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Farella Braun + Martel Awards Five 2007 Diversity Scholarships To Bay Area Law School Students

May 4, 2007 Press Release

SAN FRANCISCO, May 4, 2007 - Farella Braun + Martel LLP has awarded its annual Diversity Scholarships to five first-year students at Bay Area law schools.  Each student received $5,000 for a total of $25,000.  Since FBM's Diversity Scholarship Program began in 2001, the firm has awarded more than $120,000 in scholarships to 29 law students from the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law; University of California, Davis, School of Law; Golden Gate University School of Law; University of California, Hastings College of the Law; Stanford Law School; and the University of San Francisco, School of Law.

The scholarships are offered each year to first-year law students from socially and ethnically diverse backgrounds.  The recipients are selected based on personal and academic accomplishments, financial need, and demonstrated leadership and commitment to serving the legal profession, the community and the public interest.

"We are excited to award this impressive and promising group of students well-deserved scholarships that will assist them in continuing their legal careers.  The recipients have demonstrated commendable efforts to serve underrepresented communities and contribute greatly to the legal profession," said Jennifer Peneyra, Recruiting and Diversity Manager.  "As a firm, we understand the importance of diversity and its presence in the legal industry.  We are thrilled to give back and assist this deserving group of law school students with Diversity Scholarships.  We are also proud to have been honored this year, as a result of our long-standing commitment to this and other programs advancing diversity interests, as one of the ‘Top 100 Law Firms for Diversity' from Multicultural Law magazine."

Farella Braun + Martel's Diversity Committee focuses its efforts on promoting diversity within the firm, in the legal profession, and in the community at large.  Through educational workshops on diversity awareness, roundtable discussions, and other events directed to increase diversity within the firm, the Diversity Committee strives to foster an environment where everyone has equal access to opportunities for personal and professional growth.  The Diversity Committee also extends its support for diversity to the community by contributing to local and national organizations that advance diversity issues, sponsoring minority law student groups, providing scholarships and internships for diverse students, participation in "pipeline" programs to promote diversity in the legal profession, and pro bono legal assistance to people from diverse communities and disadvantaged backgrounds.

The five recipients of the 2007 Farella Braun + Martel Diversity Scholarships are:

Jessica Brown is enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law and is an article editor on the Submissions Team for the Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law & Justice.  She is also a member of the Law Students of African Descent and the Boalt Hall Committee on Human Rights.  Prior to law school, Brown worked at the War Crimes Studies Center at UC Berkeley, and interned at the American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence and the Institute for Mental Health Initiatives.  While working toward her undergraduate degree, Brown volunteered at the St. Francis House Soup Kitchen and mentored students through the After School Kids' (ASK) Program.  She presently serves as a mentor for minority law school applicants through the Boalt Hall Admissions Office.  This summer, Brown will work as a legal intern with the Center for Social Development.   

Vina Ha attends the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law and is a member of the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association and the Berkeley Business Law Journal.  He has worked as a program coordinator at the Asian Community Mental Health Services Center, as a program manager at the UCLA Labor Center, and most recently, as a program manager at The Greenlining Institute, a public policy think tank and coalition.  Ha currently volunteers at the Immigration Law Clinic and organizes fundraising events for social causes related to low-income and minority issues.  He has also ventured into the field of entertainment, serving as a committee member for the Center for Asian American Media, producing documentaries on student activism and public policy issues, and performing as a DJ at numerous venues.  Ha will spend this summer working as a summer associate at the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts.

Jaime Hernandez is enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, where he serves on the Executive Board of the Boalt Hall Queer Caucus and represents the organization on the Center for Social Justice Student Advisory Board.  He is also a member of the Boalt Hall Healthcare Law Society and University Allies for Essential Medicine.  As an undergraduate student at the University of Miami, Hernandez served as the executive vice-president and treasurer of the University's College Democrats, as the executive board advisor for Amnesty International and UNICEF, and as an executive board member for the University of Miami Philosophy Club.  He volunteered at the Camillus House, a non-profit shelter and medical care facility for homeless people, and Care Resources, a non-profit organization serving low-income HIV-positive individuals. He currently volunteers at the California Asylum Representation Clinic.  Hernandez is the first person in his immediate family to earn a college degree and attend law school. 

Samorn Selim is a student at the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law and is the summer grants coordinator for the Berkeley Law Foundation.  She is also a member of the Berkeley Journal of Employment Labor Law, the Asian American Law Journal, and the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association.  Selim has served as a mentor through the Youth Support Program and as the program coordinator at Web of Encouragement, where she developed and implemented a workshop to assist underserved junior and senior high school students with post-graduate opportunities.  She has volunteered at the Hospice of San Joaquin, interned with the San Joaquin County Superior Court Family Law Division, and participates in the California Asylum Representation Clinic.  She is the first person in her immediate family to earn a college degree and attend law school.  Selim will work this summer as a consumer rights intern with the Federal Trade Commission. 

Devanand Singh  attends the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and is a member of the University's Business and Technology Group, Association of Communications, Sports and Entertainment Law, South Asian Law Students Association and the South Asian Bar Association.  Prior to law school, Singh attended Stanford University, where he served on the Executive Board of the Stanford Pre-Law Society, and was the marketing director for both the Asia Technology Initiative and the Stanford Concert Network.  He also interned with the Stanford Technology Law Review and the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California.  Singh has volunteered at the Stanford Community Law Clinic, where he worked on the Restaurant Workers' Rights Project to increase knowledge for workers' rights and awareness of unethical business practices of restaurants employing undocumented workers.   

Since its founding in 1962, Farella Braun + Martel has achieved a national reputation for the acumen of its business practice, the skilled trial attorneys and high profile cases of its 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. Farella Braun + Martel is a Green Business.

Contacts:
Melinda Hepp / Traci Stuart
Blattel Communications  
415.397.4811
[email protected] / [email protected]

Cheryl Loof
Farella Braun + Martel LLP
415.954.4433
[email protected]   

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