ensuring an inclusive, equitable, and prosperous society.
“Unfortunately, institutional racism continues to exist in our nation,” shares BASF and JDC Executive Director and General Counsel Yolanda Jackson. “It rears its ugly head in the education system from pre-school to graduate school. The admissions process is fraught with biases based on preferences and privilege -- legacy admissions policies are a prime example. Our legal system touches all races, gender, age, and sexual orientation groups of our society. It is critical that the lawyers who belong to these many groups are well-represented in the profession. This will help to ensure fair and equal access to justice. BASF and JDC will continue to be diligent in its efforts to support students and lawyers of color in becoming college students, law students and being excellent lawyers.
BASF and JDC Board President Vid Prabhakaran adds, “Just this past week, we held the Latinx Partners and Summer Associates Reception. Two of the speakers, a federal judge and a partner at one of the most respected law firms in the country, spoke eloquently about the challenges of making it to the highest levels of the profession and the importance of institutions, like bar associations, doing everything they can to raise up diverse voices. BASF remains committed to the pursuit of a diverse law community.”