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Farella Braun + Martel Announces 2006 Diversity Scholarship Recipients

April 25, 2006 Press Release


San Francisco (April 25, 2006)
– Farella Braun + Martel LLP has awarded five first-year students at Bay Area law schools Diversity Scholarships totaling $25,000.  Each student receives a $5,000 scholarship.
 
The scholarships, announced recently by the firm’s Diversity Committee, are offered each year to first-year law students from socially and ethnically diverse backgrounds.  The recipients were selected based on personal and academic accomplishments, leadership, financial need and demonstrated commitment to serving both the legal profession and the community.

The firm’s Diversity Committee focuses on promoting diversity within the firm, the legal profession and the community at large.  Through recruiting, mentoring and professional development, as well as educational workshops on diversity awareness, roundtable discussions, and other events aimed at increasing diversity within the firm, the Diversity Committee strives to foster an environment where all have equal access to opportunities for personal and professional growth.  The Diversity Committee also extends its support to the community by contributing to local and national organizations that advance diversity issues, sponsoring minority law student groups, and participating in pro bono activities that assist people from diverse communities and disadvantaged backgrounds.

"2006 marks the sixth year we have awarded diversity scholarships, and each year we are more and more impressed with our applicants’ exceptional achievements and their firm resolve to overcome obstacles to bring their unique perspectives to the legal profession,” said Ruth Ann Castro, an environmental attorney who serves as co-chair of the firm’s Diversity Committee.  “Our recipients have outstanding academic, extracurricular and personal accomplishments, in addition to a wide-variety of affiliations and creative service projects.  We are excited to award these well-deserved scholarships as part of our ongoing efforts to promote diversity in our profession and in the community at large."

Recipients of the 2006 Farella Braun + Martel Diversity Scholarships are:

Desiree Almendral
Desiree studies at the University of California, Hastings School of Law, where she was elected the first-year representative of the Native American Law Student Association and is a member of the La Raza Law Student Association and Pilipino American Law Students Association.  Born and raised in San Francisco’s Mission District, she is committed to increasing the opportunities for her community, as demonstrated through her participation in organizations such as the Mission Anti-displacement Coalition Partnership.  Desiree has also mentored disadvantaged youth through the Real Alternatives Program High School Site Council and the Vision Youthz agency, which is geared toward formerly incarcerated youth.  She is the first member of her family to attend college, and she will intern with Hewlett Packard this summer.

Sarah Asplin
Sarah is enrolled at the University of California, Davis School of Law (King Hall), where she serves as the organizer of the Feminist Forum and is a representative on the Law Students Association Board..  She was elected President of the Undergraduate Women’s Council and President of the Graduate Women’s Council at the University of Denver and was also named Outstanding Senior Woman and Arts and Humanities Graduating Student of the Year.  Sarah has been a conference delegate for the Lambda Law Students Association and has participated in numerous community programs, such as working during college as a shelter volunteer at A Gathering Place and as a member of the UCC Board of Social Justice Outreach.  Through the Sacramento Bar Association Diversity Program, she will work with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe this summer.

Jenny Lam
Jenny attends the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law and is a member of the Asian American Law Journal and the Berkeley Journal of International Law.  She is concurrently a Master of Public Policy candidate at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.  Prior to law school, she worked at The Greenlining Institute, a public policy think tank and coalition, and Preschool California, a non-profit advocating universal preschool access.  She strives to work with underrepresented communities and is presently a volunteer advocate at the California Asylum Representation Clinic and the Harvard Law Student Advocates for Human Rights.  This summer, Jenny will extern for Judge Marsha Berzon of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

Nou Lee
Nou studies at the University of California, Hastings School of Law and is a member of the Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal.  She endeavors to serve the underrepresented Hmong community and has taken great strides to fulfill her goals by overcoming obstacles set forth by cultural tradition.  She has been an active member of the Hmong Student Association of San Diego, holding leadership positions such as Student Representative and Secretary, as well as High School Student Mentor.  Nou has also served as an interpreter to the Hmong community in helping individuals throughout the country attain legal assistance.  She will spend this summer clerking with the law firm of Curtis and Arata.

Janel Thamkul
Janel attends the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law and is a member of its Asian Law Journal.  Prior to law school, Thamkul worked at the Center for the Pacific Asian Family Emergency Domestic Violence Shelter as a Child Development Specialist and a Children’s Advocate.  She has mentored youth in the community as a Cabin Leader for at-risk, high-needs youth at the San Francisco Boys and Girls Club Camp and by tutoring children through the Asian American Tutorial Project at UCLA.  Janel also taught at the Wat Parinayok Elementary School in Thailand.  She is committed to public service in her legal career and presently volunteers at the California Asylum Representation Clinic.  This summer, Janel will intern with Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach.

About Farella Braun + Martel LLP
Since its founding in 1962, Farella Braun + Martel has achieved a national reputation for the acumen of its business practice, its experienced trial attorneys and high-stakes litigation practice, and its prestigious client base. Based in San Francisco, the firm serves a diverse group of clients from multinational corporations to emerging businesses.  The firm also has an office in the Napa Valley focused on the wine industry and related businesses.

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