Justice Stein is a fourth generation native San Franciscan, educated in the City's parochial and public schools, receiving his BA degree from San Francisco State University in 1962 and his JD degree from Hastings College of the Law in 1965. Thereafter, he was admitted to practice before all of the California courts, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the United States Court of Military Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court where he appeared several times.
After graduation from law school, Justice Stein joined the California Attorney General's Office in San Francisco where he specialized in appellate cases. He later became a Senior Assistant Attorney General and, just before his appointment to the bench, served as the Chief Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division. During this time, he was also a member of the United States Navy Reserve’s Judge Advocate Generals Corps where he attained the rank of Commander.
Justice Stein is a life member of the University of California Alumni Association and belongs to the San Francisco Opera’s Medallion Society, the St. Francis Yacht Club, the United States Power Squadron, the Knights of St. John and the California Heritage Council where he serves on its Board of Directors. Previously, he has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Girls Choral Association and is a former member of the California District Attorneys Association, the Airplane Owners & Pilots Association and the Soaring Society of America. Justice Stein and his wife, Janice, enjoy opera, yachting, travel and their Samoyed, Taras.