Selman Breitman Shines the Spotlight on Diversity in Orange County
With active involvement from Partner Asir Fiola and Associate Celeena Pompeo, the Orange County office of Selman Breitman recently hosted the August meeting of the Orange County Coalition for Diversity in the Law ("OCCDL"). This organization is comprised of a coalition of firms working together to foster diversity in the Orange County legal community. The OCCDL initially started to provide children from disadvantaged backgrounds with opportunities and guidance to pursue careers in the law. The organization has recently expanded its focus to get more diverse candidates in the door at law firms, and to retain and promote these individuals within their respective firms.
In 2018, OCCDL has done great things in the Orange County community, including hosting and sponsoring multiple events for underprivileged children, pre-law students, law students, and junior associates.
In January 2018, OCCDL hosted an elimination of bias MCLE event which focused on understanding and attempting to address implicit bias in the workplace. The speaker was the interim dean and professor of law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law, L. Song Richardson. The event was geared towards helping lawyers understand the biases that they each unconsciously have, and what damages those biases wreak on the profession and on one's career. The event also addressed manners in which a lawyer can overcome and/or address these biases.
In March 2018, OCCDL hosted a "meet and great" panel for diverse 1L students, which was attended by Selman Breitman attorneys. During the event, the firm's attorneys met 1L students from diverse backgrounds to discuss the summer associate/law clerk programs within each firm and spoke to these students about the interview process. There was a strong turnout to this event and the 1L students were very receptive to the advice each lawyer in the OCCDL organization provided.
In April 2018, OCCDL hosted "Thrive," an event with speaker Desiree Moore, author of the bestselling book called Thrive: A New Lawyer's Guide to Firm Practice. This event was geared towards young legal professionals and included a discussion on the secrets of surviving the early stages of a legal career.
Going forward, OCCDL is working on a long term project to advance diversity in the Orange County legal profession, including preparing a best practices guide for recruiting and retention. Future events also include a second edition of "Diversity Talks," a speaker series featuring Ari Joseph, in November 2018.
Selman Breitman is a proud member and supporter of the OCCDL. The firm's Diversity Committee actively engages with legal diversity organizations, such as OCCDL, to further support and align its mission of engaging, promoting, and empowering diversity in the legal profession, as well as the communities in which the firm and its members live and work.