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Joanne Garvey, First Female BASF President, 1935-2014

Posted By Administration, Monday, September 15, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO — Joanne Garvey, a trailblazing attorney who shattered numerous glass ceilings over the course of a 50-year legal career, died Wednesday following a battle with cancer. She was 79.


Garvey was the first woman partner at a downtown San Francisco law firm, the first woman elected to the board of governors of the State Bar of California, and the first female president of the Bar Association of San Francisco. She was a tireless advocate of legal services for the poor who also helped nurture generations of younger attorneys, whether by helping organize California Women Lawyers or through less formal social gatherings at her own home.


"Before the word 'mentor' was widely used as it is today, Joanne was one—to both woman and men," said M. Elizabeth McDaniel, comanaging partner of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton's San Francisco office, where Garvey had practiced since 2008.


"There are a lot of women who have done a lot for women, but Joanne was in a class by herself," said Drucilla Ramey, the former BASF executive director and dean of Golden Gate University School of Law.

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