Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity, there is beauty and there is strength.
We believe the fight for diversity, equity and inclusion, which is the extension of respect and honor to traditionally marginalized populations in our society, is a fight worth pursuing. We are proud to be a majority woman-owned business.
The fight includes maximizing our legal performance by professionals who reflect the increasingly diverse demographics of our communities, and the country as a whole. Our established Diversity Initiative mandates that we identify and hire talent from underrepresented communities, which only makes us stronger.
Diversity, equity and inclusion, however, do not just stop at hiring a workforce from traditionally underrepresented communities. For a variety of reasons, female and minority attorneys often do not receive equal opportunities for mentoring and career building. This is not the case here. We work hard to retain our diverse attorneys through mentorship, meaningful client interaction from an early stage, and exposure to judges and juries. The success of our firm in retaining attorneys from diverse backgrounds is reflected in our partnership ranks. The percentage of female partners within our firm, for example, is second to none.
We understand that our clients demand that we be on the front lines of the fight for diversity, equity and inclusion. However, our fight is not merely about trying to please clients in order to maintain good relationships, though that is a meaningful byproduct of our efforts. Instead, our firm makes grassroots efforts to reach out to the communities in which we live and work, to help underprivileged members pursue their American Dream, because it is the right thing to do.
We partner with numerous community groups, local schools, and organizations to increase community involvement. We participate in continuing education programs regarding the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion, and the elimination of bias within the legal profession. An essential part of what we do is reach out to encourage high school and college students from diverse backgrounds to consider our noble legal profession as a viable path. We model the fact that there are opportunities for people from underprivileged backgrounds to attend law school, with help and guidance.
The organizations with which we partner have done great things in the community including hosting and sponsoring multiple events for underprivileged children, pre-law students, law students, and junior associates.
We fight hard in the courtroom for our clients and fights just as hard to make sure our firm reflects the values of the wonderfully diverse and vibrant communities in which we live and work. As the demographics of our communities change, we are uniquely qualified to handle the opportunities presented by such change.
All of us, no matter our station in life, can make a positive difference in the lives of others. Our firm is a place that encourages everyone to seek out such opportunities, and we do so every day.
Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
We are dedicated to advancing the careers of our attorneys and are proud to have women, racial/ethnic minorities, and LGBTQ partners serve in significant leadership positions throughout the firm. Currently, women, racial/ethnic minorities and LGBTQ make up more than 50 percent of the firm’s partners. We will continue to encourage our attorneys to seek leadership positions and to encourage our attorneys to be active in the community.
We support bar associations and organizations focused on women, minority, and LGBTQ that provide networking, professional development, and business development opportunities for our attorneys. A number of the firm’s attorneys have held leadership positions in the Asian Pacific American Bar Association, the Asian American Bar Association, the Filipino Bar Association and the Hispanic Bar Association.
We have partnered with the Orange County Coalition for Diversity in the Law. The OCCDL was initially established to provide children from disadvantaged backgrounds with opportunities and guidance to pursue careers in the law. The organization recently expanded its focus to increase the number of diverse candidates in the door at firms, and to retain and promote these individuals within their respective firms. This partnership has also involved MCLE presentations on diversity, providing financial support and other resources to high school and college students who show an interest in the law, supporting the Public Law Center, a non-profit agency that provides legal advice to low-income residents; and partnering with minority student associations at several local colleges.
We have been a dedicated supporter of the Asian American Bar Association and Minority Bar Coalition, sponsoring the Annual Summer Diversity Reception and Annual Gala. We are an active sponsor and participant in AABA's Pathways to Law Conference, a conference designed to encourage high school, college, and post-college students, especially those with diverse backgrounds, to consider law school and the legal profession. The panelists, all from diverse backgrounds themselves, ensure that attendees connect with those presenting.
Meka Moore, a Partner in the Los Angeles office, is the President of the developing Los Angeles chapter of the National African American Insurance Association. NAAIA is an organization dedicated to the empowerment of African Americans that are employed or affiliated with the insurance industry. At both national and local levels, NAAIA enhances African Americans presence in the insurance industry through increased awareness of opportunities, education, and networking. As president of the Los Angeles chapter, Meka’s goals include fostering professional excellence through mentorship, and increasing diversity in the local insurance industry. In addition, the Los Angeles chapter is dedicated to support of local youth organizations to increase awareness of careers in the insurance industry and financial literacy.
Neil Selman serves on the Board of Directors for CASA-LA. CASA’s mission is to have Court Appointed Special Advocates work on behalf of youth in the foster care system and see they receive better care in the areas of placements, education, and their physical and mental health. CASA significantly improves outcomes for the children who have a special advocate and helps them avoid future homelessness or involvement with the criminal justice system. Minority children make up a significant number of the foster children, and beyond Neil’s involvement, the firm is a consistent sponsor and supporter of CASA-LA.
Children who do not get help from groups such as CASA have difficulty when they become of age. Statistics show that 25% of them will be in jail within two years of emancipation. This creates an even greater obstacle to future success. According to children’s attorneys and social workers, children and youth with a CASA volunteer are more likely to receive needed services in a timely manner, be enrolled in an appropriate educational setting, participate in extracurricular activities, have long-term connections to siblings, relatives or other support people, and be on track to graduate high school on time and enroll in post-secondary education.