Legal Community Raises More Than $350K at Annual Gala

On September 19, nearly 500 guests came together to celebrate the work of the Justice & Diversity Center’s (JDC) volunteers and staff in providing pro bono legal services to low-income people and educational programs that foster diversity in the legal profession.

gala-1BASF and JDC President Christopher Kearney, Keker & Van Nest, introduced former Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP) client Linda Johnson, who told the crowd how HAP attorney Erin Katayama helped her family stay in her home.

Jessica Flores, a past Bay Area Minority Law School Scholarship recipient, and the first in her family to graduate from college, shared how her scholarship and support from BASF and JDC made it possible to attend law school and be an example to her siblings.

Kathi Pugh, the first full-time pro bono counsel, who recently retired from Morrison & Foerster, was honored for her contributions to strengthening pro bono legal services in San Francisco and across the nation.

The event’s honorary co-chairs were Robert C. Friese, Shartsis Friese; Hyun Park, Pacific Gas and Electric Company Legal Department; Kathi Pugh, Morrison & Foerster; and Fabrice Vincent, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein. The event committee was chaired by Joseph Catalano, Union Bank.


Seventy-eight law firms, companies and organizations sponsored the event, which raised more than $350,000 to support JDC’s pro bono legal services, School-To-College and the Bay Area Minority Law School Scholarship program.

More photos from the Gala are on BASF’s page on Facebook at