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Farella Braun + Martel Announces 2003 Diversity Scholarship Recipients

August 26, 2003 Announcement

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (June 9, 2003): Farella Braun + Martel LLP has awarded its 2003 Diversity Scholarships totaling $12,000 to three first-year, full-time students at a number of Bay Area law schools. Each student will receive a $4,000 scholarship.

The awards, announced this week by the firm's Diversity Task Force, are offered each year to first-year law students from socially and ethnically diverse backgrounds attending the University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall), University of California, Hastings College of the Law, University of California, Davis (King Hall), Santa Clara University, Golden Gate University, the University of San Francisco or Stanford University. Scholarships are granted based on a consideration of both need and merit, with preference given to those applicants who demonstrate a commitment to working and living in the Bay Area.

"Farella Braun + Martel continues its commitment to expanding the number of attorneys from minority and underrepresented communities in the practice of law and at our firm," said William J. Schlinkert, chairman. "The depth, breadth and talent of the students that apply for this scholarship is astounding and we are delighted to be able to assist the recipients in the pursuit of their legal careers."

The recipients were selected based on a variety of factors, including academic accomplishments, ability to balance school with other activities, financial need and demonstrated commitment to serving both the legal profession and the community.

The three recipients of the 2003 Farella Braun + Martel Diversity Scholarships are:

Kennetha Gaines:
Kennetha is a first year law student at Golden Gate University and a graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz. She is currently working full-time to put herself through law school and to support her younger sister. Prior to law school, Kennetha served as an intern at the Community Action Board of Santa Cruz where she examined government subsidy programs as a means of addressing the high homelessness rate in Santa Cruz, and dealt with issues involving housing discrimination and a living wage. She also interned at the California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, where she lobbied for better employment conditions and wages for workers.

Debbie Torrez:
Debbie is in her first year of law school at the University of California, Davis (King Hall). She volunteers at the school's Immigration Clinic, as well as with the California Rural Assistance Legal Foundation, Advocates for The Rights of Children and the King Hall Legal Foundation. While attending Chapman University, Debbie worked as a Child Advocate with Child Abuse Prevention of Orange County, and received a National Service Scholarship and Victim Witness Memorial Scholarship. She is currently working for the Public Law Center, providing low-income individuals with legal aid in the areas of housing, domestic violence, immigration and family law.

Catherine Meza:
Catherine Meza is a first-year student at the University of California, Boalt Hall, and a graduate of New York University and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She currently volunteers at Centro Legal de La Raza in Oakland and is a counselor with the East Bay Community Law Center Workers' Rights Clinic in Berkeley. Prior to entering law school, Catherine was a Ford Fellow and worked as a legislative intern for Rep. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.). After law school, Catherine plans to practice public interest law with a focus on civil rights and educational equity. This summer, Catherine is interning at the Mexican-American Legal Defense & Education Fund. (MALDEF).

"In addition to their outstanding academic, extracurricular and personal accomplishments, Kennetha, Debbie and Catherine have clearly dedicated themselves to the betterment of their communities through public service," said Henry C. Fong, who co-chairs the firm's Diversity Task Force with partner James H. Colopy. "We are thrilled to award these well-deserved scholarships as part of our ongoing efforts to promote diversity in our profession."

This is the third year that Farella Braun + Martel has awarded diversity scholarships to Bay Area law students. The firm's Diversity Task Force also supports local organizations that address diversity issues, funds minority law student groups, organizes diversity awareness education, and sponsors efforts to increase diversity within the firm.

Since its founding in 1962, Farella Braun + Martel has achieved a national distinction for its complex commercial litigation practice, its high profile cases, prestigious client base and the acumen of its business practice. With 120 attorneys in the firm's San Francisco office, Farella Braun + Martel serves a diverse group of clients from multinational corporations to emerging businesses including VISA U.S.A., Inc., Verizon Wireless Services, Dolby Laboratories Inc., The Robert Mondavi Corporation, McKesson Corporation, General Electric Company, The University of California, Silicon Valley Bank and Dainippon Screen Manufacturing Company Limited.

Farella Braun + Martel also maintains an office in the Napa Valley, focused on the wine industry and related businesses. The firm's practice areas include complex commercial litigation, intellectual property litigation and technology, insurance coverage, construction litigation, environmental litigation/products law, employment litigation, white collar crime, real estate, land use, business transactions, securities, tax, family wealth and business planning and the wine and agribusiness industries.

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