Background and Membership Information
“The King’s good servant – but God’s first.”
These last words of St. Thomas More have inspired Catholic lawyers for generations to affirm this high calling through faithful instruction and example. Membership in the St. Thomas More Society of San Francisco, along with judges, lawyers, public servants, and officials of all faiths provides the best path toward this end. Together we ask God to bless, strengthen, and enlighten all servants of the law, and all people of faith, so that in solidarity and mutual trust we may more charitably achieve justice and freedom for society. St. Thomas More has been immortalized as a “man for all seasons” on the strengths of his prolific life and professional character, acknowledged as “Lawyer of the Millennium,” and canonized for his unfailing devotion. Membership will guarantee access to this wonderful legacy of professional enhancement and collegial fervor. The St. Thomas More Society of San Francisco is an indispensable voice in the Bay Area legal community and beyond whenever issues of public moment are analyzed and debated. Participation in the Society honors and sustains its many expressions of good service.
Our Founding and History
The St. Thomas More Society of San Francisco was founded in 1937 and is the oldest fellowship of Catholic lawyers and judges in the West. The Society is named for the 16th century lawyer, judge and diplomat who became the first layman to serve as Lord Chancellor of England, then the crown’s chief minister as well as its highest judicial officer. A recognized scholar, the young More lectured on Augustine. In early middle age he wrote Utopia, the classical vision of political and social perfection. More resigned the chancellorship and eventually went on to his death, rather than submit to the Oath of Supremacy demanded by Henry VIII. In 1935 St. Thomas More was canonized on the 400th anniversary of his martyrdom.
Society Membership and Events
Members of the Society regularly benefit from informational and inspirational events. In furtherance of St. Thomas More’s heritage, the Society offers monthly luncheon speakers to entertain, enlighten, and encourage debate on legal, ethical, moral, and social issues of the day. We also offer Theology on Tap and a Lenten Series, which provide small-group social opportunities to keep God in our daily thoughts in a social setting. The annual 8th Grade essay scholarship contest challenges our parochial students to apply lessons from their Christian formation to timely topics. We also sponsor a scholarship for students at local law schools. Over the years the Society has participated in various service projects, including working at St. Anthony’s Dining Room and the San Francisco Food Bank. We are currently partnering with De Marillac Academy in the Tenderloin to provide our members with a variety of opportunities to share their talents with the community by working with deserving kids and each other.
The Society sponsors social activities, which have included Giants games and seasonal after-work socials to initiate younger practitioners into our legal community. We also sponsor a Mentor Program, which matches experienced lawyers with more junior lawyers and law students for informal professional and social mentoring, fellowship, and networking. The October Red Mass traditionally celebrates the Society’s long and rich tradition with the presentation of the St. Thomas More Award and congratulatory banquet at which we honor a deserving member of our community.
The St. Thomas More Society invites members of the legal profession, including law students, to remain with us in the pursuit of his call to true legal service. Thomas More prayed that in his practice of law he would always be able, accurate and honest – never risking the loss of his soul for the winning of his point.
How to Join
Membership dues are $75 for attorneys with five (5) or more years in practice and $25 for attorneys who are retired or have fewer than five (5) years in practice. Law student membership is free. Please go to the membership application page to join the St. Thomas More Society of San Francisco and contribute to his ennobling mission.