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Top brass from the Bar Association of San Francisco met last week to talk strategy on how the influence of its 9,000 members can help address the shortage of women on the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law. The meeting comes on the heels of a recent letter the Boalt Hall Women’s Association fired off to the law school’s faculty hiring committee, blasting the school for hiring practices the association says discriminate against women. Currently, women hold just 10 of the 54 faculty positions at the school. The university is currently considering applicants for three tenure-track positions but has not offered a single faculty job to a woman since Proposition 209, which dismantled affirmative action, passed in November 1996. Drucilla Ramey, executive director of the Bar Association of San Francisco, said the meeting was suggested in mid-February when some of its top members got word of the Boalt hiring situation. “Basically the feeling was that we should write to the dean with some areas of interest and request a meeting,” Ramey said. “This is a new dean and people are really interested in seeing what the situation is.” Ramey hopes the association can work with Dean John Dwyer to determine whether the problem lies in the number of quality female applicants, in the hiring process itself, or in some other area. The association’s president, Douglas Young, is a Boalt graduate, as is president-elect Angela Bradstreet, treasurer Jeffrey Bleich, and secretary Jon Streeter. The association raised $700,000 for minority scholarships for students at San Francisco Bay Area law schools — the bulk of which went to students at Boalt. “Generally when the bar gets involved, it’s not a fair-weather friend — we’re in this for the long haul,” Ramey said. “This is the beginning of a long and hopefully happy relationship.”

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