Success Through Teamwork, Diversity & Respect
One of Farella Braun + Martel’s core values is Success Through Teamwork, Diversity and Respect. We are able to better serve our clients, our profession and our community by building a workforce comprised of attorneys and staff with varied backgrounds in a workplace that appreciates individual differences. We implement this core value through our commitment to diversity at our firm and in the legal profession at large.
Diversity is not merely discussed in the abstract; it is an integral part of our firm, reinforced by action and initiative. Farella established its Diversity Committee in 2001, and in 2004 created the position of “Diversity Manager” to further develop and implement the Committee’s initiatives. The triad of the Diversity Committee, its subcommittees and the Diversity Manager focus on three main areas: (1) Recruitment, Retention and Advancement; (2) the Diversity Pipeline; and (3) Community Service.
In 2010, Farella received the State Bar of California’s Law Firm Diversity Award as well as the California Minority Counsel Program (CMCP)’s Drucilla Stender Ramey Majority-Owned Law Firm Award. We are honored by the State Bar and CMCP’s recognition of our firm’s sustained and long-term commitment to promoting and celebrating diversity in the legal profession.
Recruitment, Retention & Advancement
The Diversity Committee focuses on increasing awareness and communication of diversity-related issues, while also promoting an environment in which everyone has equal access to opportunities for personal and professional growth, client development, and firm leadership. Our Diversity Committee works closely with other committees, departments and firm leaders to ensure that our recruitment, mentorship and professional development programs reinforce our practice of welcoming, supporting, promoting and retaining minority, women, LGBT and attorneys with disabilities.
Examples of our efforts to diversify our workplace and the legal profession include:
- Attorney Diversity Awareness Workshops conducted regularly by nationally recognized specialists.
- Firm-wide roundtable discussions, special panels and other events to engage and educate attorneys and staff members on various diversity-related subjects.
- Active recruitment at and sponsorship of diversity job fairs.
- A diversity component in mentoring and professional development programs for associates and partners.
- Family-friendly policies such as paid childcare, leave and part-time working policies that allow parents to work a reduced hours schedule.
- Generous benefits policies that apply equally to spouses, same-sex or opposite-sex domestic partners and dependent children.
- Adoption of the Bar Association of San Francisco's Goals and Timetables for Minority Hiring, and the goals of its "No Glass Ceiling" Task Force.
- Programs sponsored for professionals outside of the firm;
- In October 2007, we co-hosted a Diversity Conference with the Bar Association of San Francisco that brought members of the local legal community, educators and law students together to discuss solutions for increasing diversity in the legal profession.
The Diversity Pipeline
Farella Braun + Martel recognizes the need to develop the pipeline of minorities and underrepresented groups entering the legal profession. Our Pipeline Program Subcommittee, comprised of attorneys and staff members, has developed outreach programs directed at diverse communities within law schools. The Pipeline Program Subcommittee has also successfully created programs that give eager undergraduate and high school students a better understanding of the practice of law, and provide life skills which might enable these unique students to succeed in their dreams of pursuing a career in the legal profession.
Examples of our efforts to build the pipeline of diverse legal professionals include:
- Diversity Pipeline Internship Program, which introduces high school students from underrepresented communities to the practice of law and provides them with practical skills and strategies to assist them in the pursuit of higher education.
- Annual Diversity Scholarship Program, which provides financial aid to local first-year law students who are diverse and/or from underrepresented backgrounds.
- Participation in the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Law Academy and School-to-College Programs, Berkeley Law’s Center for Youth Development through Law and the Enterprise Career Exploration Program.
At Farella Braun + Martel, our commitment to diversity extends beyond our workplace. We encourage our attorneys to take active roles in promoting the diversification of the legal profession at large, whether through leadership positions in professional associations which celebrate diversity or participation in programs that serve our greater community. Equally important is our commitment to pro bono activities, through which we provide assistance to diverse groups of people. Farella Braun + Martel’s dedication to community service dates back to the founding partners, each of whom led by example and are well known for their extensive contributions to the community. This commitment continues unabated today.
Examples of our community service programs include:
- Sponsorship, participation and leadership in local and national organizations that address diversity issues and serve underrepresented communities.
- Staffing the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Legal Services Clinic.
- Volunteering with the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Food from the Bar Campaign and Head Start Holiday Program.
- Participation in the Rebuilding Together Program, which provides assistance with home-improvement and maintenance projects to elderly, low-income, disabled or otherwise deserving individuals.
In honor of the firm's 50th anniversary this year, we partnered with ConnectEd's California Center for College and Career to introduce a new Farella Braun + Martel Law and Justice Credit Recovery Curriculum at Thurgood Marshall High School in San Francisco's Bay View/Hunters Point community. This groundbreaking and innovative Curriculum will infuse law-related themes into the school's credit-recovery program, helping a diverse student population get back on track to graduation and exposing them to career options in law and justice fields.
For additional information regarding Farella Braun + Martel’s commitment to diversity, please contact:
Steven Vettel, Diversity Committee Co-Chair
Ryan Lowther, Diversity Committee Co-Chair
Jennifer Peneyra, Recruiting and Diversity Manager
Farella Braun + Martel LLP is an equal opportunity employer and considers all qualified employees or applicants for each position without regard to race, color, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, veteran's status, disability or any factor prohibited by federal, state or local law.