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Farella Braun + Martel’s Diversity Scholarship Program Aids Minority First-Year Law Students

April 26, 2011 Press Release

In its 11th Year, Five 2011 Scholarship Recipients Announced

SAN FRANCISCO, April 26, 2011 - Farella Braun + Martel LLP has awarded its annual Diversity Scholarship of $5,000 to five first-year students at Bay Area law schools, totaling $25,000.  The recipients are selected based on academic accomplishments, commitment to serving the community and financial need.

"We are thrilled to give back and assist this worthy group of law school students.  The Diversity Scholarship is a way that our firm promotes diversity in the legal profession while also assisting deserving students," said Jennifer Peneyra, Farella Braun + Martel's recruiting and diversity manager.  "Over the years, we have kept in touch with past recipients, many of whom have since graduated from law school and joined law firms, while others are practicing in-house, with government agencies and for public interest organizations.  They are succeeding as students and attorneys and are active contributors to community initiatives that further promote diversity."

The five recipients of the 2011 Farella Braun + Martel Diversity Scholarships are:

Anthony Bestafka-Cruz 
Bestafka-Cruz attends the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, where he is an articles editor of the Berkeley Journal of International Relations, a member of the International Legal Society and co-chair of Berkeley's La Raza Latino Law Students Association.  He graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in international relations, where he received the University Award for Academic Excellence and was a member of the Order of Omega Honor Society.  An active member of the Associated Students of Stanford University, he served as class president, senate associate and chair of Diversity & Tolerance Initiatives.  He was also president of Gamma Zeta Alpha Latino Fraternity and a rower on the Varsity Men's Crew team.  As the associate director of youth volunteerism with Heart to Heart International, he coordinated community service projects, youth volunteer programs and international relief programs.  He served as a community organizer and teacher with Learning Enterprises, collaborating with local civic leaders on educational programs.  This summer, Bestafka-Cruz will work with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia as a legal intern for the President's Office Chambers.

Maria Dominguez
Dominguez attends the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where she is currently the first-year law student executive board representative for the La Raza Law Student Association and the Hastings representative for the Northern California La Raza Law Students Coalition.  She earned a B.A. in ethnic studies with honors from Mills College, where she received the Outstanding Senior Award for Scholarship, Leadership and Service.  She has worked as a business analyst for McKesson Corporation and as a dependency legal assistant with the Alameda County Public Defender's Office.  She is an active member of her community, volunteering with organizations such as Centro Legal de La Raza and Bay Area Immigrant Rights Coalition.  As a founding member of the Oakland City ID Card Coalition, she works with city council members and local government officials to create a municipal identification card program open to every city resident, regardless of immigration status.  Dominguez will join San Francisco La Raza Centro Legal as a summer law intern.

Jessica Flores
Flores is a student at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where she is a member of the La Raza Law Student Association.  She graduated cum laude from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in political science and a minor in education, where she served as academic chair of the Latino Pre-Law Society and was a research assistant in the Chicano Studies Department.  She has worked as a legal assistant and law clerk at a number of Bay Area law offices and most recently was an administrative assistant and legal assistant intern with Centro Legal de La Raza in Oakland, where she also volunteered as an undergraduate student.  This summer, Flores will return to Centro Legal de La Raza as a legal intern.

Atticus Lee
Lee attends the University of California, Davis School of Law, where she is an editor of the environmental law journal Environs, a representative on the Law School Career Services Committee and a member of the Asian/Pacific-American Law Students Association, as well as Lambda Law.  She graduated with a B.A. in human biology and a minor in creative writing from Stanford University, where she was a co-founder and strategist for the Stanford Genderblind Taskforce and publicist for the Stanford LGBT Community Resource Center.  She was also a contributing editor for The Beveler, the Stanford magazine of creative nonfiction.  She is currently a volunteer legal interpreter with the Sacramento LGBT Community Legal Clinic, where she works directly with clients in Sacramento to improve access to legal services for low-income community members and facilitate hate crime reporting.  This summer, Lee will extern for the Honorable Samuel J. Feng at the San Francisco Superior Court and serve as an environmental law researcher for the University of California, Davis Law Professor Albert Lin.

Esmeralda Santos
Santos is a student at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where she is a member of the La Raza Law Student Association.  She graduated cum laude from California State University, Fresno, receiving a B.A. in philosophy and Chicano & Latin American studies. She was named the Outstanding Chicano Studies Graduate and was an active member of Chicanos in Law, serving as president and secretary and also coordinating the Annual Law Day Conference consisting of law-related workshops and a law school exposition fair for 150 participants.  During her undergraduate studies, she also served as director of legislative affairs and vice president of finance for the Associated Students Inc. Prior to law school, she worked as a multi-family housing specialist for Self-Help Enterprises, assisting low-income and ethnically diverse communities with affordable housing and technology programs. Santos will join California Rural Legal Assistance as an intern this summer.

Farella Braun + Martel's Diversity Program:
One of Farella Braun + Martel's core values is "Success Through Teamwork, Diversity and Respect."  The firm believes it better serves clients, the profession and community by building a workforce comprised of attorneys and staff with varied backgrounds in a workplace that appreciates individual differences.  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.  The firm is honored by the State Bar and CMCP's recognition of its sustained and long-term commitment to promoting and celebrating diversity in the legal profession.

Farella Braun + Martel represents clients throughout the United States and abroad in sophisticated business transactions and high-stakes commercial, civil and criminal litigation. Founded in 1962, the firm is headquartered in San Francisco and maintains an office in the Napa Valley focused on the wine industry.  Farella Braun + Martel lawyers are known for their imaginative legal solutions, dynamism and intellectual creativity.  With an unwavering service ethic and interdisciplinary team approach, the firm is committed to advancing clients' objectives in the most effective, coordinated and efficient manner. Farella Braun + Martel is a green business. www.fbm.com

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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